I don't agree with anything Monky says especially:
The mortality from carbohydrate-linked health issues like diabetes, heart attacks, and cancer far outweighs that of meat-borne illness.
My current opinion on carbohydrates and health issues comes from Good Calories, Bad Calories
, a very well-written, exhaustively researched book by Gary Taubes. It certainly doesn't prove that carbohydrates are the only health hazard in the world, but it makes a good case for carbs playing a big part in the onset of the the so-called "diseases of civilization," such as diabetes, clogged arteries, cancer, and Alzheimers. Time and again, scientists have found that these diseases manifest in populations when processed grains and sugar are introduced into their diets, and the percentage of their calories from carbohydrates rises compared to that of other macronutrients (ie protein and fat).
If you remove sugar and heavily-processed grains from a diet, it's very hard to get adequate calories and nutrition from vegetables.
I need somewhere between 2000 and 2300 calories a day to keep my body from wasting away. Besides sugar, grains, and soy (which also needs to be fairly processed before it's edible), it is difficult for me to get that many calories by just eating plants. I could probably survive as a lacto-ovo vegetarian, but I'm not sure how I would make nutritional ends meet without animal products (I'll entertain ideas, though).
Veggies have a larger (negative) health impact than meat.
I'm not saying all veggies have a negative health impact- salad greens and other low-calorie plants are basically water, a little fiber, and some vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all of which are neutral-to-good for the human body. However, wheat and legumes, which are the vegetables that most vegetarians rely on for the bulk of their macronutrients, are fairly high in carbohydrates (and anti-nutrients
), and low in protein and fat, the exact sort of diet that has been implicated in the rise of novel "Western" diseases in indigenous populations.
And, America has no shortage of calories. Oh I forget America is the center of the world!
I'm sorry, that should have been "the people on these boards, as well as most in the developed world, have no shortage of calories." Cheap, calorically dense food like spam, beans, lard, tortillas, and peanut butter means that starvation is no longer a big concern for most of us, so arguments about how many calories an acre of land can produce (corn and wheat win this one) fall short.
Monky- Word. How are you doing on all-meat?
VK- no need for a pissing contest ever. I think the cool thing about these boards is that everyone is free to explore their own paths to personal health.
I'm doing great. I didn't go into it with any major goals or expectations, other than thinking that it would make me healthier, and I'm pretty pleased. Current highlights, 4-6 weeks in:
-I have lost about ten pounds in the last three months, and I'm probably down from 15+% bodyfat to around 10-12% (six-pack is forming
). The weight loss I don't really care about, and am actually trying to reverse over the next month, but the bodyfat loss is nifty.
-Weekly grocery bills have stabilized at about $40, which is divided among steak, eggs, and heavy cream.
-My diet doesn't taste flavorless to me (I find it delicious), but on an absolute scale, I consume far fewer flavors, and with much less intensity, than before. I wonder about an overlap in mechanism between Seth's various AS theories and the way I eat.
-I think I may have disconnected my blood sugar from my food intake, ie, prolonged periods of fasting don't make me hypoglycemic. Basically, I can go 12+ hours without food, and feel neither hunger nor a negative effect on physical/athletic/mental performance. I need to test this, probably with one of those monitors diabetics use, but if my hunch is correct, it would be awesome.
-When I go out, I don't stay strictly paleo. I probably eat about one heavily omnivorous meal a week, as my social schedule dictates. Last weekend, it was a burger, fries, and a beer. I prefer steak, chicken, etc because they don't come with bread, but a lot of times the burger is the cheapest thing on the menu, and I think I'm healthy enough to handle it.
So overall, I'm having a pretty good time.