Is our nutrition a reflection of evolutionary biology?
It is believed that in the near future our planet will need to feed two billion more people, raising questions about which diet would be best for both mankind and our planet.
Before agriculture was developed thousands of years ago, humans found food by hunting, gathering and fishing, with only a few hunter-gatherers tribes surviving until today. This is why it is important for us to learn about their lifestyle and diet before they become extinct.
Studies have shown that in most of the people in these tribes never develop high blood pressure, atherosclerosis or cardiovascular disease.
There is an imbalance between our diets today and what our ancestors evolved to eat. This theory led people to believe that the Paleolithic (Paleo) diets are the ideal as our genes haven’t had enough time to adapt the farmed and processed foods. It is thought that this diet is the only one that fits our genetic makeup and that it can help us prevent the “diseases of civilization” (cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, acne).
Our modern diets may be making us sick, but a return to a “stone age diet” could not help us survive today, as we have evolved to depend on cooked food.
While cooking food gave us enough energy to get bigger brains, it also gave us more calories, making us grow taller and heavier.
For the first time, many humans are getting more calories than they can burn in a day, with obesity and related diseases rising.
Evolution is ongoing, accelerating since the agricultural revolution, our bodies adapt and our diets change constantly.