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U Chicago researchers studying Paleo diet determined that big brains needed carbs. Dietary carbohydrates in human evolution was important.


Stashed in: Science!, Brain, Brain, Nutrition, Oasis, Evolution, Darwin, Paleontology, Paleo, University of Chicago

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Summary of the finding:

Understanding how and why we evolved such large brains is one of the most puzzling issues in the study of human evolution. A new study argues that carbohydrate consumption, particularly in the form of starch, was critical for the accelerated expansion of the human brain over the last million years. Eating meat may have kick-started the evolution of bigger brains, but cooked starchy foods together with more salivary amylase genes made us smarter still.

Sci Show segment on the real Paleo Diet:

Reddit comment on Starches Consumed Throughout History

Barley – Middle East for 11,000 years
Corn (maize) – North, Central, and South America for 7,000 years
Legumes – Americas, Asia, and Europe for 6,000 years
Millet – Africa for 6,000 years
Oats – Middle East for 11,000 years
Potatoes – South America (Andes) for 13,000 years
Sorghum – East Africa for 6,000 years
Sweet Potatoes – South America and Caribbean for 5,000 years
Rice – Asia for more than 10,000 years
Rye – Asia for 5000 years
Wheat – Near East for 10,000 years

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