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Nutrition Diet, supplements, weightloss, health & longevity

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Old 05-19-2009, 06:53 AM   #1
Stuart Hughes
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Crossfit nutrition and traditional food cultures

Hey all,
I'm ambitiously suggesting a comprehensive comparison of the nutritional guidelines of Crossfit with those of traditional food cultures, be they in the Americas, China, India, Japan, the Middle East etc. What do these traditional cultures REALLY eat? How did it fare for the people's health, or in the present? And does Zone/Paleo fit well with traditional food cultures.

I'm wondering specifically about the food culture of Northern China, as I'm going to Beijing for a year in August. The impression I get is that they have traditionally eaten more carbs than Crossfiters would recommend in the form of rice and millet, small amounts of animal proteins (making more use of offal meats than affluent Western society) and a variety of plants. This is touted as healthy by orthodox nutritionists, though I'm skeptical.

Any help would be awesome guys and girls!

Stuart
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:27 AM   #2
John C Corona
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Re: Crossfit nutrition and traditional food cultures

I've read the China Study, and suppossedly, the closer you got to the "cities" the more animal protein was consumed, and the more diseases were found. This is of course a way over simplified statement, but I still suggest you read it, as the author of that book sought some of the same answers you are looking for.

The key point I think of 'traditional' cultures is the food they consume is grown by them or very close to them (including animal sources). Suppossedly the city dwellers, even in China, are looking more and more american by the day, with a MCD's on every corner cuz it's fast and cheap. I think if you are loooking for health, you stay away from the 'city' prepared foods, and gather your food from the fresh food markets, and cook it yourself (if you can't cultivate it yourself).
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:41 AM   #3
Gerhard Lavin
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Re: Crossfit nutrition and traditional food cultures

The Weston Price site might be a good place to start. Also google Blue Zones, some info on diet in Okinamwa, Sardinia etc. Lots of the Paleo sites will cover some of the last remaining hunter gatherer groups. There should be lots of info out there on the Masai.

I doubt you will find any consensus on one best diet. What you will find is a variance of food but a lack of processed food. The majority of food cooked and eaten at home and an important social element to mealtime. I think you will also find fasting either for religious reasons or purely due to seasonal food shortages will also be a consistent element.

Keep us posted on what else you find. Something I'm also interested in.
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:45 AM   #4
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Crossfit nutrition and traditional food cultures

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Originally Posted by Ger Lavin View Post
I doubt you will find any consensus on one best diet. What you will find is a variance of food but a lack of processed food. The majority of food cooked and eaten at home and an important social element to mealtime. I think you will also find fasting either for religious reasons or purely due to seasonal food shortages will also be a consistent element.
That's what I've seen, purely anecdotally. Variable diet, based on whatever is available locally. Moderate portions. No processed foods. Generally rich in fruit and vegetables, and happy to eat native regional grains.

Katherine
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:36 AM   #5
David S Shiroma
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Re: Crossfit nutrition and traditional food cultures

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Originally Posted by Ger Lavin View Post
The Weston Price site might be a good place to start. Also google Blue Zones, some info on diet in Okinamwa, Sardinia etc. ....
Excuse my interjection, I believe you meant Okinawa?

(not specifically about nuitrition but an article citing works, notably "The Okinawa Program")
http://www.okicent.org/news/chicago_tribune.html
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:15 PM   #6
Shane Skowron
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Re: Crossfit nutrition and traditional food cultures

I've been studying in Egypt for this semester. The nutrition here is abysmal, and it shows in the general population. The obesity rate is pretty high, and there are more than a few people I've seen who suffer from various ailments and injuries, and I speculate that is due in no small part to poor nutrition and lack of dietary diversity.

Many Egyptians will drink at least five cups of tea per day with lots of added sugar, along with maybe some cans of soda, lots of bread, rice, chips, candy, and other substances high in carbohydrates. Traditional Egyptian cuisine is severely lacking in fat and to some extent protein also.

The problem here is that traditional Egyptian foods have been slowly integrated with fast food, processed snacks, and sugary drinks. Traditional Egyptian foods like fuul, falafel, tomatoes, bread, cheese, kebab, tahina, onions, green vegetables, and so forth, aren't so bad by themselves, although they're a little high on the carbohydrate side. A weak economy and western-inspired snacks and fast food bring low quality food and a poor macronutritional ratio to the diet.

Last edited by Shane Skowron : 05-19-2009 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:10 PM   #7
Gerhard Lavin
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Re: Crossfit nutrition and traditional food cultures

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Originally Posted by David S Shiroma View Post
Excuse my interjection, I believe you meant Okinawa?

(not specifically about nuitrition but an article citing works, notably "The Okinawa Program")
http://www.okicent.org/news/chicago_tribune.html
Interject away, I fat fingered that one.
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