Thursday, April 23, 2009

Evolutionary eating

Two million years ago, our hominid ancestors experienced a decrease in the length of the large intestine, and an increase in the length of the small intestine, which forced the early hominids to rely on high-density foods, according to George Armelagos, chair of anthropology.

Armelagos' expertise was cited in a recent article, "Evolutionary Eating," in the journal Today's Dietitian.

"There's no problem during the Paleolithic period, and probably not even in the Neolithic period," Armelagos says in the article, because there was never an abundance of high-density foods available. But with the industrialization of the food system, which happened only a few 100 years ago, "came the abundance of high-density foods, which can create problems for humans in terms of consumption," he notes.

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