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It’s common for nutrition scientists to give advice to white Americans based on studies done of what is good for nonwhites to eat. For example, in the 1980s, one of the most fashionable studies was of Japanese in Hawaii. The first generation ate mostly rice with little fat, and they had relatively few heart attacks. The next generation ate cheeseburgers and had higher rates of coronary disease than their parents. From this and other studies emerged the conventional wisdom of a quarter century ago: you should eat a low fat, high carb diet.

From the New York Times, a similar tale:

Inuit Study Adds Twist to Omega-3 Fatty Acids’ Health Story
SEPT. 17, 2015

by Carl Zimmer

Children in Greenland. A new study found that Greenlanders with Inuit ancestry often have gene variants that help regulate different fats in the body, including omega-3 fatty acids.

As the Inuit people spread across the Arctic, they developed one of the most extreme diets on Earth. They didn’t farm fruits, vegetables or grains. There weren’t many wild plants to forage, aside from the occasional patch of berries on the tundra.

For the most part, the Inuit ate what they could hunt, and they mostly hunted at sea, catching whales, seals and fish. Western scientists have long been fascinated by their distinctly un-Western diet. Despite eating so much fatty meat and fish, the Inuit didn’t have a lot of heart attacks.

In the 1970s, Danish researchers studying Inuit metabolism proposed that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish were protective. Those conclusions eventually led to the recommendation that Westerners eat more fish to help prevent heart disease and sent tens of millions scrambling for fish oil pills.

Today, at least 10 percent of Americans regularly take fish oil supplements. But recent trials have failed to confirm that the pills prevent heart attacks or stroke. And now the story has an intriguing new twist.

A study published on Thursday in the journal Science reported that the ancestors of the Inuit evolved unique genetic adaptations for metabolizing omega-3s and other fatty acids. Those gene variants had drastic effects on Inuit’s bodies, reducing their heights and weights.

Rasmus Nielsen, a geneticist at the University of California, Berkeley, and an author of the new study, said that the discovery raised questions about whether omega-3 fats really were protective for everyone, despite decades of health advice. “The same diet may have different effects on different people,” he said.

An amazing insight: “the same diet may have different effects on different people!”

Shouldn’t that be the conventional wisdom?

Part of the problem is that the diet researchers want to play by the rules of Science!, which are supposed to apply everywhere. If an astronomer discovers a galaxy where Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity doesn’t apply, it would be a big deal. Thus, the search for the Perfect Diet that works for everybody.

But human biodiversity, the fact that your ancestors didn’t evolve under exactly the same conditions as my ancestors, is not a thing we are supposed to keep foremost in our minds when thinking about human sciences.

So maybe you should try different diets and see if one works better for you.

In the future, maybe you’ll be able to get your DNA analyzed and be given a list of diets in rank order of their likelihood that they will work for you. But, right now, you can still try different diets. In particular, ask your relatives about what has worked and not worked for them.

 
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  1. One size fits all is the downfall of most modern food problems in our multi-cultural world.

    We are evolved to eat as our (long-living and successful) ancestors did…not yours, not theirs.

    Ultimately, we must submit to our genes. My parents eat a high-fat, low fiber diet that would drive most sensible White Americans insane. Essentially, it’s a Mexican diet…and at 77, they are both pretty vibrant and strong for their age. I eat like a health-conscious American so I imagine I’ll die quite young.

  2. Hillary Clinton recently said being a woman should automatically disqualify her from being an establishment politician and should automatically make her an outsider politician just like Donald Trump.

    There is absolutely nothing outsider whatsoever about a woman who has been in national politics since 1992.

    Saying Hillary Clinton is a political outsider is like saying Alek Wek is a White woman. Hillary Clinton’s face should be in the dictionary definition of establishment politician.

    If you don’t know who Alek Wek is, here is what she looks like.
    When Hillary Clinton first appeared on the national political scene, America Online did not even exist yet, let alone The Unz. 2Pac and Eazy E were still alive. DVDs did not even exist yet, let alone Blu-ray. Most people still used public paid phone booths over cellphones.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Jefferson

    Miss Wek should do a Heidi Klum-in-reverse and marry a German. Then they should visit Buffalo to check out those signs covered in the previous post. They'll be a big hit there.

    Buffalonians love beef on Wek.

  3. Gary taubes has suggested that for most of us a high fat low carb diet is ideal, since fats kill the appetite sooner than carbs do calorie for calorie. Perhaps northwestern Europeans should pay attention since their ancestors were late to adopt a grain heavy diet.

    There are no fat hunter gatherers , which should tell us something.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @newyorker

    Taubes is Ashkenazi, so he would be descended from Neolithic farmers and his ancestral diet would be a Mediterranean grain one. He follows a low-carb diet though, which isn't his ancestral diet, and the low-carb diet may be ideal and best for him, despite not being his ancestral diet.

    Replies: @WGG

    , @NOTA
    @newyorker

    Yeah, but maybe what it tells us is that being a hunter-gatherer is a pretty hard way to make a living.

    Fat people were rare everywhere until recently, because everyday life required a fair bit of exercise and food was less convenient and harder to come by.

  4. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The first generation ate mostly rice with little fat, and they had relatively few heart attacks. The next generation ate cheeseburgers and had higher rates of coronary disease than their parents. From this and other studies emerged the conventional wisdom of a quarter century ago: you should eat a low fat, high carb diet.

    They got the variable wrong. Those people eating low fat, high carb diets in the past were eating a lot fewer calories, which is more important.

    So maybe you should try different diets and see if one works better for you.

    In the future, maybe you’ll be able to get your DNA analyzed and be given a list of diets in rank order of their likelihood that they will work for you. But, right now, you can still try different diets. In particular, ask your relatives about what has worked and not worked for them.

    In this context, most people are concerned about maximizing longevity, so it’s more or less impossible to find out what works for you by looking at your past diets or your relatives’ diets, unless Uncle Fred had a very peculiar diet and died at a very young age or something.

    It’s not that unlikely that the diet that maximizes longevity will be pretty uniform for most people. Just as diets that build muscle mass for most people are more or less the same in terms of macronutrients.

    • Replies: @Socially Extinct
    @Anonymous

    Caloric restriction is the key to all good health, but this is the evil fact that people are intent to circumvent with every little gimmicky diet scheme in the book. Read any major news outlet's health and diet section (mostly geared at women) and you will see that the route to dietary health is never the direct one according to pop nutrition "experts." I eat an average of 1500 calories per day; let me tell you...nothing will alienate you from foodie co-workers and friends like this!

    , @granesperanzablanco
    @Anonymous

    I agree that there is very likely a pretty similar universally healthy diet. Genetic distinctiveness in different groups likely allow people to tolerate more novel agricultural based diets differently.

  5. The oldest person to ever climb Mount Everest was an 80 year old Japanese man named Yuichiro Miura.

    Japanese people in their 80s on average seem to be physically stronger and more energetic than White people in their 80s.

    Of course there are exceptions to the rule when it comes to White people in their 80s like William Shatner for example, who still moves very quickly for a White man in his 80s.

    • Disagree: Foreign Expert
  6. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    People don’t have wings or gills either. Yet they still fly and swim.

    You can’t ignore engineering. The optimal solution to maximizing something is likely to be a novel one, and ancestral solutions are likely to be sub-optimal because they’ve had a long time to co-evolve. Just as the optimal solution for maximizing athletic performance involves synthetic compounds i.e. steroids, the optimal solution for maximizing health is likely a novel one. Ancestral diets by definition weren’t solutions at all, since they didn’t maximize health and lifespan. The health and lifespan people are demanding are greater than levels ever achieved.

  7. @newyorker
    Gary taubes has suggested that for most of us a high fat low carb diet is ideal, since fats kill the appetite sooner than carbs do calorie for calorie. Perhaps northwestern Europeans should pay attention since their ancestors were late to adopt a grain heavy diet.

    There are no fat hunter gatherers , which should tell us something.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @NOTA

    Taubes is Ashkenazi, so he would be descended from Neolithic farmers and his ancestral diet would be a Mediterranean grain one. He follows a low-carb diet though, which isn’t his ancestral diet, and the low-carb diet may be ideal and best for him, despite not being his ancestral diet.

    • Replies: @WGG
    @Anonymous

    Ashkenazi= Mediterranean? Since when? This is news to me.

    Replies: @advancedatheist, @Anonymous

  8. @Anonymous

    The first generation ate mostly rice with little fat, and they had relatively few heart attacks. The next generation ate cheeseburgers and had higher rates of coronary disease than their parents. From this and other studies emerged the conventional wisdom of a quarter century ago: you should eat a low fat, high carb diet.
     
    They got the variable wrong. Those people eating low fat, high carb diets in the past were eating a lot fewer calories, which is more important.

    So maybe you should try different diets and see if one works better for you.

    In the future, maybe you’ll be able to get your DNA analyzed and be given a list of diets in rank order of their likelihood that they will work for you. But, right now, you can still try different diets. In particular, ask your relatives about what has worked and not worked for them.
     
    In this context, most people are concerned about maximizing longevity, so it's more or less impossible to find out what works for you by looking at your past diets or your relatives' diets, unless Uncle Fred had a very peculiar diet and died at a very young age or something.

    It's not that unlikely that the diet that maximizes longevity will be pretty uniform for most people. Just as diets that build muscle mass for most people are more or less the same in terms of macronutrients.

    Replies: @Socially Extinct, @granesperanzablanco

    Caloric restriction is the key to all good health, but this is the evil fact that people are intent to circumvent with every little gimmicky diet scheme in the book. Read any major news outlet’s health and diet section (mostly geared at women) and you will see that the route to dietary health is never the direct one according to pop nutrition “experts.” I eat an average of 1500 calories per day; let me tell you…nothing will alienate you from foodie co-workers and friends like this!

  9. I lived in Alaska for a bit. The Natives (Indians and Eskimos) were obviously affected by our Western diet. The Native alaskans teeth were seriously messed up. Everyone explained it was because of sugar being introduced into their diet. They probably suffered a lot from diabetes, but that was not visible to the naked eye. A significant amount of them had the worst teeth I’ve ever seen.

    They were also mostly lactose intolerant. They generally had a sickly look about them, that in addition to alcohol, I attributed to their unnatural (to them) diet. Their lifestyles probably didn´t help either.

  10. Alternate title:

    Inuit don’t see improvement on Lo Phat’s diet.

  11. WGG [AKA "World\'s Greatest Grandson"] says:
    @Anonymous
    @newyorker

    Taubes is Ashkenazi, so he would be descended from Neolithic farmers and his ancestral diet would be a Mediterranean grain one. He follows a low-carb diet though, which isn't his ancestral diet, and the low-carb diet may be ideal and best for him, despite not being his ancestral diet.

    Replies: @WGG

    Ashkenazi= Mediterranean? Since when? This is news to me.

    • Replies: @advancedatheist
    @WGG

    Did Modern Jews Originate in Italy?

    http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2013/10/did-modern-jews-originate-italy

    Replies: @WGG

    , @Anonymous
    @WGG

    The Ashkenazi are generally, genetically Greek, Italian, Anatolian, and Levantine i.e. Mediterranean.

  12. advancedatheist [AKA "RedneckCryonicist"] says:

    Steve, the Adventist diet seems to work pretty well for white people, like the ones who live not far from you in Loma Linda.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventist_Health_Studies

    • Replies: @The Practical Conservative
    @advancedatheist

    The benefit for me of "ancestral" or "paleo" eating was discovering that I should stick with tubers over grains for my primary starches and get my milk raw or from goats if I was going to drink it straight.

    The lactose intolerance thing is complicated. In America, most of the dairy is from a handful of Holsteins genetically bred for production over flavor and on top of that the milk is highly processed in novel ways to increase shelf life. So "lactose intolerance" is on the rise (even among whites), but that isn't the same as inability to consume milk or cheese or yogurt.

    And lo, many people (including nonwhites) who thought they were lactose intolerant have found they can consume goat milk, sheep milk, camel milk, milk from Jersey or Guernsey cows, because they weren't unable to tolerate dairy in general, they were simply not doing so well with the very narrow range of dairy that is mainstream "milk" in America.

    There is a wide variation in dairy tolerance by ethnicity, but it's not quite as simple as the "whites can have milk and nobody else" myth that many people seem to believe.

    Replies: @The Practical Conservative, @Jefferson

  13. advancedatheist [AKA "RedneckCryonicist"] says:
    @WGG
    @Anonymous

    Ashkenazi= Mediterranean? Since when? This is news to me.

    Replies: @advancedatheist, @Anonymous

    • Replies: @WGG
    @advancedatheist

    That's a very misleading title.

    "... more than 80% of Ashkenazi mtDNAs had their origins thousands of years ago in Western Europe, during or before Biblical times—and in some cases even before farming came to that part of the continent some 7500 years ago. The closest matches were with mtDNAs from people who today live in and around Italy. "


    Western Europe is the category they placed the mtDNA in, with modern Italy being the *closest* living population, which could have a multitude of explanations. It is not even remotely close to proving Ashkenazi Jews are "from" Italy.

    Replies: @granesperanzablanco

  14. @WGG
    @Anonymous

    Ashkenazi= Mediterranean? Since when? This is news to me.

    Replies: @advancedatheist, @Anonymous

    The Ashkenazi are generally, genetically Greek, Italian, Anatolian, and Levantine i.e. Mediterranean.

  15. I just showed this to a guy and he said “Show me a peer reviewed study”. How can you not even be open to the idea that different groups in different areas are adapted to different things?

    In any case, now I need to find Ashkenazi diet studies. Hopefully I wont be stuck eating traditional glop.

  16. WGG [AKA "World\'s Greatest Grandson"] says:
    @advancedatheist
    @WGG

    Did Modern Jews Originate in Italy?

    http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2013/10/did-modern-jews-originate-italy

    Replies: @WGG

    That’s a very misleading title.

    “… more than 80% of Ashkenazi mtDNAs had their origins thousands of years ago in Western Europe, during or before Biblical times—and in some cases even before farming came to that part of the continent some 7500 years ago. The closest matches were with mtDNAs from people who today live in and around Italy. “

    Western Europe is the category they placed the mtDNA in, with modern Italy being the *closest* living population, which could have a multitude of explanations. It is not even remotely close to proving Ashkenazi Jews are “from” Italy.

    • Replies: @granesperanzablanco
    @WGG

    Since they were present in Ancient Rome and eventually spread north of the Alps where the distinctive ethnogenesis of a Ashkenazim took placeI would say there is pretty strong evidence coupled with the DNA evidence. What alternatives are you thinking?

    Replies: @WGG, @WGG

  17. I’ve had a suspicion about diet for a while, that using specific populations is misleading for general advice.

    Paleo reasoning notwithstanding, humans eat whatever is most available where they settle. Those suited genetically to the available diet grow up stronger, mate more successfully, etc. It doesn’t take much micro evolution before your society is made up almost solely of those who thrive on said available diet.

    The Masai may be strong on one diet, that would kill an Okinawan. I’m Northern European in descent, and tolerate, even thrive, on dairy products that my Chinese neighbors would get sick on.

    Although it’s not sexy, I suspect the solution is whatever diet makes you personally feel energetic. Trying to force yourself into a narrow box may cause problems.

  18. @Jefferson
    Hillary Clinton recently said being a woman should automatically disqualify her from being an establishment politician and should automatically make her an outsider politician just like Donald Trump.

    There is absolutely nothing outsider whatsoever about a woman who has been in national politics since 1992.

    Saying Hillary Clinton is a political outsider is like saying Alek Wek is a White woman. Hillary Clinton's face should be in the dictionary definition of establishment politician.

    If you don't know who Alek Wek is, here is what she looks like.
    http://africastyledaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/alek4.jpg

    When Hillary Clinton first appeared on the national political scene, America Online did not even exist yet, let alone The Unz. 2Pac and Eazy E were still alive. DVDs did not even exist yet, let alone Blu-ray. Most people still used public paid phone booths over cellphones.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Miss Wek should do a Heidi Klum-in-reverse and marry a German. Then they should visit Buffalo to check out those signs covered in the previous post. They’ll be a big hit there.

    Buffalonians love beef on Wek.

  19. One size does not fit all indeed although to discount universally healthy diets and to eat “Paleo” seems pretty foolish as well. Most Americans would be way better off eating a traditional Japanese diet

  20. @Anonymous

    The first generation ate mostly rice with little fat, and they had relatively few heart attacks. The next generation ate cheeseburgers and had higher rates of coronary disease than their parents. From this and other studies emerged the conventional wisdom of a quarter century ago: you should eat a low fat, high carb diet.
     
    They got the variable wrong. Those people eating low fat, high carb diets in the past were eating a lot fewer calories, which is more important.

    So maybe you should try different diets and see if one works better for you.

    In the future, maybe you’ll be able to get your DNA analyzed and be given a list of diets in rank order of their likelihood that they will work for you. But, right now, you can still try different diets. In particular, ask your relatives about what has worked and not worked for them.
     
    In this context, most people are concerned about maximizing longevity, so it's more or less impossible to find out what works for you by looking at your past diets or your relatives' diets, unless Uncle Fred had a very peculiar diet and died at a very young age or something.

    It's not that unlikely that the diet that maximizes longevity will be pretty uniform for most people. Just as diets that build muscle mass for most people are more or less the same in terms of macronutrients.

    Replies: @Socially Extinct, @granesperanzablanco

    I agree that there is very likely a pretty similar universally healthy diet. Genetic distinctiveness in different groups likely allow people to tolerate more novel agricultural based diets differently.

  21. @WGG
    @advancedatheist

    That's a very misleading title.

    "... more than 80% of Ashkenazi mtDNAs had their origins thousands of years ago in Western Europe, during or before Biblical times—and in some cases even before farming came to that part of the continent some 7500 years ago. The closest matches were with mtDNAs from people who today live in and around Italy. "


    Western Europe is the category they placed the mtDNA in, with modern Italy being the *closest* living population, which could have a multitude of explanations. It is not even remotely close to proving Ashkenazi Jews are "from" Italy.

    Replies: @granesperanzablanco

    Since they were present in Ancient Rome and eventually spread north of the Alps where the distinctive ethnogenesis of a Ashkenazim took placeI would say there is pretty strong evidence coupled with the DNA evidence. What alternatives are you thinking?

    • Replies: @WGG
    @granesperanzablanco

    "Since they were present in ancient Rome..." Who? Ashkenazi? No evidence of that. Semitic descendants of Abraham in Rome? Yes. Ashkenazi? No.

    Based on the mtDNA evidence from the article, I would say it is possible that modern Italy may share a common ancestor with the Ashkenazi, and this ancestral cluster could have lived elsewhere in Europe, but migrated to Italy within the last two millennia. *Lots* of that sort of thing in Europe over the last 2000 years.

    Another possibility, modern Italians have the closest to Ashkenazi "Western European" mtDNA because the Ashkenazi themselves have migrated and interbred with the Italians in Italy within the last 2000 years, but that says nothing about their origins. The USA is about tied with Israel for most Jews (about 3 million) but that doesn't mean they originate in North America. The article never said what part of Italy. Northern Italy's Alps are bordered/ shared by Switzerland, so the populations are quite similar i.e. Western European.

    I don't know exactly where the Ashkenazi come from, but I find it too much to be a coincidence that the highest natural-bred population came from Russia. Ashkenazi are very fair with high occurrence of blue eyes; they did not originate in the Mediterranean. This is not to say I per se believe the much-maligned Kazar theory, though many Ashkenazi surnames are Kazar-esque in origin, e.g. Kagan.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Russia

    Replies: @Jefferson, @Anonymous

    , @WGG
    @granesperanzablanco

    Also, most of their language and traditions come from either Germany, Poland or Russia.

    This giant beaver hat did not get its origins in Sicily, I guarantee it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shtreimel

    And before you get all "Cohen" on me, the records of the Kohanim were lost long before surnames were a thing. So anyone named Cohen had an ancestor about 600 years ago who cleverly latched onto a high-status name, because why not?

  22. Whatever race or ethnicity you are, it’s a good idea to avoid regular consumption of junk/processed foods and sugary drinks. Nobody’s ancestors had those in abundance and they are pretty clearly harmful. And if you just do that, you are most of the way to a healthy diet.

    I do agree that there may be variation from group to group of an ideal diet, particularly in terms of grain, dairy, and alcohol consumption. But the bad diet elephant in the room is junk/processed foods.

  23. I was just thinking about this in relation to “lactose intolerance.”

    Like every other white person I know, I consume and enjoy all kinds of dairy products without problem. I had never heard of “lactose intolerance” until recent years. Now it’s all over the place.

    I now suspect “lactose intolerance” is something mostly non-European people suffer. (Because, as I understand it, me and my fellows of European ancestry are evolved to make good use of dairy foods and are therefore highly tolerant of lactose.)

    FWIW I also have a blessed genetic gift for maintaining extremely good cholesterol levels while eating all the meaty foods I like. I don’t even need to think about it as I grill steak after steak.

    BTW forget about diets. It’s the exercise, stupid.

    • Replies: @cthulhu
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Taubes' encyclopedic Good Calories, Bad Calories makes a pretty good case that exercise is of modest consequence in maintaining a healthy weight. Not saying exercise, mostly in the form of strength training, is bad; it's not, it helps you be healthy and feel good, but its effects on weight are minimal.

    But Taubes and engineer-turned-MD Dr. Peter Attia (whose website, http://eatingacademy.com, has the best no-bullshit info on cholesterol that you'll find) are trying to answer these questions via actual scientific studies via their Nutrition Science Institite project. In the next several years, we should know a lot more than we know today about diet and health.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

    , @karlub
    @Buzz Mohawk

    What Cthulhu said.

    Exercise is a good thing. And for overall fitness and when it comes to just *feeling* good, a critical thing.

    But if a person is fat or otherwise unhealthy, 90% of fixing that has to do with what you stick down your pie hole, and the amount thereof.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

  24. WGG [AKA "World\'s Greatest Grandson"] says:
    @granesperanzablanco
    @WGG

    Since they were present in Ancient Rome and eventually spread north of the Alps where the distinctive ethnogenesis of a Ashkenazim took placeI would say there is pretty strong evidence coupled with the DNA evidence. What alternatives are you thinking?

    Replies: @WGG, @WGG

    “Since they were present in ancient Rome…” Who? Ashkenazi? No evidence of that. Semitic descendants of Abraham in Rome? Yes. Ashkenazi? No.

    Based on the mtDNA evidence from the article, I would say it is possible that modern Italy may share a common ancestor with the Ashkenazi, and this ancestral cluster could have lived elsewhere in Europe, but migrated to Italy within the last two millennia. *Lots* of that sort of thing in Europe over the last 2000 years.

    Another possibility, modern Italians have the closest to Ashkenazi “Western European” mtDNA because the Ashkenazi themselves have migrated and interbred with the Italians in Italy within the last 2000 years, but that says nothing about their origins. The USA is about tied with Israel for most Jews (about 3 million) but that doesn’t mean they originate in North America. The article never said what part of Italy. Northern Italy’s Alps are bordered/ shared by Switzerland, so the populations are quite similar i.e. Western European.

    I don’t know exactly where the Ashkenazi come from, but I find it too much to be a coincidence that the highest natural-bred population came from Russia. Ashkenazi are very fair with high occurrence of blue eyes; they did not originate in the Mediterranean. This is not to say I per se believe the much-maligned Kazar theory, though many Ashkenazi surnames are Kazar-esque in origin, e.g. Kagan.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Russia

    • Replies: @Jefferson
    @WGG

    "Ashkenazi are very fair with high occurrence of blue eyes; they did not originate in the Mediterranean."

    Plenty of Ashkenazis look Mediterranean in phenotype. That is why it is very common for Ashkenazis to be cast as Italians in films and television.

    , @Anonymous
    @WGG

    Any old school Pole living in the Chicago of 1900 - you know, the type of meat packing worker who was routinely ridiculed by all-Americans, and who was ill-educated and probably couldn't speak English, would have told you, purely based on his own instincts and visual inspection, and of course being totally ignorant of modern genetic science, that Jews and Italians were basically the same 'dark' people and were not 'proper' whites.
    Modern genetics tells us that Jews and Italians are deficient in the so-called 'western hunter gatherer' and 'ancestral north Eurasian' genetic components two markers that seem to distinguish the essence of 'Europeaness vis-à-vis 'Mediterranean farmer', incidentally another component that all Europeans, including Poles, have.

  25. WGG [AKA "World\'s Greatest Grandson"] says:
    @granesperanzablanco
    @WGG

    Since they were present in Ancient Rome and eventually spread north of the Alps where the distinctive ethnogenesis of a Ashkenazim took placeI would say there is pretty strong evidence coupled with the DNA evidence. What alternatives are you thinking?

    Replies: @WGG, @WGG

    Also, most of their language and traditions come from either Germany, Poland or Russia.

    This giant beaver hat did not get its origins in Sicily, I guarantee it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shtreimel

    And before you get all “Cohen” on me, the records of the Kohanim were lost long before surnames were a thing. So anyone named Cohen had an ancestor about 600 years ago who cleverly latched onto a high-status name, because why not?

  26. @WGG
    @granesperanzablanco

    "Since they were present in ancient Rome..." Who? Ashkenazi? No evidence of that. Semitic descendants of Abraham in Rome? Yes. Ashkenazi? No.

    Based on the mtDNA evidence from the article, I would say it is possible that modern Italy may share a common ancestor with the Ashkenazi, and this ancestral cluster could have lived elsewhere in Europe, but migrated to Italy within the last two millennia. *Lots* of that sort of thing in Europe over the last 2000 years.

    Another possibility, modern Italians have the closest to Ashkenazi "Western European" mtDNA because the Ashkenazi themselves have migrated and interbred with the Italians in Italy within the last 2000 years, but that says nothing about their origins. The USA is about tied with Israel for most Jews (about 3 million) but that doesn't mean they originate in North America. The article never said what part of Italy. Northern Italy's Alps are bordered/ shared by Switzerland, so the populations are quite similar i.e. Western European.

    I don't know exactly where the Ashkenazi come from, but I find it too much to be a coincidence that the highest natural-bred population came from Russia. Ashkenazi are very fair with high occurrence of blue eyes; they did not originate in the Mediterranean. This is not to say I per se believe the much-maligned Kazar theory, though many Ashkenazi surnames are Kazar-esque in origin, e.g. Kagan.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Russia

    Replies: @Jefferson, @Anonymous

    “Ashkenazi are very fair with high occurrence of blue eyes; they did not originate in the Mediterranean.”

    Plenty of Ashkenazis look Mediterranean in phenotype. That is why it is very common for Ashkenazis to be cast as Italians in films and television.

  27. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @WGG
    @granesperanzablanco

    "Since they were present in ancient Rome..." Who? Ashkenazi? No evidence of that. Semitic descendants of Abraham in Rome? Yes. Ashkenazi? No.

    Based on the mtDNA evidence from the article, I would say it is possible that modern Italy may share a common ancestor with the Ashkenazi, and this ancestral cluster could have lived elsewhere in Europe, but migrated to Italy within the last two millennia. *Lots* of that sort of thing in Europe over the last 2000 years.

    Another possibility, modern Italians have the closest to Ashkenazi "Western European" mtDNA because the Ashkenazi themselves have migrated and interbred with the Italians in Italy within the last 2000 years, but that says nothing about their origins. The USA is about tied with Israel for most Jews (about 3 million) but that doesn't mean they originate in North America. The article never said what part of Italy. Northern Italy's Alps are bordered/ shared by Switzerland, so the populations are quite similar i.e. Western European.

    I don't know exactly where the Ashkenazi come from, but I find it too much to be a coincidence that the highest natural-bred population came from Russia. Ashkenazi are very fair with high occurrence of blue eyes; they did not originate in the Mediterranean. This is not to say I per se believe the much-maligned Kazar theory, though many Ashkenazi surnames are Kazar-esque in origin, e.g. Kagan.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Russia

    Replies: @Jefferson, @Anonymous

    Any old school Pole living in the Chicago of 1900 – you know, the type of meat packing worker who was routinely ridiculed by all-Americans, and who was ill-educated and probably couldn’t speak English, would have told you, purely based on his own instincts and visual inspection, and of course being totally ignorant of modern genetic science, that Jews and Italians were basically the same ‘dark’ people and were not ‘proper’ whites.
    Modern genetics tells us that Jews and Italians are deficient in the so-called ‘western hunter gatherer’ and ‘ancestral north Eurasian’ genetic components two markers that seem to distinguish the essence of ‘Europeaness vis-à-vis ‘Mediterranean farmer’, incidentally another component that all Europeans, including Poles, have.

  28. @Buzz Mohawk
    I was just thinking about this in relation to "lactose intolerance."

    Like every other white person I know, I consume and enjoy all kinds of dairy products without problem. I had never heard of "lactose intolerance" until recent years. Now it's all over the place.

    I now suspect "lactose intolerance" is something mostly non-European people suffer. (Because, as I understand it, me and my fellows of European ancestry are evolved to make good use of dairy foods and are therefore highly tolerant of lactose.)

    FWIW I also have a blessed genetic gift for maintaining extremely good cholesterol levels while eating all the meaty foods I like. I don't even need to think about it as I grill steak after steak.

    BTW forget about diets. It's the exercise, stupid.

    Replies: @cthulhu, @karlub

    Taubes’ encyclopedic Good Calories, Bad Calories makes a pretty good case that exercise is of modest consequence in maintaining a healthy weight. Not saying exercise, mostly in the form of strength training, is bad; it’s not, it helps you be healthy and feel good, but its effects on weight are minimal.

    But Taubes and engineer-turned-MD Dr. Peter Attia (whose website, http://eatingacademy.com, has the best no-bullshit info on cholesterol that you’ll find) are trying to answer these questions via actual scientific studies via their Nutrition Science Institite project. In the next several years, we should know a lot more than we know today about diet and health.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    @cthulhu

    To my original point: different kinds of people respond to things differently.

    A year ago, I decided I was getting too big -- not obese for a man my age, but Donald Trump chunky. I decided to get back into long-distance walking, which I had enjoyed in the past.

    Four times a week, for the past year, I have briskly walked up and down the hills in my neighborhood for a minimum of one hour each time. My longest route covers six miles and takes me ninety minutes.

    I have paid absolutely no attention whatsoever to my diet. As always, I have been eating and enjoying whatever I want, whenever I want, in whatever quantities feel good. (My wife is a fantastic cook.)

    I have lost twenty-five pounds.

    In one year.

    Doing nothing but walking.

    And I have enjoyed it!

    As an old backpacker and mountain climber, this was easy for me, and I realize not everybody can do it, but I insist that a significantly increased level of regular exercise -- by itself -- will reverse weight gain for some people. I am the proof.

  29. It’s amazing how a “social construct” like race can influence so many things in the medical community.

  30. @Buzz Mohawk
    I was just thinking about this in relation to "lactose intolerance."

    Like every other white person I know, I consume and enjoy all kinds of dairy products without problem. I had never heard of "lactose intolerance" until recent years. Now it's all over the place.

    I now suspect "lactose intolerance" is something mostly non-European people suffer. (Because, as I understand it, me and my fellows of European ancestry are evolved to make good use of dairy foods and are therefore highly tolerant of lactose.)

    FWIW I also have a blessed genetic gift for maintaining extremely good cholesterol levels while eating all the meaty foods I like. I don't even need to think about it as I grill steak after steak.

    BTW forget about diets. It's the exercise, stupid.

    Replies: @cthulhu, @karlub

    What Cthulhu said.

    Exercise is a good thing. And for overall fitness and when it comes to just *feeling* good, a critical thing.

    But if a person is fat or otherwise unhealthy, 90% of fixing that has to do with what you stick down your pie hole, and the amount thereof.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    @karlub

    Read my response to what Cthulhu said.

    For some of us, regular, extended, brisk exercise does more than just make us feel good and fit overall. It maintains our bodies' equilibria in such a way as to efficiently burn the calories we consume.

    The truly fat, unhealthy people to which you refer probably have bodies that don't work that way, but an awful lot of us active, outdoor types do.

    I have never dieted. A lot of healthy people have screwed themselves up by applying diet techniques designed for unhealthy people. Just as humans are not born tabulae rasae, their bodies do not all perform at the same level.

  31. Think about the majority of your ancestors and develop a composite person. What did that person eat? Start there.

  32. @Steve

    I have been waiting for somebody in the HBD community to write on the Paleo-diet since it would seem to be a topic right up your alley. There have been some smattered comments here and there(from Greg Cochran as well). Seems like the type of cultural wave that you would ride on and explain.

    • Replies: @Anon5
    @Sam

    Marlene Zuk has been critical of the paleo diet, mostly from what would be called an HBD perspective.

    “The paleo diet is based on the idea that human genetics have not changed or evolved over the past 10,000 years, since the time before the use of agriculture.”

    http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/scientist-says-paleo-diet-is-not-always-based-on-way-evolution-really-works/story-fneuzkvr-1227354629464

    She cites Cochran in her Riddled with Life a couple of times, so there's that facet to keep in mind when reading her.

  33. Inuit women live on average for 72.8 years; the average Canadian woman lives 81.3 years. The Inuit obviously need some kale!

    My former college swimmer girlfriend’s weight hasn’t fluctuated more than 3 pounds from the 125 she weighed when she graduated from high school, and at 5’10” she’s pretty slender. She eats and drinks whatever she wants. I’ll never forget the looks she got from the other wives/girlfriends at my company Christmas party a few years ago when she couldn’t make up her mind which flavor cheesecake she wanted, so she took a slice of all three…and ate them all to the last crumb! Her metabolism runs like a Ferrari.

    Former power lifter me, on the other hand, has been on a life-long diet. My metabolism is a crippled Yugo.

    Genes, good and bad.

  34. Science is right to look for universal rules, and wrong to avoid contradictory data. The “calories are required but in excess lead to stored fat” is a pretty general rule, and conforms to basic thermodynamics – if you take on more food than your body needs, which is easy unless you do very heavy labor, then you will get fat, whatever you eat. What let the early research down was ignoring racial differences at the genetic level. That, on investigation, will probably account for many of the apparent contradictions. Eventually some dietary advice will be tuned to ancestry. In the mean time, diet is an IQ test.

    http://drjamesthompson.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/diet-is-iq-test.html

  35. @newyorker
    Gary taubes has suggested that for most of us a high fat low carb diet is ideal, since fats kill the appetite sooner than carbs do calorie for calorie. Perhaps northwestern Europeans should pay attention since their ancestors were late to adopt a grain heavy diet.

    There are no fat hunter gatherers , which should tell us something.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @NOTA

    Yeah, but maybe what it tells us is that being a hunter-gatherer is a pretty hard way to make a living.

    Fat people were rare everywhere until recently, because everyday life required a fair bit of exercise and food was less convenient and harder to come by.

  36. The question, What is the best diet? demands clarification. What are you trying to accomplish with said diet? If you want to build muscle and get stronger, then caloric restriction will sabotage your goals. If you are a bed ridden person stricken with cancer then a high carb diet may be ill advised.

    Smaller and weaker people may be free of disease, but are they really healthy? Depends on your definintion of health. But if you are fighting cancer, then building muscle might go on the back burner. Thus opportunity costs apply.

    If you are trying to shed excessive body fat because of a perceived benefit to one’s health, then at some point caloric output must exceed imput. Unfortunately, both caloric targets are not static and it isn’t a matter of simple math. Individual results will vary and all of that. Goggle Metabolic Adaptation and Reverse Dieting to get a sense of how training, diet, and personal history make the answers more complicated than the conventional wisdom.

    Tldr, while policy makers must consider the general dietary needs of large populations, individual considerations will be substantial. Establishing clear goals is step one. Understanding that some goals are exclusive of others is step two.

  37. What’s the deal with milk now? It used to be recommended drinking for children and young adults, but now professional opinion is conflicted.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @El-ahrairah

    Nobody really knows. It's not clear if milk consumption is ideal for adults. Milk has IGF-1 , an insulin like growth hormone that's natural to the milk, not a growth hormone injected by dairy farmers, that stimulates growth. This can be good for some purposes, which is why many bodybuilding regimens advocate heavy milk consumption, but may be less than ideal for adults trying to maximize lifespan, as it may stimulate tumor growth.

  38. “In the future, maybe you’ll be able to get your DNA analyzed and be given a list of diets in rank order of their likelihood that they will work for you.”

    23andme profiles old enough to have a health section have an entry for likely effectiveness of a Mediterranean-style diet. I guess we’re at least headed toward that future.

  39. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @El-ahrairah
    What's the deal with milk now? It used to be recommended drinking for children and young adults, but now professional opinion is conflicted.

    Replies: @Anonymous

    Nobody really knows. It’s not clear if milk consumption is ideal for adults. Milk has IGF-1 , an insulin like growth hormone that’s natural to the milk, not a growth hormone injected by dairy farmers, that stimulates growth. This can be good for some purposes, which is why many bodybuilding regimens advocate heavy milk consumption, but may be less than ideal for adults trying to maximize lifespan, as it may stimulate tumor growth.

  40. @Sam
    @Steve

    I have been waiting for somebody in the HBD community to write on the Paleo-diet since it would seem to be a topic right up your alley. There have been some smattered comments here and there(from Greg Cochran as well). Seems like the type of cultural wave that you would ride on and explain.

    Replies: @Anon5

    Marlene Zuk has been critical of the paleo diet, mostly from what would be called an HBD perspective.

    “The paleo diet is based on the idea that human genetics have not changed or evolved over the past 10,000 years, since the time before the use of agriculture.”

    http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/scientist-says-paleo-diet-is-not-always-based-on-way-evolution-really-works/story-fneuzkvr-1227354629464

    She cites Cochran in her Riddled with Life a couple of times, so there’s that facet to keep in mind when reading her.

  41. Japan has a larger population of people in raw numbers who are at least 100 years of age than The United States.

    Japan also has a higher percentage of people over the age of 90 than The United States. What does that say about the Japanese diet? That it is way better than the American diet of Dunkin Donuts and McDonald’s.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    @Jefferson

    You mean Mr. Donuts and MOS Burger are healthier than DD and McD's, right?

    Replies: @Jefferson

  42. @cthulhu
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Taubes' encyclopedic Good Calories, Bad Calories makes a pretty good case that exercise is of modest consequence in maintaining a healthy weight. Not saying exercise, mostly in the form of strength training, is bad; it's not, it helps you be healthy and feel good, but its effects on weight are minimal.

    But Taubes and engineer-turned-MD Dr. Peter Attia (whose website, http://eatingacademy.com, has the best no-bullshit info on cholesterol that you'll find) are trying to answer these questions via actual scientific studies via their Nutrition Science Institite project. In the next several years, we should know a lot more than we know today about diet and health.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

    To my original point: different kinds of people respond to things differently.

    A year ago, I decided I was getting too big — not obese for a man my age, but Donald Trump chunky. I decided to get back into long-distance walking, which I had enjoyed in the past.

    Four times a week, for the past year, I have briskly walked up and down the hills in my neighborhood for a minimum of one hour each time. My longest route covers six miles and takes me ninety minutes.

    I have paid absolutely no attention whatsoever to my diet. As always, I have been eating and enjoying whatever I want, whenever I want, in whatever quantities feel good. (My wife is a fantastic cook.)

    I have lost twenty-five pounds.

    In one year.

    Doing nothing but walking.

    And I have enjoyed it!

    As an old backpacker and mountain climber, this was easy for me, and I realize not everybody can do it, but I insist that a significantly increased level of regular exercise — by itself — will reverse weight gain for some people. I am the proof.

  43. @karlub
    @Buzz Mohawk

    What Cthulhu said.

    Exercise is a good thing. And for overall fitness and when it comes to just *feeling* good, a critical thing.

    But if a person is fat or otherwise unhealthy, 90% of fixing that has to do with what you stick down your pie hole, and the amount thereof.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

    Read my response to what Cthulhu said.

    For some of us, regular, extended, brisk exercise does more than just make us feel good and fit overall. It maintains our bodies’ equilibria in such a way as to efficiently burn the calories we consume.

    The truly fat, unhealthy people to which you refer probably have bodies that don’t work that way, but an awful lot of us active, outdoor types do.

    I have never dieted. A lot of healthy people have screwed themselves up by applying diet techniques designed for unhealthy people. Just as humans are not born tabulae rasae, their bodies do not all perform at the same level.

  44. @advancedatheist
    Steve, the Adventist diet seems to work pretty well for white people, like the ones who live not far from you in Loma Linda.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventist_Health_Studies

    Replies: @The Practical Conservative

    The benefit for me of “ancestral” or “paleo” eating was discovering that I should stick with tubers over grains for my primary starches and get my milk raw or from goats if I was going to drink it straight.

    The lactose intolerance thing is complicated. In America, most of the dairy is from a handful of Holsteins genetically bred for production over flavor and on top of that the milk is highly processed in novel ways to increase shelf life. So “lactose intolerance” is on the rise (even among whites), but that isn’t the same as inability to consume milk or cheese or yogurt.

    And lo, many people (including nonwhites) who thought they were lactose intolerant have found they can consume goat milk, sheep milk, camel milk, milk from Jersey or Guernsey cows, because they weren’t unable to tolerate dairy in general, they were simply not doing so well with the very narrow range of dairy that is mainstream “milk” in America.

    There is a wide variation in dairy tolerance by ethnicity, but it’s not quite as simple as the “whites can have milk and nobody else” myth that many people seem to believe.

    • Replies: @The Practical Conservative
    @The Practical Conservative

    Darn, my previous comment was supposed to be a response to the lactose commenting. Oh well!

    , @Jefferson
    @The Practical Conservative

    "There is a wide variation in dairy tolerance by ethnicity, but it’s not quite as simple as the “whites can have milk and nobody else” myth that many people seem to believe."

    Lactose intolerance is higher among Southern Europeans than it is among Northern Europeans. Lactose intolerance is also higher among Middle Easterners than it is among Southern Europeans.
    http://www.news-medical.net/health/Lactose-Intolerance-History.aspx

    There is a pattern that the blonder a Caucasoid group is, the more milk than they can consume. The darker a Caucasoid group is, the less milk they can consume.

    Replies: @The Practical Conservative

  45. @The Practical Conservative
    @advancedatheist

    The benefit for me of "ancestral" or "paleo" eating was discovering that I should stick with tubers over grains for my primary starches and get my milk raw or from goats if I was going to drink it straight.

    The lactose intolerance thing is complicated. In America, most of the dairy is from a handful of Holsteins genetically bred for production over flavor and on top of that the milk is highly processed in novel ways to increase shelf life. So "lactose intolerance" is on the rise (even among whites), but that isn't the same as inability to consume milk or cheese or yogurt.

    And lo, many people (including nonwhites) who thought they were lactose intolerant have found they can consume goat milk, sheep milk, camel milk, milk from Jersey or Guernsey cows, because they weren't unable to tolerate dairy in general, they were simply not doing so well with the very narrow range of dairy that is mainstream "milk" in America.

    There is a wide variation in dairy tolerance by ethnicity, but it's not quite as simple as the "whites can have milk and nobody else" myth that many people seem to believe.

    Replies: @The Practical Conservative, @Jefferson

    Darn, my previous comment was supposed to be a response to the lactose commenting. Oh well!

  46. @Jefferson
    Japan has a larger population of people in raw numbers who are at least 100 years of age than The United States.

    Japan also has a higher percentage of people over the age of 90 than The United States. What does that say about the Japanese diet? That it is way better than the American diet of Dunkin Donuts and McDonald's.

    Replies: @Chrisnonymous

    You mean Mr. Donuts and MOS Burger are healthier than DD and McD’s, right?

    • Replies: @Jefferson
    @Chrisnonymous

    "You mean Mr. Donuts and MOS Burger are healthier than DD and McD’s, right?"

    Japanese people on average do not stuff their faces with donuts and hamburgers at the same large quantity as Americans do, hence why the Japanese on average have a longer shelf life than Americans.

    Replies: @Brutusale

  47. @Chrisnonymous
    @Jefferson

    You mean Mr. Donuts and MOS Burger are healthier than DD and McD's, right?

    Replies: @Jefferson

    “You mean Mr. Donuts and MOS Burger are healthier than DD and McD’s, right?”

    Japanese people on average do not stuff their faces with donuts and hamburgers at the same large quantity as Americans do, hence why the Japanese on average have a longer shelf life than Americans.

    • Replies: @Brutusale
    @Jefferson

    Anthony Bourdain talked about that in Kitchen Confidential. He was sent to Japan to look at the under performing operation his owners had in Tokyo, and one of his first impressions was that the average Japanese seemed embarrassed by the amount of food the restaurant put in front of them.

  48. @The Practical Conservative
    @advancedatheist

    The benefit for me of "ancestral" or "paleo" eating was discovering that I should stick with tubers over grains for my primary starches and get my milk raw or from goats if I was going to drink it straight.

    The lactose intolerance thing is complicated. In America, most of the dairy is from a handful of Holsteins genetically bred for production over flavor and on top of that the milk is highly processed in novel ways to increase shelf life. So "lactose intolerance" is on the rise (even among whites), but that isn't the same as inability to consume milk or cheese or yogurt.

    And lo, many people (including nonwhites) who thought they were lactose intolerant have found they can consume goat milk, sheep milk, camel milk, milk from Jersey or Guernsey cows, because they weren't unable to tolerate dairy in general, they were simply not doing so well with the very narrow range of dairy that is mainstream "milk" in America.

    There is a wide variation in dairy tolerance by ethnicity, but it's not quite as simple as the "whites can have milk and nobody else" myth that many people seem to believe.

    Replies: @The Practical Conservative, @Jefferson

    “There is a wide variation in dairy tolerance by ethnicity, but it’s not quite as simple as the “whites can have milk and nobody else” myth that many people seem to believe.”

    Lactose intolerance is higher among Southern Europeans than it is among Northern Europeans. Lactose intolerance is also higher among Middle Easterners than it is among Southern Europeans.
    http://www.news-medical.net/health/Lactose-Intolerance-History.aspx

    There is a pattern that the blonder a Caucasoid group is, the more milk than they can consume. The darker a Caucasoid group is, the less milk they can consume.

    • Replies: @The Practical Conservative
    @Jefferson

    Black Africans do just fine consuming goat milk. Pasteurized cow milk from specific cow breeds is not the only dairy humans have made a habit of consuming. Dairy is a big topic, and pretty interesting.

    Replies: @HA

  49. @Jefferson
    @Chrisnonymous

    "You mean Mr. Donuts and MOS Burger are healthier than DD and McD’s, right?"

    Japanese people on average do not stuff their faces with donuts and hamburgers at the same large quantity as Americans do, hence why the Japanese on average have a longer shelf life than Americans.

    Replies: @Brutusale

    Anthony Bourdain talked about that in Kitchen Confidential. He was sent to Japan to look at the under performing operation his owners had in Tokyo, and one of his first impressions was that the average Japanese seemed embarrassed by the amount of food the restaurant put in front of them.

  50. @Jefferson
    @The Practical Conservative

    "There is a wide variation in dairy tolerance by ethnicity, but it’s not quite as simple as the “whites can have milk and nobody else” myth that many people seem to believe."

    Lactose intolerance is higher among Southern Europeans than it is among Northern Europeans. Lactose intolerance is also higher among Middle Easterners than it is among Southern Europeans.
    http://www.news-medical.net/health/Lactose-Intolerance-History.aspx

    There is a pattern that the blonder a Caucasoid group is, the more milk than they can consume. The darker a Caucasoid group is, the less milk they can consume.

    Replies: @The Practical Conservative

    Black Africans do just fine consuming goat milk. Pasteurized cow milk from specific cow breeds is not the only dairy humans have made a habit of consuming. Dairy is a big topic, and pretty interesting.

  51. @The Practical Conservative
    @Jefferson

    Black Africans do just fine consuming goat milk. Pasteurized cow milk from specific cow breeds is not the only dairy humans have made a habit of consuming. Dairy is a big topic, and pretty interesting.

    Replies: @HA

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