What’s the “Natural” Human Diet?

What’s the “Natural” Human Diet?


there are three broad theories about evolution and food one is that humans have become adapted to the products of the agricultural revolution last 10,000 years too is the Paleo view that ten thousand years that’s a blink of an evolutionary eye and that humans have adapted to Paleolithic diet with lots of lean meat but why stop there the last two hundred thousand years is mostly Stone Age humans represents just last 1% of twenty or so million years we’ve been evolving since our common great ape ancestor during our truly formative years the first 90 percent of our existence one might say our nutritional requirements reflect an ancestral past in which we ate mostly leaves flowers and fruits with some bugs thrown in thanks to wormy apples to get our vitamin b12 for this reason another approach that might improve our understanding of the best dietary practices for modern humans is to focus attention not on the past but rather on here now that is on the study of the foods eaten by our closest living relatives given the bulk of our ancestral diets and the lack of evidence supporting any notable diet related changes in human nutrient requirements metabolism or physiology compared to our fellow grapes this could explain why fruits and vegetables and not only just so good for us but vital to our survival we’re actually one of the few species so adapted to a plant-based diet that we can actually die from not eating fruits and vegetables from the vitamin C deficiency disease scurvy most other animals just make their own vitamin C but why would our body waste all that effort making vitamin C when we evolved hanging out in the trees just eating fruits and veggies all day long it’s presumably not a coincidence that the few other mammals enabled a sense of synthesize their own vitamin C like guinea pigs and bunny rabbits and fruit bats are all like us great apes strongly or vivir ‘us even during the Stone Age we may have been getting up to ten times more vitamin C than we get today and ten times more dietary fiber based on essentially rehydrated human fossilized feces the question is are these incredibly high nutrient intakes simply an unavoidable byproduct of eating whole plant foods all the time or might they actually be serving some important function like antioxidant defense plans create antioxidants to defend their own structures against free radicals the human body must defend itself against the same types of Pro oxidants and so we have also evolved an array of amazing antioxidant enzymes which is effective but not infallible free radicals can breach our defenses caused damage that accumulates with age leading to a variety of disease causing and ultimately fatal changes that’s where plants may come in plant-based antioxidant rich foods traditionally form the major part of our diet and so we didn’t have to evolve that grade of an antioxidant system we could just let the plants in our diet pull some of the weight like that not bothering to make vitamin C thing let the fruit do it using plants as a crutch may well have relieved the pressure for further evolutionary development of our own defenses meaning we become dependent on getting lots of plant foods in our diet and when we don’t we may suffer adverse health consequences even during the Stone Age this may not have been a problem only in recent history did we start giving up on whole plant foods even modern day paleo and low-carb advocates may be eating more vegetables than those on standard Western diets you know there’s this perception that low-carb ORS are chowing down on the threebees beef butter and bacon but that’s just a small minority and what they are eating more of is salad the number one thing an internet low-carb community said they were eating more of was vegetables great if people want to cut their carb intake by swapping junk food for vegetables that’s not the problem the concern is the shift to animal sourced foods greater adherence to a low-carb diet high in animal sources of fatten protein was associated with higher mortality for example after a heart attack meaning they cut their lives short if there’s one takeaway from our studies of ancestral diets perhaps it’s that diets based largely on plant foods promote health and longevity you

100 Replies to “What’s the “Natural” Human Diet?

  1. It doesn't really matter what we ate. We have tons of proof now from humans alive now, which foods are healthy and which are not.

  2. Paleo diet I really don't care about and wouldn't try it. Keto diet friggin' disgusting. Personally I think it's a waste of life though to try to debunk diets through evolutionary arguments; it's just best to eat the things that you like and are that healthy for you. Screw evolutionary arguments. The funniest one is the "teeth" argument. There were also Nitrogen isotope studies on Neanderthal remains that showed 80% animal source diet. Does that prove anything? Some people use that argument but it's dumb to suggest our diet should be 80% animal sources. Main point of that article was that stone age humans had similar Nitrogen isotope values suggesting that if diet wasn't different, then Neanderthals couldn't have become extinct due to climate change and that perhaps they were hunted to extinction. I agree with Dr. Greger on this one in that we shouldn't look to the past for our answers, but our present. Plants for carbs, protein is your choice (performance vs. longevity).

  3. I'm eating a whole plate of fava beans and swiss chard as I watch this. Thumbs up for legumes and veggies!

  4. I must say… I basically only come here for the non-meat-vs-vegan-related videos or that without that clear "go vegan" message beneath. NOT because I think it's wrong, but because I think every scientist like Dr. Greger has a purpose for himself and is at LEAST a LITTLE BIT biased towards something (veganism in this case). Speaking to you Dr. Greger directly in hope you'd read it. I absolutely love the way you make your videos. they are short, smart and interesting. But there is simply no way for my brain to think "hm he is totally right" because there just is a little chance, that you are wrongER about being vegan or non-meat-eater than about anything else you talk about.. because of your bias. Like picking the studies that are better suited. But you are close to being the most trustworthy and important food-lifestyle-health"guy" on youtube for me.

  5. +John constantine they didn't have access to alot if food to cook that was once and a while not 3 and 4 times a day ,show me somebody in there 70's striving on a cooked food diet

  6. Good video, people don't seem to stop and consider that we would die without fruits and veggies, but we wouldn't if we gave up meat and dairy. People don't mind taking vitamin C supplements but like to mock vegans for taking b-12 supplements (that comes from soil, not just meat) . Where the hell is the rationality on their thinking?

  7. Lets not forget that our herbivorous friends, great apes, still swinging from the trees. The study referred to in the video did point out on increased mortality but in only group of meat eaters who also had at least one more risk factor; like smoking, being overweight and etc. Plus the processed meats are the culprit in increased death rate. Plus people are different, you would not expect from Inuits eat vegetables, would you?

  8. This video assumes our ancestors DID eat mainly flesh during the Paleolithic period even though evidence suggests almost all ate much more tubers (root vegetables) than flesh.

  9. You can acquire even more deficiencies and maladies from a strict vegan diet than a normal diet, including genetic changes that lead to cancer. Greger is bad for vegans by cherry picking data and inaccurate comparisons on human diet and evolution subscriber beware.

  10. Our creator made us to thrive on plants. We were not created to eat meat and animals weren't created to be eaten!

  11. Humans evolved because their lifestyle choices went beyond what you call a barbaric way of life. They went beyond eating raw meat and started practicing agriculture, cooking and food storage.

  12. +John constantine you can't be serious ,your telling me dehydrated cooked food digests easier than juicy tropical fruit .smh

  13. +John constantine fruits and vegetables have the most nutrients and leave behind less to clean out verses mucus forming cooked food that leave behind more waste stuck in your system

  14. Will there be an update on the dietary changes of the agricultural revolution ie wheat and other grains? Are there any studies on a high carb, grain based diet (overall veg diet)?

  15. Love your work Dr G but you are assuming evolution of 'millions of years' – we are, in fact, created by God a mere few thousand years ago. And before all you Evolutionists get your knickers in a twist and call me ignorant – check out the evidence for it – Kent Hovind here on YT is a good start. Keep up the great work!

  16. The original diet. All grass is non-toxic, wheat ,rice, oats, barley, corn, etc. all belong to the grass family.
    Gen.1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every grass bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food.

  17. Great/informative video, but too Much reliance on the evolution theory. Besides comparing diets to animals that exist and throwing out what ifs in "ancestral diets" (like b12 from wormy apples… were you there? and would it have been enough on a daily? And Fossilized human feces is just that, human feces. Means a guy ate right, good for him.) statements like "Bulk of our ancestral diet" and "us great apes" seems like a far stretch, especially for such a fact based and reliable guy. What supposed links BTW, it wasn't piltdown , Nebraska, or the Java men or the lovely Ape LucyXD. Stick to what you know Doc.

  18. Hi Dr Greger. Thank you for your amazing work. I suffer with Migraines and didnt watch the "Migraine world summit" online. Im only interested to hear what YOU said there. Will you do a video about that? Thank you.

  19. Plenty of anti-oxidants in meat/animal products. Also, less of a need for anti-oxidants when you're burning a cleaner-burning fuel source such as fat rather than dirty carbohydrates. All carbs are empty, not just junk food carbs.

    You're an embarrassment to science and medical doctors Greger.

    Mr. AntiScience.

  20. About the stoneage: People in Norway wouldn't have survived unless they ate raindeer…. (I am a vegan though, but I do understand why people here in the north is kinda sceptical about the vegan and even the vegetarian diet…)

  21. at 1:12 he states that there are no notable dietary changes amongst humans throughout our evolutionary history.. maybe I'm misunderstanding what he is saying but there have been many dietary changes that have occurred during the evolution of humans. In fact if it wasn't for our ability to cook food and consume more calories at once, our brains would not have evolved to where they are now. Most of our daily calories are used for brain function. I agree with the point he is making but I am slightly skeptical of the facts..

  22. Hi greger I got family members who want to go vegan but they have this so called genetic immune disease called hydradenitis supperativa(I think spell it) they want to know if it's caused by their poor diet and can a plant based diet cure this for them

  23. Europeans lived almost exclusively off of meat throughout their entire evolutionary history

    If in doubt, go and spend a year in a forest in Germany and try and live off of plants

  24. I'm a huge fan of Veganism and vegetarianism – I agree it's the best way to go

    But this idiocy of pretending that we are not adapted to eating meat or that meat isn't healthy has to stop

    Europeans ate almost nothing but meat for almost their entire evolutionary history – they were hunters and lived off of animal fat, with perhaps the odd berry or wild tuber

  25. Where I'm from (NW Europe), humans ate practically nothing but meat for around a million years – they were in ketosis living off of animal fat all that time……

    That's all there is to it really

  26. I really like Dr Gregor and have aTON of respect for him. I think that there needs to be more studies done on wild meat also known now as "game". The nutritional composition from what I understand of "wild animal" meat and farmed meat is significantly different.

    Wild animal meat tends to be extremely lean, with some animals meat having no fat at all since they live VERY active life styles. They also tend to have significantly more nutrients and a high omega 3 to omega 6 ratio compared to farmed animals.

    My ancestry goes back to Ireland and England and they have long winters and my ancestors had to hunt for their food but berries, green leafy vegetables, and starches were available as well.

    If I had too take a wild guess the diet my ancestors followed within the past 100,000+ years was wild meat mixed with starches/green leafy vegetables and berries when available as more or less a snack.

    I just don't see how one could survive in England or Ireland year round living off the land with no agriculture eating primarily fruits and vegetables (including wild, not farmed, starches).

    One Elk could provide enough food for a family to get through a winter. Fishing is also very easy as well and is a good way to get food.

    Digging deep all around for small wild tubers most of the day and trying to feed your family off of that along with green leaves on trees does not seem possible to me nor optimal when you have Elk and other large animals to hunt and eat along with fishing.

  27. Except that our body produces a lot more amylase, the enzyme that deals with starchy foods. So apes can't eat bread, rice, potatoes and other starches and legumes but humans can. Because of the enzymes.

  28. My low carb taught me to eat broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, peppers and salad.  Yes, there is also meat, and being from WI, cheese.  However, it was a swap from rice, potato, noodles and bread for lots of veggies.

  29. Um, I have a newsflash for you: you would die a lot more quickly of protein deficiency than you would from scurvy. Also, we are not great apes. They might be our closest genetic relative, but we're very different species.

    I'll leave this here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/sorry-vegans-eating-meat-and-cooking-food-is-how-humans-got-their-big-brains/2012/11/26/3d4d36de-326d-11e2-bb9b-288a310849ee_story.html

    But a particularly interesting part is this: "One study, published last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined the brain size of several primates. For the most part, larger bodies have larger brains across species. Yet humans have exceptionally large, neuron-rich brains for our body size, while gorillas — three times as massive as humans — have smaller brains with one-third the neurons. Why?

    The answer, it seems, is the gorillas’ raw, vegan diet (devoid of animal protein), which requires hours upon hours of eating to provide enough calories to support their mass."

    But, you know, go on thinking that the Lakota were following the bison herds so they can find their prized broccoli feeding grounds.

  30. So just because we need vitamin C, we're suddenly herbivores? XD
    We are omnivores, aka made to eat both. Anything other than that is unhealthy

  31. That's been our diet for 2.5 million years, but humans have been raping each other  for maybe about a millions of years,so yeah the 2.5 million year thing doesn't excuse eating meat.

  32. Ok, So what's your solution? You've given me a bunch of credible facts, but how much greenery should we be eating? How should I implement this healthier diet into my western lifestyle? Don't raise the issue without providing a reasonable solution. This video just serves to give me anxiety when I go to eat my next meal.

  33. our ancestors were Adam and eve, I hate when people belief on fake theory and think is a fact, stop the ape nonsense

  34. You should do a video about cancer after the diagnosis, prognosis and antioxidants. There is at least a paper that suggests a worse prognosis with a high content in antioxidants and prostate cancer

  35. Bwaa-haa-ha,,, the screw up is in his claim that humans have the same, unchanged physiological digestive systems… WRONG… we don't have the JAWS to properly digest that GreatApe diet that he insists is our best… with its paltry 600 mg of C

    So go out and get yourself a masticating 'juicer' and put all that herbacious stuff in there b.c otherwise you won't get the benefit from the apes' diet… heck, even carrots don't release all their great resources unless they're masticated… MILD cooking releases more than just raw and un-masticated… but apes don't cook so that further deviates from the ape's example…..

    Evolution doesn't always produce your best chances and opportunities, it's just a gamble and humans managed to survive but WITH POOR HEALTH,,unlike the wild animals ALL OF WHOM PRODUCE ASCORBATE (vitamin C) USING THE GLUCOSE IN THEIR DIETS… LIKE GOATS, about our size on average, with a normal calm day's production of 13,000mg (not the FDAs 100mg rotfl)… that's why they don't get heart disease, that's why their mommas don't suffer as humans at birthing…

    Furthermore, those goats and other wild ones, can RAMP up that C-production to TEN TIMES THAT 'NORM' IN A CRISIS… yet humans are precluded from getting C (preservative free) even in the EMT scene, the ER or ICU either… thanks to the FDA who makes the rules for preservative-free C from the COMPOUNDING PHARMACIES that the FDA wants to crush..

    But don't worry, the rest of creation that makes its own C to crisis levels when needed will be the only survivors from when ALL THE FOOLS BUILDING *uranium* NUCLEAR REACTORS (to get easy WMD) THAT WILL ULTIMATELY FAIL WHEN THEIR GREEDY OWNERS FACE THE COST OF REHAB FOR DECREPIT 50 YR OLD NUKES… as we have seen who manages to get along in the forests around Chernobyl… wild animals, NOT HUMANS…..

  36. Apart from the human aspect of natural diet im not "not vegan" or vegetarian, our food supply today is so contaminated both meat and veg, early humans did not have to worry about that as much as long as they were not eating animals that were dead very long. I hate how veg and meat folks argue amongst one another were all the same people trying to find the path to a good life don't hate on each other

  37. My cousin introduced me on the weight loss plan called “sowo hope site” (Google it). This is a weight loss plan that truly works. To start with I was a bit skeptical but also in 2 weeks I’ve already lost over 14 pounds. Google it to learn more.

  38. Yeah this disproves the whole finding fire and cooking food and meat so our brains got bigger then those of the gorillas and apes.

    Next video GREGER will disprove the big bang because it doesn't conform with the vegan ideas!

  39. B.S. apes chimps anyway eat meat when they can get it, I had a pet macaque monkey and if he raided my chicken salad, he ignored the veg and ate the chicken,

  40. Back to the evolution thing. That's where your theory falls flat. Evolution is a hypothesis. It cannot be proven, at least in the lifetime of a single person, or for that matter, in all of recorded human history. Trying to use that theory / hypothesis to prove the paleo or plant diet is ridiculous. How about what works while we we're alive today?

    In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth .

  41. my second edition as family have claimed the first edition,very useful and full of ideas Read More →  : https://t.co/dBnv3xaIdy

  42. Hold on the Inuit tribes survived for generations on almost 100% meat based diet so to say we would die with out plant based diets is horse shit.

  43. human diet depended on the climatic situation where they lived!! Not many vegetables or fruits in the northern hemisphere! Only few months of the year! We are still here!!

  44. We evolved to walk not to stay on trees to eat fruits and plants we developed feet to run and hunt shut your dumbassess self's veganism was created in the 1940s no one has ever been pure vegan dumbassess

  45. Theres no such thing as evolution. We were created just like this. Any changes in response to environment is simply inter species variation.

  46. Stupid argument, animals develop the ability to synthesis vitamin c due to them eating close to the soil. High amount of iron is ingested which requires extraordinary amount of vitamin c to neutralize the harmful and oxidative effects of high iron in diet, that’s why ruminants like cows and goats produces the most vitamin c while other animals just a small amount of it. It has been proven in the human DNA that our ancestors used to have the ability to synthesise vitamin c as well but that ability was lost as our diet changed and we ate our food much cleaner. This channel has been spreading a lot of lies.

  47. Humans need meat. Period. The only reason we have our big expensive brain is from eating eggs, fish, bugs, and other hunted meat. Humans mostly lived on fruit, vegetables, nuts, mushrooms, bugs, and other foraged foods. But sometimes they would get lucky and find eggs, or catch a fish or a hunt would go well and they could share the meat with the tribe. This helped boost our intelligence to the level it is today. Look at what happen when you lack the vitamin B12. You can ONLY get that from an animal product. We suffer without it.

    And don't bother arguing supplements with me. I honestly considered living on nothing but potatoes and supplements but remembered that if I have to supplement for ANY vitamin then it's not natural or healthy. Do you think nomadic tribes just went to the store and bought some B12 vitamin? No. They earned that B12 through animals or bugs.

    And I don't care about being vegan because of the environment or animal cruelty. Go eat hunted meat and find someone who has chickens in their yard. You can't tell me those animals are abused. Spoiler alert: businesses will find a way to ruin the world no matter what people are eating. Look up the video, "10 ways vegans are ruining the wirld." Cashew slavery and murder over avocados. Unless you're going to be a hypocrite and tell me those human lives mean less to you then animal ones. And almonds are ruining California.

    The ONLY diet I have ever seen that makes sense in my brain is the Mediterranean diet. It goes like this:

    Majority of food consumed: Fruits and vegetables

    I can eat a small amount of dairy every day so I have one scoop of plain Greek yogurt with berries and 1/4 cup of whole oats, cinnamon and nutmeg.

    Eat fish at least twice a week. I mix tuna with apple and a handful of walnuts. I also add one teaspoon of EVOO to keep the apple from browning.

    I can have a lean meat (chicken, turkey, etc) once a week. I had chicken breast, avocado, tomatoes, and cucumber on a whole wheat tortilla.

    You can have red meat rarely and processed sweets even more rarely.

    This is in line with human evolution. I try to stay away from processed foods as much as possible but I'm not going to completely obsess over it. Think of what you will about my diet but it's better then me living off of tv dinners. I'm trying to lose weight and get healthier, not go on a holy crusade.

  48. Humans have a gallbladder. Herbivores don't.

    We do have to eat vegetables ofcource.

    A healthy low carb diet is mostly vegetables in volume. But in calories, fat is the main source. And it doesn't have to be from just animal sources.

    But that gallbladder has a purpose. Not using it is a bad idea.

  49. You are still citing fallacious epidemiology. The only people who REPORT eating a high meat diet over the last 50 years, despite being told it's unhealthy by every health and medical organization are mostly the retards of society. They don't care for their health. Therefore you would expect a very strong negative health effect in these epidemiological studies. Instead all you get is an increased cancer risk of between 10-20%. This is accounted for by the IQ difference in high meat eaters of the past. High meat diets in fact are protective and low inflammatory. Stop citing bullshit epidemiology. You are an amateur

  50. there is only one reason that humans has survived until today….we can eat anything ! meat fish fruit nuts and seeds! leave the rest to the monkeys! …oh yes…monkeys do eat meat sometime too!

  51. Why can't we take probiotics that contain the bacteria that make B12 in our guts like animals have? I read a paper that sheep have that bacteria and it makes their B12. Have we lost the bacteria through our high hygiene I wonder?

  52. Why is the scientific community so infatuated with the anti-scientific religion of Darwinian Evolution? Either Someone created everything out of nothing or nothing created everything out of nothing. Since we have yet to observe nothing giving rise to something, and materialists are constrained to the material world, it is nonsense to continue believing that nothing created everything. Aliens? Multiverses? That just kicks the can down the road a bit farther. You still come back to either Someone created everything out of nothing or nothing created everything out of nothing. I don't have enough [blind] faith to be an Atheist. The real problem is that we want to suppress the truth about God and foolishly demand, "where is the evidence for God?!" I say, "where ISN'T there proof of God?" DNA, sexual reproduction, botany, astronomy, chemistry, math, philosophy, … I have found nowhere where God's existence isn't screaming to us. <3

  53. Thank you so much for your videos
    Go vegan world♥️🍎🙏🏽
    Love animals
    Love the planet
    Love yourself
    ✊🏾♥️💗🍎💋💕

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *