Nutrition in Transition from Homo erectus to Homo modestis

The food and nutrient intake of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers (Homo erectus) and of Western populations (Homo economicus) show marked variations. With increase in wealth and affluence there is a decrease in the intake of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, antioxidants and amino acids and a significant increase in the intake of refined carbohydrates, fats (saturated & trans fats, omega-6 fatty acids) and salt in comparison with those of the Paleolithic period. The protein or amino acid intake was 2.5 fold greater (33 vs. 13%) in the Paleolithic diet of Homo erectus compared to that of the modern Western diet. Prior to the Agricultural Revolution, man's diet was based on an enormous variety of wild plants, eggs, fish and seeds. In comparison, today about 17% of plant species provide 90% of the world's food supply which is mainly contributed by grains produced from fertilizer-based rapidly grown crops potentially lower in nutrient density and higher in energy. Grains are high in omega-6 fatty acids and carbohydrates and low in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants compared to leafy green vegetables. The appropriate diet for Homo sapiens is characterized by high levels of protective essential nutrients; amino acids, minerals, vitamins, flavonoids, omega-6/3 fatty acids. Whereas the average diet of Homo erectus did comply with this evolutionary pattern, the modern Western dietary pattern of Homo economicus has excess of energy-rich refined carbohydrates, omega-6, trans and saturated fats. The consumption of such foods in wealthy countries in conjunction with sedentary behavior are associated with increased risk of deaths due to cardiovascular (CVDs) and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs). © 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

Meester F.D.1, 8 , Takahashi T.2 , Singh R.B. 3 , Toda E.3 , Shin H.H.4 , Lee M.-K.4 , Beeharry V. 5 , Hristova K. 6 , Fedacko J.7 , Pella D.7 , Wilson D.W.9 , Juneja L.R.10 , Martyrosyan D.M.11, 12
Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
  • 1 Halberg Hospital and Research Institute, India
  • 2 Graduate School of Human Environment Science, Fukuoka Women's University, Japan
  • 3 Department of Internal Medicine, Tokai University Hachioji Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
  • 4 Korean Society of Lipidology and Atherosclerosis, South Korea
  • 5 Russian Peoples Friendship University, Moscow, Russian Federation
  • 6 University National Heart Hospital, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 7 PJ Safaric University, Kosice, Slovakia
  • 8 The Tsim Tsoum Institute, Krakow, Poland
  • 9 School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health, Durham University, United Kingdom
  • 10 Taiyo Kagaku Co. Ltd, Yokkaichi, Japan
  • 11 Department of Internal Medicine, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, United States
  • 12 Functional Food CenterTX, United States
Ancient diet; Diet; Functional foods; Mediterranean diet; Social class
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