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Food and Western Disease. Health and Nutrition from an Evolutionary Perspective

  • ID: 2222784
  • Book
  • December 2009
  • 368 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Nutrition science is a highly fractionated, contentious field with rapidly changing viewpoints on both minor and major issues impacting on public health. With an evolutionary perspective as its basis this exciting book provides a framework by which the discipline can finally be coherently explored.

By looking at what we know of human evolution and disease in relation to the diets that humans enjoy now and prehistorically the book allows the reader to begin to truly understand the link between diet and disease in the Western world and move towards a greater knowledge of what can be defined as the optimal human diet.

-          Written by a leading expert

-          Covers all major diseases, including cancer, heart disease, obesity, stroke and dementia

-          Details the benefits and risks associated with the Palaeolithic diet

-          Draws conclusions on key topics including sustainable nutrition and the question of healthy eating

This important book provides an exciting and useful insight into this fascinating subject area and will be of great interest to nutritionists, dietitians and other members of the health professions. Evolutionary biologists and anthropologists will also find much of interest within the book. All university and research establishment where nutritional sciences, medicine, food science and biological sciences are studied and taught should have copies of this title.
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Foreword by
Loren Cordain.


1 Introduction.

1.1 Why do we get sick?

1.2 We are changing at pace with the continental drift.

1.3 Are we adapted for milk and bread?

2 Expanding our perspective.

2.1 The perspective of academic medicine.

2.2 The concept of normality.

2.3 Genetics.

2.4 Dietary guidelines.

3 Ancestral human diets.

3.1 Available food.

3.2 Nutritional composition.

4 Modern diseases.

4.1 Ischaemic heart disease (coronary heart disease).

4.2 Stroke.

4.3 Atherosclerosis.

4.4 Type 2 diabetes.

4.5 Overweight and obesity.

4.6 Insulin resistance.

4.7 Hypertension (high blood pressure).

4.8 Dyslipidaemia (blood lipid disorders).

4.9 Heart failure.

4.10 Dementia.

4.11 Cancer.

4.12 Osteoporosis.

4.13 Rickets.

4.14 Iron deficiency.

4.15 Autoimmune diseases.

5 Risks with the Palaeolithic diet.

5.1 Haemochromatosis.

5.2 Iodine deficiency.

5.3 Exaggerated drug effects.

6 Viewpoint summary.

6.1 Evolutionary medicine instead of vegetarianism?

6.2 Traditional populations are spared from overweight and cardiovascular disease.

6.3 Insulin resistance is more than abdominal obesity and diabetes.

6.4 Non–Europeans are affected the hardest.

6.5 Foreign proteins in the food.

6.6 Effects of an ancestral diet.

6.7 The ancestral diet: a new concept.

7 Healthy eating.

7.1 Non–recommended foods?

7.2 Recommended foods.

7.3 Variation.

7.4 Compromises.




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Staffan Lindeberg
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