Article #2: Overnutrition—All About Protein by The Doctors McCarter
Epidemiological And Historical Evidence
In light of the continuing confusion existing not only among the public at large but also in many scientific circles with regard to the optimum amount of protein required to maintain superb health and especially because of the current media emphasis on our supposed need to eat a diet high in protein, it would appear of considerable importance to review some of the epidemiological and historical evidence that bears on this subject.
It would appear that such evidence is the only really solid evidence to be had: how have people responded for thousands of years to whatever dietary practices they, as a tribe or people, have constantly pursued? It takes many generations to observe results that can be considered conclusive. Pottenger and his cohorts at Yale University demonstrated that it takes three to four generations to prove the validity or lack thereof, of a particular dietary regimen with cats. We must assume that the same would hold true with humans.
Throughout history, and in various parts of the world and in different climates and under diverse circumstances, millions and billions of people have lived exclusively on a simple vegetable protein dietary intake, rarely exceeding 30 to 35 grams per day. Some used animal flesh only occasionally, as on special feast days. Many have totally avoided all animal products, such as milk or eggs. In other words, they were vegans. Recorded history strongly suggests that they have as a rule, enjoyed far better health than the average meat-eating person or tribe of peoples.
Dr. Alan Walker of the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, startled the scientific community when, in 1979, he announced that, according to extensive studies of fossil teeth performed by him and his associates, he had concluded that early man lived for millions of years on an exclusively fruit diet. (In a letter to your authors. Dr. Walker states that man was able to adapt successfully to progressive dietary changes. His paper on this research was, published in Great Britain.)
It has been shown by many researchers that dietary habits powerfully determine the particular lifestyle and character of peoples. Walker, for example, quotes from research originally reported by R.A. Dart in 1953 as follows with regard to Australopithecus (an early man):
“… carnivorous creatures, that seized living quarries by violence, battered them to death, tore apart their broken bodies, disembodied them limb from limb, slaking their ravenous thirst with the hot blood of victims and greedily devouring livid writhing flesh.”
Many modern studies have showed the relationship between diet and hyperkinetic behavior and how chemicals added to food can relate to adverse neurotic tendencies. Other studies have related depression, inability to sleep, loss of memory, moods in general to dietary insufficiences or excesses of one kind or another. Dr. Brian Morgan, an assistant professor at Columbia University’s Institute of Human Nutrition in New York City, is reported to have said that, “You can affect your mood and behavior by the kinds of foods that you eat.” Natural Hygiene has long held this view as have your authors.
Crime and cancer are rampant across America and in other parts of the world and especially in those parts where heavy meat eating is the custom; whereas among the rural Chinese, East Indians and among certain native peoples of Latin America, these scourges are almost nonexistent. These latter peoples all consume low-protein diets. The Hunzas of the Himalayas, for example, are well known for their emphasis on indigenous fruits in their diet and for the fact that they eat little, if any, animal protein. This tribe is also noted for the longevity of its individual members and for their superb health. It must be noted, of course, that these people live largely out of doors, work hard at their agricultural pursuits, do not consume processed and chemicalized food—all of which contributes also to their well being. We hear that many modern “delights” are now finding their way into this area since the building of a road there. It should be interesting for future generations to observe the changes that may accrue in the health of these people.
Indians living at 13,000 feet in the Andes continue to eat their high natural carbohydrate, low-protein diets and continue to demonstrate amazing endurance and strength. The Tarahumara Indians of Mexico stick to a similar diet and are able to run 90 miles at seven miles per hour with no heart expansion or shortness of breath.
Perhaps we should contrast this ability with the condition of some marathon runners at the conclusion of a run of only 26 miles, runners considered by the press and the public at large to be in superb physical condition! Many collapse at the end of the run, some take weeks to recover.
The long-living and extremely healthy Georgians of Russia are living examples in our day of the correctness of a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates. They are a hard-working, fun-loving, out-going people, family-oriented, who live, on an average, beyond the century. Most rarely eat meat. Many do consume Koumiss, a kind of fermented milk.
This is the kind of evidence that cannot be ignored. This is the kind of superb health which is the result of eating practices followed by hundreds of generations and for thousands of years. This is the kind of health and longevity which is in direct contrast to what can be observed among the tribes who consume a high-protein diet: the Eskimos, Laplanders and Masai being prime examples.
Both the Eskimos and Laplanders are gross in development and more or less dull mentally. They rarely live beyond the age of forty-five years. The Masai grow to great heights, often in excess of seven and even eight feet, but their life span is short. They live, on an average, to about the age of twenty-five years. The Masai are a tribe living in Africa. They are a sub-grouping of the Sudanese.
The Eskimos consume much fat and eat whale and other raw sea animals. At certain times of the year they subsist on native plants of the far north. The Laplanders are reindeer-eaters, for the most part, while the Masai consume mare’s milk and drain the blood from animals for sustenance. The Laplanders live beyond the Arctic Circle where vegetation is sparse. Those who live in coastal areas do have occasional access to fish. Gross of body and shortlived they offer mute testimony to the long-term effects of their diet.
It is interesting to note that, for the most part, these meat-eating tribes maintain a high level of health during their short lives probably due to the fact that their lifestyle is basically correct: they live out of doors, the stresses of civilization are practically nonexistent, they are very supportive of one another, they do not have access to foodless foods and are not exposed to other factors known to be destructive of health.
The average person in America today probably consumes two to four times as much protein as he requires for optimum living with many consuming six to eight times as much. This latter figure would apply, in many instances, to executives on the “party-entertainment circuit,” those who make a practice of consuming sixteen-ounce steak and lobster dinners and favor steak and egg breakfasts. (We recently heard about a restaurant that features steaks in excess of 40 ounces!)
It is the considered opinion of your authors that the nausea experienced so often by astronauts in space is due not only to the stress of the occasion but also to the emphasis placed on animal protein in their diets. They would be far better served to eat little or nothing prior to lift-off or to eat a meal high in carbohydrates, and especially if they ate a well-combined and properly constructed meal consisting of fresh ripe fruit plus, perhaps, some lettuce and celery. It has long been known that emotional stress can stop the digestive process for hours during which time all undigested foodstuffs ferment and putrefy giving rise to nausea, diarrhea and other uncomfortable gastric and related disorders such as headaches, insomnia, as well as others. A meal such as we suggest would be largely pre-digested and pose no such problems. Additionally, it would tend to conserve body energy for the exacting tasks at hand. It would tend to “burn clean” and not add clutter to body channels.
A physiologically-correct dietary program such as we suggest would provide ample energy for performance, would conserve body resources, increase mental alertness and permit normal metabolism. It would not occasion the four adverse responses of a high-protein intake, nor would it waste energy resources—energy wasted during the required prolonged digestion and in combatting the fermentation and putrefaction forthcoming when poorly chosen and incorrect foods are eaten at any time, and most particularly, when they are eaten at times of great stress.
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Older People Need Support
- 3. The Path We Travel
- 4. A Contrasting View
- 5. The American Express
- 6. The Hygienic Approach—Case Studies
- Article #1: Inward Time By Alexis Carrel, M.D.
- Article #2: Overnutrition—All About Protein By The Doctors McCarter
- Article #3: Health
- Article #4: Why Exercise?