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Nutrition Diet, supplements, weightloss, health & longevity

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Old 06-27-2006, 12:55 PM   #1
Greg Battaglia
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Ok, so after some time and experience with IF I think it is safe to say that I've observed some interesting effects that IF has on appetite and how that can effect the way that I feel and perform. One thing that I've really noticed up to this point is that my craving for fibrous vegetables has completely diminished. After a good fast I find that my body is only craving calorie dense foods, which makes complete sense, since the body would likely want to fill it's caloric debt as quickly as possible. Now my question is, since we know with almost absolute certainty that H/G's would have followed cycles of under- and overeating wouldn't it make sense that they too would seek out the most calorie dense foods as possible? I'm thinking things like the meat and fat of animals, nuts and seeds, starchy tubers, and fruit when it's available. When you think about it, it doesn't seem logical that H/G's would waste any time whatsoever attemtping to eat low calorie vegetables in order to fill caloric needs. They would go right for the gold, the calorie dense foods. With this in mind, it also seems to be no wonder why most people really can't stand vegetables, they just don't taste good, further indicating that we probably didn't evolve to eat much of them. The only time veggies are actually palatable is when they are steamed to the point where the starch becomes much more accesible and easily absorbed, and we know that H/G's obviously didn't have steaming pots. I know that some will say that studies show that vegetables improve health and mortality rates, but if you really think about it for a moment it makes sense because vegetables tend to blunt the appetite and make people eat less food. We know that calorie restriction increases life span, so it could be possible that vegetables actually possess little nutritonal power beyond decreasing appetite and therefore calories also. Now this sounds all good, but for IFer's like us we already have the life extending stimulus created by IF (as H/G's would) and require high calorie foods (once again as H/G's would) to get the calories we need. I think that the appetite supressing ability of veggies is great for jump starting a weight loss program for someone who seriously needs to lose weight, but when we're talking about a CFer/IFer that is already quite lean and really needs to push performance, veggies kind of fall out of the picture and in my opinion interfere with obtaining enough calories. I've really noticed that when I cut the veggies out of my IF routine and replace them with tubers my digestion is much better and my overall well-being and performance are much improved. Plus, I feel more satisfied with my meals because I can pack in more of the calories I need in a small volume of food. The only problem is that I've been hesitant to permanently eliminate fibrous veggies from my diet in fear of the loss of important nutrients, but at the same time some intuition tells me that veggies are over hyped and not what they are cracked up to be. I mean, you need to cook veggies to get most of the nutrients from them due to anti-nutrients and such, but then when you cook them you destroy most of the nutrients anyway, so it kind of defeats the purpose. Anyway, sorry for the long rambling message, but I was just wondering what all of your opinions were on my little theory that humans didn't evolve to eat vegetables? I'm really interested to hear your opinions and would appreciate your comments.
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Old 06-27-2006, 01:51 PM   #2
Elliot Royce
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Wow, that's a lot of fibrous matter to digest! :talker:

I think the science supports the view that evolution is not a pure cause and effect process and that there have been many random turns, etc. (vestigial tails, gills in embryos, etc.). So to say that "we are evolved to eat meat and tubers" has a level of specificity which may not be justified.

I think we are evolved to eat as wide a variety of food matter as possible which is what allowed our species to spread out of a narrow climatic area and populate the earth. Eskimos eat whale and seal meat. Egyptians eat grain. etc.

Evolution only favors reproduction. As long as you reproduce and your offspring live to reproduce, you are evolutionarily adapted. The more you reproduce with offspring that live to reproduce the more adapted you are. I don't see where reproduction would be favored by not eating vegetables. Indeed, in today's society, your date might find you a bit strange if you just ate raw meat and tubers.

I also don't see that people who eat only meat are smarter or stronger or more attractive or sexier than people who eat meat and vegetables. These are other determinants of reproductive capability.

What you choose to eat may help your performance. But unless a particular diet leads a subset of our species to superior reproductive capability, then evolution could care less about your diet. Fat and stupid people breed just as well as the lean and smart.

"Been around the world and found that only stupid people are breeding
The cretins cloning and feeding
And I don't even own a TV"



(Message edited by eroyce on June 27, 2006)

(Message edited by eroyce on June 27, 2006)
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Old 06-27-2006, 02:09 PM   #3
Greg Battaglia
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Interesting points. Thanks. Anyone else?
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Old 06-27-2006, 03:01 PM   #4
Nikki Young
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I can tell you now that if you eliminate veggies from your diet, your performance will slowly decline. Your right in saying you're missing out on the nutrients when not including veggies in your diet, your also missing out on important vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients and in terms of recovery from exercise/performance, antioxidants. Antioxidants are only found in plant based foods = fruits and veggies. If you don't eat any fruits and veggies (except tubers) you're limiting your intake of antioxidants dramatically.

Most people will have heard of antioxidants, but they are so important to our health because they are the ONLY thing which will nutralise free-radical damage, free-radical damage causes everything from a wrinkle to cancer and everything in-between. Research is showing that diseases such as arthritis, parkinsons, alzheminers, heart disease, cancer and stoke to name only a few are the cause of poor nutrition and a lack of fruits and vegetables in the diet; it's the cause of too much free-radical damage.

So if you are lacking in the nutrients found in fruits and vegetables (and might i add, ALL vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients and antioxidants are found in fruits and vegetables.. ALL!) then whats happening to your celular health? Whats happening to your immune system if your body isn't getting the nutrition that it needs and all it's getting is protein and sometimes some antioxidants here and there? Your immune system and your cells will be weak.. you will get sick because your body doesn't have the strength to fight off disease (see list above).

In terms of training and performance, if your cells aren't healthy, they won't perform to their max. When your muscle contracts it needs two things; macronutrients and micronutrients. Now say you're doing a bicep curl and there are 100 muscle cells in your bicep.. if you don't have the proper level of micronutrients then the muscle cell wont fire at half pace.. it wont fire at three quarter pace.. a muscle either contracts maximally (100%) or not at all. You need to make sure that you're micronutrient levels are high so your muscle cells are healthy and can fire all the cells at the same time to produce as much force as possible.

In terms of recovery.. antioxidants increase your immune system, and when you put force on your body your putting stress on your body (lifting weights for example). To grow a muscle you go through adaptation, what happens is you will lift the weight (the stress) after your body has been presented with the stress and you will go rest and recover, thats when you will go through your supercompensation/adaptation. When your body goes into stress mode, your body says "if i get presented with this stress, if i dont do something next time it could kill me" so thats when your muscle will grow, get stronger etc. When you have a strong immune system it allows you to bounce back with supercompensation, if you don't have a strong immune system there is no point in training because the actual growth doesnt come from the stress, it comes from your body bouncing back and recovering properly.

Hence why you need a variety of nutrients and antioxidants from different colours and types of fruits and vegetables. Feel free to try out the meat and tubers only diet along with IF to see how you go, but i can assure you that over time your body wont be able to cope with the stress and your recovery rate will drop, your performance will drop and your health will decrease dramatically.

Just my thoughts...
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Old 06-27-2006, 03:32 PM   #5
Greg Battaglia
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Nikki, I appreciate your thoughts and admire your passionate argument. Thanks for the input. There is, however, one point that I disagree with. You mentioned that all antioxidants are in fruits and vegetables ONLY. This is not true. Meats and nuts/seeds also contain potent antioxidants such as vitamin E, CoEnzymeQ10, and selenium. I appreciate you concern for my health though, and I think I will stick with the veggies. Thanks
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Old 06-27-2006, 04:48 PM   #6
Garrett Smith
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Greg,
I love the way you think. I really hope you consider going to naturopathic medical school in the future. I'd write you a letter of recommendation right now, solely based on what I've read from you on this board. Anyway, back to the thread topic...

I'm going to drop one of my favorite studies on y'all:
Green tea extract only affects markers of oxidative status postprandially: lasting antioxidant effect of flavonoid-free diet.
"The overall effect of the 10-week period without dietary fruits and vegetables was a decrease in oxidative damage to DNA, blood proteins, and plasma lipids, concomitantly with marked changes in antioxidative defence."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=Abstra ct&list_uids=12064344&query_hl=3&itool=pubmed_docs um

Another related one:
No effect of 600 grams fruit and vegetables per day on oxidative DNA damage and repair in healthy nonsmokers.
"Our results show that after 24 days of complete depletion of fruits and vegetables, or daily ingestion of 600 g of fruit and vegetables, or the corresponding amount of vitamins and minerals, the level of oxidative DNA damage was unchanged. This suggests that the inherent antioxidant defense mechanisms are sufficient to protect circulating mononuclear blood cells from reactive oxygen species."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=Abstra ct&list_uids=14578137&query_hl=2&itool=pubmed_docs um

Yeah, yeah, so it was only 1.2 *pounds* of fruits and veggies a day.

Greg, I fully support your experiment. My learning and intuition are leading me in the direction of your thinking as well.
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Old 06-27-2006, 04:58 PM   #7
Chris Forbis
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Greg-

I like the way you think. Makes perfect sense to me. I am looking forward to hearing more of your experiences.
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Old 06-27-2006, 05:11 PM   #8
Charlie Jackson
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Now my question is, since we know with almost absolute certainty that H/G's would have followed cycles of under- and overeating wouldn't it make sense that they too would seek out the most calorie dense foods as possible?

They didn't fast for health, performance or longevity. They fasted because they were out of food. They stopped fasting when they found something eatable. Doesn't matter if it was densely caloric or not. If you're starving, you're not going to pass up an apple in hope of finding some meat to eat later. You eat what is available.
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Old 06-27-2006, 05:26 PM   #9
Frank Menendez
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Just for clarification, tubers are considered: sweet potatoes, yams... anything else?
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Old 06-27-2006, 06:09 PM   #10
Elliot Royce
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This is obviously something that could be debated forever. Clearly within an evolutionary niche of being an omnivore, there may be better patterns of nutrition. In other words, nature tolerates a variety of illnesses and less than stellar performance as long as the species can breed (I know, I know, I'm obsessed with sex but it is the mechanism of evolution). A species that evolved to the point where only the top 1% in terms of physical health were able to breed would be far weaker in evolutionary terms than one where everyone could breed. This seeming paradox, which the Nazis didn't seem to get, occurs because the broader-based reproduction ensures that the diversity of the gene pool is maximized and there is more potential for favorable mutations. Think about it, do you think Iceland is better adapted for evolutionary survival if there was a mutated virus or a massive climate change than, the United States, with all its diversity.

There are people whose genes have mutated to limit their vegetable intake: they're called gluten intolerant. There are also people whose genes have mutated to not be able to digest alcohol or milk. It's hard to see that any of these would be an evolutionary advantage.

Indeed, for a clear case of the need for vegetables and fruits, just look at the disease, scurvy, which once afflicted both sailors and populations that wintered without C vitamins.

My point, coming back to Greg, is attribute your vegetable-free existence to scientific studies, your own experience, whatever, but don't say that vegetables are an evolutionary dead end (and no, I don't own a farm).

Oh, I forgot to say that I also admire your thought-provoking questions, not necessarily because I agree with your conclusions but because you're asking them. As you get older, make sure you don't let go of that talent.

(Message edited by eroyce on June 27, 2006)
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