I'm finally getting around to reading The Paleo Diet, by Loren Cordain. I'm doing so on my new Amazon Kindle, which I love. I've had the Sony Reader (500, then 505) for some time, but though it's wonderful quality hardware, it requires software to interface (a kinda iTunes-like thing) and Sony simply refuses to make its Connect software compatible with the Mac (I switched about a year ago, never to look back). So, Sony Corporation: YOU'RE FIRED! I've been purchasing their high-quality products for as long as I can remember, but will never give them another dime for anything if I can help it.
So anyway, one cool thing about the Kindle is that you can clip excerpts and either have the Kindle email 'em to you via the cellular network for a small charge, or, just use USB. Accordingly, I've got an except from the book's intro.
I have examined thousands of early-nineteenth and twentieth-century photographs of hunter-gatherers. They invariably show indigenous people to be lean, muscular, and fit. The few medical studies of hunter-gatherers who managed to survive into the twentieth century also confirm earlier written accounts by explorers and frontiersmen. No matter where they lived -- in the polar regions of Canada, the deserts of Australia, or the rain forests of Brazil -- the medical records were identical. These people were free from signs and symptoms of the chronic diseases that currently plague us. And they were lean and physically fit. The medical evidence shows that their body fat, aerobic fitness, blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and insulin metabolism were always superior to those of' the average modern couch potato. [...]
Amazingly, scientific studies of Greenland Eskimos by Drs. Hans Bang and Dorn Dyerberg from Aalborg Hospital in Aalborg, Denmark, showed that despite a diet containing over 60 percent animal food, not one death from heart disease-or even a single heart attack-occurred in 2,600 Eskimos from 1968 to 1978. This death rate from heart disease is one of the lowest ever reported in the medical literature.
These are the same sorts of things I've been reading in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, as well as Good Calories, Bad Calories. The failure of the "health authorities" to integrate this information, combined with the murderous advice to "cut the fat and eat more grains" boggles the mind. And here's where it has gotten us.