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Monkeys eat mostly fruit, nuts, seeds and flowers. Is that good enough to get them enough protein? You would think that they would need a lot of energy to swing in the trees and run from predators. Why is nobody popularizing the "Monkey Diet" as the way humans should truly eat in the same way the Paleo diet etc. has been promoted? Anyone try to eat like a monkey? How did it work for you? Are there cultures who eat this way? Are there leaves that monkeys eat that would benefit us? I am just wondering. It seems fairly simple in terms of meal planning.

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And although monkeys are one type of primates, and humans are another type of primate, there are a LOT of types of primate and they eat a variety of things depending on the species. There is no one primate diet. 

However there are those who push a fruititarian diet, and no, it is not recommended. Partly because our digestive tract is not long enough to break down cellulose. 

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19 minutes ago, Teaching3bears said:

By cellulose, do you mean the fibers found in thick leaves?

cellulose is the main constituent in the cell walls of any green plants. all fruits, vegetables, grains contain cellulose

Edited by regentrude
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I remember reading someone who lived in a primate group in the wild and was writing about what he ate.  It was a big primate, but I don't remember which one.  He said he was always hungry.  Of course, that might have been because he didn't eat enough insects.  

Fiber is good for our digestive tract, but we don't get much nutrition from what we can't break down.  So, a primarily fiber diet would be bad.  

 

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3 hours ago, Teaching3bears said:

Why is nobody popularizing the "Monkey Diet" as the way humans should truly eat in the same way the Paleo diet etc. has been promoted?

I imagine it may be an easier sell because Paleolithic man was human. While we share a common ancestor with modern apes, that many millions of years of evolution that changed apes that much was bound to also result in a smidgen of change to the ideal diet or the digestive system.

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13 minutes ago, Tangerine said:

I imagine it may be an easier sell because Paleolithic man was human. While we share a common ancestor with modern apes, that many millions of years of evolution that changed apes that much was bound to also result in a smidgen of change to the ideal diet or the digestive system.

And monkeys, the primates with tails that swing from the trees, aren't even apes.  They are even much, much further removed from us.

Paleolithic man was, as said above, as human as we are.  Homo sapiens.  Same species.  Other primates, not same species - nor are they are in any way our ancestors.  We took totally different evolutionary paths.  Different species of monkeys and apes also eat different diets from each other, for the same reason. 

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55 minutes ago, shawthorne44 said:

Fiber is good for our digestive tract, but we don't get much nutrition from what we can't break down.  So, a primarily fiber diet would be bad.  

 

Undigested fiber feeds the microbiota in the gut and their byproducts and messages help to prevent all kinds of health problems. Here's an article.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/01/science/food-fiber-microbiome-inflammation.html

Ironically, fasting also increases the diversity of beneficial bacteria (!) probably because during a fast, the body converts stored fat to ketones to use as fuel which the beneficial bacteria also seem to like.

A really good book to understand more of this, is Erica and Justin Sonnenburg's The Good Gut. They are two scientists who run a lab at Stanford where they study the microbiome.

Edited by BeachGal
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2 hours ago, Teaching3bears said:

So we eat cellulose in lettuce, kale, dandelion leaves etc. and we are told most people don't eat enough of these foods?

yes, there is cellulose in all fruits and veggies. It passes through our digestive tract undigested which we need for colon health, but we cannot extract nutritional value from it.

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17 minutes ago, displace said:

Plus you should consider humans use food prep (cooking, cutting, etc), which releases a lot more nutrients than raw foods.  So cooking alone, with a more natural diet, probably changed early humans, afaik.

It freed up a lot of time for humans to do other things but forage for food.

It also changed the skull, because cooked foods require less chewing, so the jaws didn't have to be that massive anymore, and that made more room for the brain. Cooking is directly related to humans developing larger brains. Cool stuff.

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Just now, regentrude said:

yes, there is cellulose in all fruits and veggies. It passes through our digestive tract undigested which we need for colon health, but we cannot extract nutritional value from it.

 

The beneficial bacteria convert undigested fiber (more accurately, microbiota-accessible carbs) to short-chain fatty acids which nourish the intestinal wall.

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1 hour ago, regentrude said:

It freed up a lot of time for humans to do other things but forage for food.

It also changed the skull, because cooked foods require less chewing, so the jaws didn't have to be that massive anymore, and that made more room for the brain. Cooking is directly related to humans developing larger brains. Cool stuff.

It really is cool stuff. And every time we learn something new about our evolution, the cooler it gets.

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