best diet for the human race - Hans Dehmelt
From the earliest times to about 5 million years ago our ancient
primate ancestors had been living exclusively in the deep tropical forests of Southern
Africa. Here, for about twenty million years, evolution had superbly developed their fruit
spying and picking skills to a degree that their numbers increased to taxing the limited
food resources . This in turn encouraged some of their more adventurous members to
venture out into the surrounding savannas and scavenge the carcasses of large grazing
animals brought down by predators and to ignore the shortcomings of this new diet that
they were less well adapted to.
This group probably originated the line
leading to Homo sapiens, us. As we nevertheless more and more multiplied this pattern
repeated, and again and again we were forced to subsist on even less and less desirable
diets until today a large fraction of the population has adopted variations of the Big Mac
diet. Those remaining in the forests on the frugivorous diet changed very little and
became Homo troglodytes, the chimpanzees, and our closest relatives whose DNA is 99.4%
identical with ours. Their well-known current, obviously raw diet is composed [2,3]
approximately of 75% ripe wild fruit, 20% of leaves and pith and 5% foods of animal
origin. By dry weight wild fruit contains fats, proteins, carbohydrates, digested and
undigested fiber in the approximate proportions 5 : 7 : 14 : 17 : 17.
The two essential fatty acids contribute
nearly half of the fat component, about 23% linoleic and 16% alpha-linolenic. It is
hypothesized that it is still the healthiest diet also for Man because for about twenty
million years it has been eaten by the common ancestors of Man and Chimp. They did not
cook their foods - a very unhealthy procedure.
All later diets up to the current big Mac
diet of the broad American masses increasingly rely on foodstuffs such as meat, grains,
beans & potatoes that have to be made edible by cooking and were only adopted under
exponentially increasing population pressures. Consequently, all are less healthy and
moreover they are the less healthy the later they were adopted.
Approximating the Chimp diet by suitably
supplemented supermarket items may give us the best of both worlds. The following work
[4,5,6] supports the hypothesis.
1. Cohen M. N. The food crisis in
prehistory: overpopulation and agriculture. Yale University Press, 1977
2. Milton, K. Nutritional characteristics of wild Primate Foods: Do the natural diets of
our closest living relatives have lessons for us? Nutrition 15 (1999) 488-498.
3. Conklin-Brittain, N. L., R. W. Wrangham, and K. D. Hunt, 1998. Dietary response of
chimpanzees and cercopithecines to seasonal variation in fruit abundance: II. Nutrients.
Int. J. Primatol. 19(1998) 71-987.
4. Ehret A. Kranke Menschen (Rational Fasting). Benedict Lust Publications; 1912
6. Lackner, W. MEIN ROHKOST WEG
Hans Dehmelt Department of Physics,
University of Washington, Seattle, USA
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