Ancestral Diet

Could it be that the food(s) our ancestors ate have healing powers for our bodies?  Do our current frames “remember” the foods eaten by our ancestors through epigenetics or actual DNA “preferences”?  In the same way a person could be genetically predisposed to addiction, could a person be genetically disposed to eating and benefiting from certain foods?

Here is my example:  As a descendant of European immigrants, I truly believe that the food of my relatives:   oatmeal, porridge, “mush” puts me on the pathway to an ideal body weight.  When I start eating oatmeal for breakfast, I slowly shed pounds.

Video:  OldManBarnes Contemplates Ancestral Diet

Oatmeal does have a nice impact on cardiovascular health and it does burn slowly in my body and keeps my blood sugar constant.

So tell me about you!  What have you determined?

 

 

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. The author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

October 18, 2017 Barnes Disclaimer

 

 

120 Comments

  1. I believe how ancestors had to get food help their health, but it defintly was healthier. They had fresh natural pick food and did not deep fry things.

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  2. This is so interesting! This really has me thinking about what I eat and why maybe some diets and habits don’t work for everyone. I will definitely be doing some more research on this and my heritage, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. although this is a great thought and could be possible i still think body weight is based on genetics. I’ve had many friends that will not eat correctly, that eat nothing but junk food and do not exercise and still are able to maintain a healthy body weight. i thought that theyre metabolism might slow down when they got past there 20’s but it was quite the opposite

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  4. I do believe that things our ancestors ate have an effect on our diets today. Partially from a DNA standpoint because I think what our mother’s eat while they were pregnant with us has something to do with what we eat; also from the family aspect as, as children, for girls anyways, grandma or mom taught us how to cook and/or make a happy plate or that’s what you’ll eat for breakfast/lunch type of family.

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  5. I am all about the” you get out what you put in” phrase. I wish that fast food was not an option in our society (as I consume my taco bell). Unfortunately, with the introduction of trans fats, mass amounts of sugars, and ease of getting a “value meal”, most of society is slipping down the slope to disease and obesity. I believe if we were to eat the same foods our ancestors ate and get the exercise they achieved in the process of making said food, we would all benefit greatly. Every diet has certain beneficial parts to some, and others not so much. Nowadays I think it is more the psychology of it all more than anything. Its cheap, easy, and may save you a dollar. The taste isn’t terrible either.

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  6. I love oatmeal so with that being said I agree that ancestral diets will have an affect on generations to come. If the generations allow it. We all know things begin to become extinct so having the knowledge we do about the diets of our ancestors using it, is only to question will we still have it around minus all the sugars and fatty’s and processed add ins will it still be healthy to intake in 50 years.

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  7. I believe the food our ancestors ate did have “healing powers” because it was pure, whole foods, unlike today whereas all of our food is government regulated and in most cases they have added preservatives or is processed in some way or another.

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  8. I believe that this would certainly be a healthy diet to become accustomed to. It contains most of the necessary nutrients that the body needs not only to survive, but also to loose weight and have a healthy lifestyle.

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  9. I totally agree with you. Our ancestors ate from the earth, things that were provided naturally. They had healthier and longer lives. In this day and time we tend to forget about healthy and go for convenience.

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  10. I believe the diets of our ancestors does affect the way our bodies process foods. Although, how many generations would it take to change that? I mean when I look at my genealogy it is comprised of multiple deep rooted nationalities. Moreover, after the Robersons came to America in 1760 there has been a “melting pot” effect in our family tree and with each new generation I believe my family will become even more diverse. I guess I got a little off topic. As for me I can eat most traditional foods with little to no noticeable affect on my body or mental state.

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  11. I think our ancestor’s diets would greatly impact our country today. If they saw the amount of processed foods we put into our bodies in this generation, I am sure they could diagnose diseases we face everyday faster than most of our well-paid; well-educated doctors.

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  12. It’s very well possible ,but there is so much our body needs. If we based our diets on our regional habitants of our ancestors, we could still lack basic supplements as Iron, Calcium and others. I believe that it depends on where your ancestors are ,rather than basing today and then.

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  13. I think you can’t always go back to what your ancestors ate. Some people can come from an obesity family. They could have eaten healthy food but the food maybe resulted in the family being obesited. Maybe they could learn what foods to stay away from?

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  14. I completely agree that the food that our ancestors ate was more beneficial to the human body because the foods back then were not mass produced with all the salts and fats that they are today.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I agree with Dr. Barnes that our ancestors ate healthier than we as people do now. I would be interested to see how the diets of African American slaves affected their bodies having been used to a traditional African diet then being forced to eat a completely new type of diet once sold into slavery. Also could there be any existing effects in today’s lineage?

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  16. I agree whole heartedly with you Dr. Barnes. Our ancestors ate healthier than we do now. Food were grown in gardens without the pesticides or processed or fast food that we give to our children today.

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  17. I believe that ancestral diets have a great impact on our health due to the natural properties of them. Most of the food from today is pumped full of chemicals and hormones which can make our bodies react in ways we wouldn’t even expect.

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  18. I believe the ancestral diet would be more beneficial to us now because the food our ancestors ate was healthier all around. They didn’t use pesticides or any potentially harmful chemicals on their food. Even the food they ate then was healthier than most of the food the average person eats today. Today, people prefer to eat foods that may taste better but aren’t necessarily healthy.

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  19. I have not done much research on my ancestry or what they ate, but I do believe they have healing powers on our bodies. If everyone avoided process foods and artificial flavoring and ate healthy fresh foods such as our ancestors did, then we wouldn’t have so many health issues.

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  20. I believe that the food that we digest today isnt as healthy as it once was, or at least not as harmful. I also think that some part of what is put into our processed/packaged foods is there to help us. For example: Natamycin prevents mold growth in cheese and Ascorbyl palmitate prevents spoilage. But research says some processed meat like bacon, bologna, and sausage are directly linked to types of cancer.

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  21. I do agree with the comments supporting that ancestral foods are beneficial. Today, we do have so many unhealthy substitutions for almost anything. They are unnatural and have potentially aided in the development of poor diet and more illness. The natural, untouched foods of our ancestors were pure and not pumped with sugars or preservatives. The human body and its functions I believe were made to process more natural substances, rather than unknown chemicals the could, and probably have harmed our bodies and caused more sickness. The more natural diet of our ancestors is the way to go!

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  22. The foods we consume today is proven to be one of the major factors behind many health issues, such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure among many others. I agree that if we consumed the diets of our ancestors our bodies would be healthier and we would feel better.

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  23. I believe that the more natural the diet the better it is. When the all of the sweeteners and additives are taken out, the more ancestral like diet is much healthier and beneficial to us. As with my ancestry,european, I cannot handle much salt or spice or my stomach is in much pain. I believe that the closer food is to the original crop instead of processed like many foods today the healthier I am.

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  24. I think our ancestors diet has a huge impact on our health and bodies today. Not only was their food natural they didn’t have any added preservatives like the food we have today.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I think that ancestral diets have impacted the things we eat today. They discovered things that we may have never discovered and they learned how to grow fruits and vegetables that help us stay healthy

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  26. I definitely agree that things like this affect our DNA. I also find it interesting how our ancestors lifestyles affect the way we grow and adapt to our culture. For example, people in China are more immune or prone to certain diseases than Americans and vice versa. I don’t believe in Big Bang Theory evolution necessarily, but I do believe that our bodies learn to evolve and adapt to our surroundings and the lifestyles we choose to live. For that to happen, I feel like it has to happen over generations and time whether it’s in our diet or just natural habitat.

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  27. I believe that the food back then was more healthy and that is why the people were more fit and healthier than people are today. Our food today is more processed, while back then is was pure which was healthier for the people rather than todays food.

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  28. I do believe ancestral diets have an affect on our health today. Their foods were probably more natural and today a majority of our food is artificial. You are probably right that their food had “healing powers”. I have heard that is was very rare that people had food allergies back then. Now, food allergies are very common, including someone like myself with a severe peanut allergy.

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  29. Dr. Barnes, I recommend you watch a documentary called “What the Health”. It’s basically an elaboration of the warnings you gave your students in class.

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  30. I actually found this very interesting and decided to take a look into more research and figured out I should be eating a lot more then I actually intake in my diet now! Useful and neat topic!!

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  31. Northern European cultures did not consume any rice, beans, or corn and ate very little fruit and raw vegetables. They typically ate a lot of bread, raw dairy, fermented vegetables, meat, cooked stews, soups, some seafood, and oats. I personally love rice and eat stir fry with fresh veggies and chicken or sushi every chance I get. I don’t like a lot of red meat, so I stick with chicken and shrimp or tuna. As I have learned, my ancestors didn’t eat vegetables unless they were fermented or cooked in stews or butter and no traditional society ever consumed raw plant foods at a high rate. I believe if I hopped on board with my ancestors’ diet, I would undoubtedly gain weight, as I don’t like to eat a lot of bread and meat. I would probably benefit from eating oatmeal for breakfast rather than cereal, I don’t think I’ll be picking up a traditional northern European diet any time soon. Although, after reading on the topic, I definitely believe the foods our ancestors survived on definitely play a major role in our genetic preferences and influence what different cultures eat today.

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  32. I do think this is true just because it makes sense. It’s the same concept as how people are similar to their mom and dad, like my parents hate spicy food and I do too, probably as a result of growing up without having spicy food cooked in the house. But also how doctors ask about your medical family history to see if you are predisposed to certain diseases and conditions. They ask because of how similar we are to the generations above us, so I complete see how this concept of ancestral diet could be true. My question is how does the blood type diet relate to this, because I am type A blood and Dadamo talked about things I already knew made me feel my best (a vegetarian diet and yoga/ meditation). I haven’t done much research on European descendent’s diets, but how do you feel people should go about these topics if there blood type is contradictory of their ancestral diet?

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  33. For me, I know that my body does not handle processed carbs very well at all! When I do, I tend to hold a lot more water. I do feel that our ancestors were correct when it came to diet. I look at my grandmother for instance. She will be 91 this year, lives by herself, has always been very active and has had a healthy diet. I ordered the book you suggested on how we should eat based on our blood type. I want to further my research on this a little more! Thank you for a great topic!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. I do believe there is some merit to the benefits of ancestral diets. As a matter of fact, I recently read an article about 20 South Africans that were put on an American diet, and 20 African Americans who were put on a South African diet for just a two week period. After only two weeks each group had a colonoscopy and the results were amazing. The African Americans developed cells to prevent cancer, and the South African group who ate a diet high in fat developed some precursors for cancer. It is very interesting article.

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  35. I think if we took all of the artificial flavoring, dyes etc out of our foods today and go back to the basics that you eat what comes out of the ground or off the tree we wouldn’t have as many problems as we see today. Our bodies were not designed to breakdown and utilize all of the ” fake” foods and we are now seeing the long term ramifications of what it’s doing to our bodies. I am from Irish decent which thank goodness I don’t live there because all they eat is potatoes and pork ! I can hear my arteries clogging just from typing that 😳

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    1. I totally agree with this idea. The “additions” put in to preserve our foods is making even the simplest foods we eat less beneficial for our bodies. Such as pre sliced apples, processed and pre sliced cheese, etc.
      With this following the food of our ancestors really start with less processed foods

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  36. I believe that our ancestry does play a major role in our bodies ability to break down and digest certain foods better that others. Soy for example originated in Asia but can be found in a large amount of foods we eat in the U.S. today. Studies published by Nippon Naibunpi Gakkai 1991 and American Journal of Clincial Nutrition 1994 found some interesting information. The 1991 study found that adults eating soybeans for 3 months started suffering from thyroid suppression. The test subjects had symptoms of malaise,sleepiness,and goiters. In 1994 six premenopausal women with normal cycles were given 45 mg of soy the equivalent of 1-2 cups of soy milk a day. After a month they all experienced delayed menstruation with effects similar to tamoxifen.

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  37. As a counterclaim to the previous statements, we have the resources to be very healthy and to have a balanced diet in the present day. In Ireland and Scotland, where my ancestors are from, people survived on mostly starches and little meat. They had a very unbalanced diet, and they often didn’t get the nutrients needed to live a long and healthy life. Today, when we walk into a grocery store, there are many healthy options to choose from, so we never have to go without the proper vitamins and nutrients needed for a healthy lifestyle. The average life expectancy for an Irish man in 1800 was thirty eight, which isn’t long compered to the life expectancy of males in America today, seventy six years old. In modern America, we have complete control over what we eat. Most people choose to eat unhealthy foods full of GMOs and trans-fats, but everyone has the option to eat healthy, unlike people from Ireland in the 1800s.

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  38. This topic is very intriguing. I enjoyed reading all of your comments. I will make an effort to eat more like the French, Hungarian, Russian, German, Jew, and Irish man that I am, bringing us one step closer to a body that will be found acceptable. “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.”‭‭ Rom12:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

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      1. It’s amazing how far back your diet can be tracked. I’m mainly Irish, so all you would probably find on me is too many potatoes and beer. I did visit Ireland last year, and they had french fries with every single dish. We ordered pizza while we were there and it came with fries. Everywhere we looked there were potatoes. Idk what that means for me, but that trip has made me sick of potatoes.

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  39. Food was highly individualized by culture based on availability. The industrial revolution changed the way we eat dramatically and it has been to our detriment. Consider the impact of a western diet on the health of refugees. https://m.boiseweekly.com/boise/struggling-to-stomach-americas-cuisine/Content?oid=3421335
    Personally I have a mix of European and native American ancestry, perhaps that is why we have an unusual amount of autoimmune issues being triggered in my family line. Overall we have not only strayed from the dietary habits of our ancestors but we have also exposed ourselves to increasing forms of environmental pollution and lifestyle alterations including many of us working largely indoors. All of these factors are changing our physical as well as mental state of wellness. I try to get fresh air and sunlight everyday, grow some of my own food year round and buy local, as well as reduce the amount of plastics, pesticides, insecticides etc. my family is exposed to. I grew up with grandmother’s who ate butter not margarine. My great grandma lived to 94, her daughter is 83 and still works full time. I will stick with good quality butter. They had gardens they ate from and cooked at home every day so I do this as well now. I eat out some but I honestly think home cooked food taste better. Have you read “Nourishing Traditions” https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0967089735/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1500525951&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=nourishing+traditions+by+sally+fallon&dpPl=1&dpID=61DVSLexiNL&ref=plSrch
    or “Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food” https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01G1J7WEU/ref=dp_ob_neva_mobile
    they are right in line with the beneficial practice of ancestral eating.

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  40. I strongly believe that the food that our ancestors ate had “healing powers”. Our ancestors ate real wholesome food and not food-like products. I believe this is why we are starting to see more diseases because our gut flora has changed due to the highly GMO and proceed substance, and not eating real food that had “healing powers”.

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    1. To piggyback off of Mr. Grant, l do believe my ancestors food have healing properties. Since I dont know whether my ancestors were brought to America from Africa or Caribbean islands, its hard to pinpoint exactly what they ate. Although, while at OleMiss, I did get the opportunity to experience both Caribbean and African dishes. Those dishes were enriched with healthy fats, proteins, vegetables, and natural spices; unlike the transfats and sugars im accustomed too. I was told by the parents and friends of thoses regions, that their foods were indeed good for all around healing and strenghing of muscles.

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    2. I absolutely agree with you. The foods that we are eating in this decade isn’t even really food anymore. Nothing about what we buy from the grocery store is wholesome. Everything is filled with preservatives which is doing nothing but causing more illnesses and weight problems. Even though we are not 100% sure the fresh foods are safe, my grandmother still refuses to buy any meat that has been frozen or any vegetable that is canned.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. Interesting concept always. I think ancestral foods would almost always have to better, and considering the relatively recent introduction of Trans fats and artificial sweeteners (which I think our bodies don’t know what the heck to do with leading to dysunction/disease), I’m sure our bodies can process foods that have been around for us for hundreds of years and more, giving our bodies the learned ability to utilize the foods. Maybe in 500 years our bodies will learn to deal with and pass along the information all the info we need to use Trans fats…..or let’s stay altogether. So, yes I think ancestral diets are better for us. Thanks Dr Barnes!

    Liked by 2 people

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