100 Million Years Of Food Summary By Stephen Le

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100 Million Years of Food is an exploration into the evolution of food and eating behaviors throughout our history.

This book takes readers on a journey, starting from prehistory to our modern day diet and lifestyle.

Author Stephen Le examines the major scientific discoveries that helped shape our dietary habits and provides valuable insight into how these changes have impacted our health.

You'll also discover critical tips for navigating a nutritious diet that works well with your lifestyle.

Whether you're a nutrition or paleo enthusiast or just interested in learning about food trends, this book can help you make informed decisions about what to eat for maximum health and wellbeing!

100 Million Years Of Food

Book Name: 100 Million Years Of Food (What Our Ancestors Ate and Why It Matters Today)

Author(s): Stephen Le

Rating: 3.9/5

Reading Time: 17 Minutes

Categories: Health & Nutrition

Author Bio

Stephen Le is a well-renowned professor of Biology and holds a PhD in biological anthropology from UCLA.

As a professor at the University of Ottawa, he has gained immense knowledge on the subject matter and his expertise has been exemplified through his number one bestseller: 100 Million Years Of Food.

This captivating book not only examines the history and evolution of food, but it also delves into the nuances of what was eaten, how our bodies react to certain ingredients, and why some vegetables, fruits and animals are now extinct or difficult to find today.

With an incredible amount of research put into this work, Stephen Le's book clearly stands out from others in its class.

Exploring Human Evolution to Figure Out What We Should Be Eating Today

Human Evolution

Throughout our long and complicated history with food, there have been many lessons we should have learned.

Unfortunately, due to industrialization and the introduction of processed and easily accessible foods, much of this knowledge has been lost.

It’s time to look back 100 million years to understand why humans developed the dietary patterns that they did, and how those habits can apply to us today.

From tree-dwelling ancestors adapting to changing environments due to climate or resources, to trends of wealthy populations becoming sicker than their poorer peers, this journey of discovery aims to educate us on exactly what it is that is wrong with our current eating habits– and how we can begin to make improvements.

Delve into the now-lost secrets of forgotten ancestors for tips on why you should incorporate bugs into your diet every now and then; learn more about a mysterious illness brought upon by luxury lifestyles; find out why dairy products are not as “healthy” as once thought–all so you can start making positive choices for a healthier life!

Evolution Has Gifted Us with a Variety of Food Choices, but We Must Use Them Wisely

The diet choices of our earliest ancestors, who lived approximately 100 million years ago, wouldn’t be suitable for us if we were to try and emulate it today.

Primarily eating insects, our ancient relatives had enzymes that allowed them to break down exoskeletons made from chitin – something we can no longer digest.

Additionally, bugs might trigger allergies and also produce toxins.

Fast forward 60 million years and the climate starts to cool which results in the emergence of the first fruit-bearing trees.

Due to losing the ability to synthesize vitamin C, the only way our ancestors could survive the change was by getting enough of it from fruit instead.

Sadly for actor Ashton Kutcher, he learned no matter how much nutritious foods can be found in a person’s surroundings, it’s not wise to rely too heavily on any one type of food – even if it is recommended by an influential figure like Steve Jobs.

After just one month following his famous tech-CEO’s fruitarian diet he ended up hospitalized with pancreatic issues due to overconsumption of fructose contained in fruit alone.

Our Changing Diet: How Meat Fueled the Evolution of Bigger Brains and Shorter Lifespans

Our Changing Diet

Meat has been an integral part of the human story since our ancestors left the trees two million years ago.

We started hunting and gathering, changing our diets to include larger amounts of meat than ever before.

This was key in driving rapid brain development – the size of our forebears’ brains doubled in just one million years due to all the fatty acids in meat providing perfect fuel for growth.

Meat consumption has had benefits, such as giving humans an evolutionary edge with more coordinated hunters leading to greater chances of survival and reproduction, but it can also come at a cost.

High levels of protein from consuming too much meat can lead to toxic nitrogen compounds forming, blocking up arteries with cholesterol when we have too much and creating hormonal imbalances when essential sex hormones like testosterone and estrogen get thrown off balance because of excessive doses.

Overall, it is clear that meat has played a major role throughout human history – both its benefits and costs must be taken into account as we continue to explore how our diets have shaped us into who we are today.

From Sacred Fish to Milk: Eating Alternatives to Red Meat Throughout History

It’s interesting to learn that some cultures made the conscious decision to embrace meat substitutes, even when they weren’t always healthy.

In many places where meat was hard to come by, locals relied on fish as an accessible and nutritious source of protein.

That’s smart since fatty fish contain omega-3s, Vitamin D and other beneficial nutrients, but not all cultures took the bait – some viewed it as a sacred animal living in a sacred element.

Milk also emerged as an important alternative around 8,000 years ago, with Northern European countries among the first to consume it.

On paper, milk provides innumerable benefits and helps increase growth in children.

However, its consumption has also been linked to decreased bone health: The nations with the highest dairy intake have some of the highest rates of hip fractures in the world.

Furthermore, people from regions without much history of dairy consumption absorb calcium more efficiently than those who drink a lot of milk – which could lead to dangerously elevated calcium levels and even potentially raise chances of developing prostate cancer.

Why Humans Turned to Eating Plants When Other Food Sources Became Scarce

Humans Turned to Eating Plants

Humans only began consuming plants out of necessity.

12,000 years ago, the world’s food options were scarce, as large mammals such as mammoths were overhunted and pushed to extinction.

With limited sources of nutrition available, humans turned to agriculture as a way to begin growing their own food sources – primarily plants.

Plants offer more than just sustenance; they also contain chemicals that can act as defense mechanisms against predators in the form of toxins and irritants like lectins and cucurbitacin.

In fact, some plants even contain one of the most lethal poisons known to mankind: ricin in the seeds of castor oil plant.

Thankfully, humans have been able to breed out these dangerous compounds from many plants so that they can be safely consumed.

It’s clear that humans only adopted plant-based diets due to limited food sources and not by choice.

Fortunately, modern medicine has enabled us to find other ways of fueling our bodies with what we need!

Modern Lifestyle Decisions Can Have Dire Consequences for Our Health

Rapid changes in our diet and lifestyle have had unexpected consequences, with the emergence of new diseases.

This is especially true in places where industrialized food processing has become the norm.

As humans have had little time to adapt, they have been presented with a range of illnesses that would not have been seen before.

Take for instance, beriberi and pellagra which emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries respectively.

Both these diseases were caused by deficiencies in certain vitamins and linked to refined foods such as polished rice and industrially milled corn respectively – foods which poorer people would not have had access to before without refinement processes being available.

But it isn’t just about processed food; changes to other aspects of our environment can also play a role.

For example, asthma and food allergies are on the rise, likely due to us spending more time indoors and having reduced exposure to sunlight – resulting in a lack of vitamin D that affects pregnant women who give birth to children more prone to allergies.

Additionally, some believe that our overly clean environments mean that children’s immune systems don’t ‘learn’ how to handle harmless proteins properly, bolstering cases of asthma through ‘hygiene hypothesis’.

Is Eating Fewer Calories Really the Key to a Longer, Healthier Life?

Healthier Life

Contrary to popular belief, having a few extra pounds might not actually be so bad for you.

Research has found that people who were classified as being slightly overweight (having a body mass index between 25 and 30) actually lived longer than those of normal weight.

This could be because they have more fat to protect them from toxins and more energy to compensate for any weight loss due to illness.

And while there is definitely an undeniable link between caloric intake and your weight, it is not as strong as many think.

Studies have shown that slim, modern-day hunter-gatherers consume about the same amount of calories as contemporary Americans, but obviously with proportions that are much healthier.

The only difference being in their varying caloric consumption throughout the seasons.

Simply put – counting your total calories without consideration of what type of food they come from is basically futile if all the calories are from unhealthy food sources like soda and sugar snacks.

So if you’re looking to get your weight under control or maintain it, it’s important to consider the types of foods you eat and make healthy eating choices!

Making Healthy Eating Decisions: Knowing Your Own Needs and Embracing a Communal Mindset

It’s important to remember that dietary needs vary from person to person when it comes to determining what is healthy for you.

For example, a 40 year old drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may benefit from its heart-health benefits, while someone of Asian descent may be more prone to become highly intoxicated and suffer adverse effects.

Similarly, teenage girls who eat too much meat might reach sexual maturity earlier than normal, but this isn’t an issue for elderly women so they would benefit from eating more meat.

Nevertheless, there are considerable benefits to making meals more of a communal activity like they used to be.

Eating in groups strengthens community bonds and ensures that everyone gets their fair share.

This doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming either; sharing meals with friends could help achieve this or visiting pay-what-you can restaurants which encourage people to look out for one another’s wellbeing.

Through such actions we can reclaim the importance of eating together, rather than letting it become a solitary affair.

Wrap Up

At the end of 100 Million Years of Food, it’s clear that humans have evolved a lot over the past few million years and our diets have changed with us.

Studies have shown us that there’s not one “perfect diet” that applies to everyone and so it is up to individuals to find what works best for them.

But, if you are looking for some tips on how to have a healthier lifestyle in our modern times, one actionable advice given in this book is to consider selling your car – or using any other form of physical transportation – as a way of improving your overall health.

Many studies have shown that those who opt for physical activities such as walking, running or biking tend to enjoy better health than those who rely solely on cars.

So next time you contemplate hopping into your car, think about taking a different route instead!

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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