Human Evolution and How It Affected What and The Way We Eat

According to our geological evolution, Homo sapiens came into existence around 300,000 years ago. Since then our ancestors have been hunter gatherers and ate primarily vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots and meat. This diet was high in fats and protein and low in grain and sugar-derived carbohydrates.

Agricultural farming and settlements, the cultivation of wheat and barley, started around 9,500 years ago but it was in the industrial revolution, around 215 years ago, that factory production made food readily available. At this point we can now just go to a store and buy food anytime.

Based on this timeline, if we relate 1 hour to being our whole existence here on earth, food became readily available and we can eat whatever we want just 2.58 seconds ago.  If we relate 1 yard to be our whole existence here on earth, food became readily available at 0.026 inch or around 1/39th of an inch.

So what does this mean? This means 2 things. First, historically, carbohydrate intake has always been low.  Evolution wise, our body has not yet adapted to our current lifestyle and we were not designed to eat large amounts of refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, cereal, bread and other high carbohydrate food group.

Second, being hunter gatherers, our bodies have to adapt to situations when we can’t have food due to failed hunts or weather constraints. Our bodies have to adapt and protect itself for leaner times when we did not have food readily available (groceries, stores, fast-food) as discussed by Richard J. Johnson in his book THE FAT SWITCH. This means that our bodies evolved to become very efficient in making us fat but also has adapted to fasting.

 

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