Apologies to one of my favorite bands, THE CLASH
Kitavans eating yams and fish and smoking cigarettes and Tarahumara drinking beer and running on sandals made from old tires! Awesome!
Hell, there is some serious neo-rousseauism going on here. These noble savages have got it wired and all of our medical science about nutrition must always take account of those paragons of righteous living.
Lindeberg notwithstanding, we don't really know squat about the Kitavans. The runners in the study I just quoted had no clinical history whatsoever of clinically evident heart attacks. Instead, 12% had evidence of silent infacts on an MRI.
We have no idea how many of the Kitavans have coronary calcium or silent infarcts by MRI. No idea at all. They certainly seem to tolerate the carbs well with little fructose and no wheat and no linoleic acid. Great! Maybe they have zero coronary calcium and no one there has ever had an infarct. We just do not know. If Lindeberg wants to fly them all to my clinic in wisconsin I will do a calcium score on the first one thousand of them no charge. Seriously.
Show me the money. Show me proof they have less atherosclerosis and they have no silent ischemia. Prove they are not just ethnographic confirmation bias for those who think "paleo carbs" must be OK because we really, really want them to be.
The Kitavans tolerate a higher carb fraction than you might expect.
What does that tell us about whether we should eat non -fructose and wheat containing carbs intead of animal products. It tells us absolutely nothing at all about that choice. Zero.
Just like their apparant tolerance of smoking tells us absolutely nothing about whether it is good to smoke. It only confirms that smoking on the SAD is much worse. That is very interesting, but hardly an endorsement for smoking, is it?
This is just a giant, gaping blind spot in the paleo diet world - It is, philosophically, blind empricism. Perseverating on an observation without coherent interpretation.
Let's say that fructose, excess carbs in general, wheat and linoeic acid are all equally contributing to ill health. Wheat is probably the worst, or maybe corn oil, but lets just say...
Don't you suppose we could find any number of populations, that, lacking the negative synergy of having all of them in the diet, get away with having just one element?
I can think of many examples, but I'll let you do the exercise.
Fine is not better. Tolerated is not optimal.
If you have the choice, why choose corn or potatoes over meat?
I have the choice as I am not forced to live in a paleo neo-rousseauist fantasy world. I have central heat and can choose what I eat. Instead of letting it kill me, I choose to exploit our artifical late post-industrial food abundance to my advantage, even if stuffing myself with nothing but tasty animals was a privilege unavailable to some of my unlucky paleo anscestors who had to stoop to starchy plants.
Because we have evolved to tolerate getting some portion of our calories from sources that are nothing but fuel (a good thing in times of scarcity, I should say) does not oblige us to do so, does it?
I honestly believe with good nutrition, a moderate amount of tobacco and acohol is also tolerable.
Does that mean it is better to do it than not?
I will always put biomedical science before ethnography.
My reading of biomedical science tells me once you have enough protien, animal fat is healthier than any grain or potato. It definitely tastes better. If you prefer to practice a regime of artificial scarcity or save money, go ahead.
But this is an advocacy site. I do not advocate substitution of corn or yams for pastured butter unless you are short money or your child is hungry.
Between the Zero carbers and the Kitavan cult, I feel a bit squeezed.
Over and over I say that the 10- 30% range for carbs sounds reasonable for most people.
Prove to me that 60% is better than 30%. Or at least make the argument. I would do it for you if I could, but I cannot even imagine how it would be constructed. Otherwise please stop perseverating on the Kitavans until a study comes out with something new.