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Old 10-09-2011, 07:18 AM   #1
Ben Leonard
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Eating when ill...what did our ancestors do? FAO Robb Wolf also!

Hello all.

I've done a fair bit of searching arund this forum, and the web in general.

It seems the general concensus when ill (for example a gastrpintestinal infection, or stomach flu etc) is to eat bananas, rice, applecause, toast. Some have mentioned the benefits of tubors and starchy foods like squash.

Well, when sick I've tried sticking with paleo stuff and keeping it light: some meat and veggies and squash, for example.

But in my experience eating 'bad' stuff like white bread, white rice, NO fruit or veggies NO nuts and deffinately NOT squash or sweet potato (full of fibre) is much better for getting digestion back on track.

So my question is -what did our hunter gather ancestors do when sick? They didn't eat neolithic stuff, but paleo food doesn't seem to be very helpsul at all when you have a stocmach 'bug'.

thanks

Ben
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:08 PM   #2
Aaron C Bennett
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Re: Eating when ill...what did our ancestors do? FAO Robb Wolf also!

Keep in mind that basing your dietary choices on a time-period when people often just died when they became ill might have adverse effects on your health.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:58 AM   #3
Colin McLafferty
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Re: Eating when ill...what did our ancestors do? FAO Robb Wolf also!

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Keep in mind that basing your dietary choices on a time-period when people often just died when they became ill might have adverse effects on your health.
Ha! This makes me think of Oregon Trail.

Yeesh, I don't know what our ancestors did. I would assume that, since they were outdoors all day, they did not have vitamin D deficiencies. Steven Low has some good stories about massively upping his vitamin D consumption while sick. At least in his case it shortened the duration and severity of the common cold many times.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:19 AM   #4
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Eating when ill...what did our ancestors do? FAO Robb Wolf also!

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Originally Posted by Aaron C Bennett View Post
Keep in mind that basing your dietary choices on a time-period when people often just died when they became ill might have adverse effects on your health.
This. And gastrointestinal illnesses in particular remain a very significant killer of people without access to modern medical care.

If you really must stay paleo, I've found that broth and moderate amounts of fruit are reasonably digestible.

Katherine
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:19 PM   #5
Mike Laroche
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Re: Eating when ill...what did our ancestors do? FAO Robb Wolf also!

I don't think people just died when they got sick. So basically if they had refined grains they would have survived? I'm confused by the lack of logic here. Perhaps they died from bacterial infections without antibiotics. Is that what you're saying?
Also, in our overcrowded world, especially in 3rd world countries, yes bacteria is rampant. But how can you compare this and the "oregon trail" to what our ancestors might have done 50 or 100 thousand years ago?
I think the answer is obvious, they didn't eat. Some got better, some died. Has no one heard of Bernarr McFadden?
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:45 PM   #6
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Eating when ill...what did our ancestors do? FAO Robb Wolf also!

Yes, without antibiotics, people often died of bacterial infections.

Yes, severe gastrointestinal distress can kill you, usually via dehydration. The longer it takes to get your stomach settled, the worse off you're going to be.

Since the OP was talking about a situation where he is already sick, the prevalence or absence of bacteria/parasites/other stomach-upsetting nasties in paleolithic times isn't really relevant. With that said, parasites are quite common in wild animal populations and in modern hunter/gatherer tribes, so it's likely that Grok carried his share as well.

Katherine
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Old 10-11-2011, 04:38 AM   #7
Ben Leonard
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Re: Eating when ill...what did our ancestors do? FAO Robb Wolf also!

Thanks. I guess that helps. I suppose I'm just confused because the whole paleo 'theory' seems to be that it's more healthy, for a wide variety of reasons.

So if we say "Okay lets not eat neolithic foods because they are bad for us" How do we align that with the general idea that paleo foods aren't helpful when recoverying from gastrointestinal issues?

Some sources seem to think they help, but in my experience it's the total opposite. I'd be interested to hear the thoughts of someone like Robb Wolf or other 'big names' in paleo and crossfit.
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:47 AM   #8
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Eating when ill...what did our ancestors do? FAO Robb Wolf also!

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Originally Posted by Ben Leonard View Post
Thanks. I guess that helps. I suppose I'm just confused because the whole paleo 'theory' seems to be that it's more healthy, for a wide variety of reasons.

So if we say "Okay lets not eat neolithic foods because they are bad for us" How do we align that with the general idea that paleo foods aren't helpful when recoverying from gastrointestinal issues?
The optimal diet for long term health is not necessarily the same as the optimal diet for short term illness. I don't see why that is surprising.

In this particular case, it's pretty well established that fresh veggies are good for you over the long term. But part of the reason is the fiber, and it seems pretty obvious to me that dumping lots of fiber into an already irritated bowel might not be a great idea.

Katherine
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Old 10-11-2011, 04:14 PM   #9
Thomas Bailly
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Re: Eating when ill...what did our ancestors do? FAO Robb Wolf also!

sometimes when ill our ancestors died, other times they were killed or banished. Some of them eat and healed up, some of them ate and died. Some of them prayed, some of them sacrificed someone else to get better.
Maybe you are asking what you should do in 2011 when sick.....see a doctor, rest, stay hydrated. Sometimes the body likes to not eat when sick as digestion is too much work. Other times it demands quick burning, efficient foods aka carbs.
If you are sick I think it is wiser to pay attention to what your body needs rather than trying to adhere to an ideology. Who knows maybe Paleo made you sick in the first place? ( couldn't find the heresy/pot stirring icon, insert here)
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Old 10-11-2011, 04:26 PM   #10
Thomas Bailly
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Re: Eating when ill...what did our ancestors do? FAO Robb Wolf also!

Ben, reread your post, forgive my cynism, thought you were sick asking strangers on web for advice.
Agreed, quick burning sugars are better when sick IMO.
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