Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Recent Interviews

Here are two recent interviews I'd like to share with readers:

Danny Lennon of Sigma Nutrition

Danny Lennon is an evidence-based nutrition coach who publishes a podcast called Sigma Nutriton Radio.  We had a nice conversation about why we overeat, including energy homeostasis and the personal economics of food choice.  The podcast has a high production value.  You can listen to the interview here.

Angelo Coppola of Latest in Paleo

Angelo Coppola and I hit it off recently due to our mutual interests in gardening and self-reliance.  We recently had a nice conversation about hunter-gatherer dietary patterns, the personal economics of food choice, US diet history, legumes and the Paleo diet, and how much meat we should eat.  You also get to hear a personal story about the only existing video of me as a child (that I'm aware of).  This one also has a high production value.  You can listen to it here.


tomR said...

About those Blue Zones that were mentioned by Angelo: it's pretty clear that they are doing something wrong. Although they longevity is high, their performance doesn't look well.

Okinawa has the lowest IQ scores in Japan:

Sardinian PISA scores are underwhelming as compared to average in Italy.

Why is it so - weaker genetics? Or does their lifestyle has some tradeofs? What could be these? Perhaps low-calorie diet, while being good for longevity doesn't support brain needs well? Or in the other way - perhaps first learning and then a heavy intellectual work at the edge of knowledge or technology is very stressful and stress hinders lognevity - so it's better to be a gardener, or a sheppard for the maximum lifespan? Or perhaps other Japanese eating more fish, less purble sweet potatoes get more DHA, at the cost of longevity?

Perhaps we need to stuff ourselves with lots of fat and cholesterol like some biohackers do/did, to build the fastest brain possible? Or use some anabolic producsts - eggs for choline, creatine to achieve better brain function, that could result in lower lifespan?

On the bright side some of their customs like a lot of movement are confirmed to be good for your brain. But is this custom transferrable to the areas with high air pollution?

Or perhaps some of these populations (island ones, not Adventists) they have different genetics - explaining lower scores and higher lognevity (eg. smaller body sizes). If so are their customs relevant to people o populations that are very different - eg. very tall, with better scores?

helenn said...

Thanks for these Stephan. Looking forward to the publication of 'The Hungry Brain.'

Unknown said...


is it possible that it just has to do with education? They live on a small island and don't seem to take life too seriously.

Also re: Okinawa - the modern Okiwanan diet is not the traditional diet that brought up the eldest generations.

It's possible low calorie is not good for the brain, however, perhaps it is also equally about plant based diets and a plant based diet with proper calories and supplemental eggs + fish would fix this issue (if it is one of diet).

Unknown said...

Along with tomR's comment on brain development, you and Angelo discussed human breast milk having low protein content. Which is true, especially when compared to other mammal milks. On the otherhand the carbohydrate content is fairly high for mammals, around 40% and fat makes up the rest. Fourty percent is significantly below the 60% to 70% found in the Kitavan and Okonawan diets. If human breast milk is optimized for brain development in infants, then low fat and high carbohydrates would not be. Otherwise there would be no reason for the extend breast feeding in humans and chimpanzees. Such a burden on mothers would be maladaptive.

The protein content in human breast milk is suboptimal for muscular and skeletal growth, which formula feeding demonstrates. This low protein content is a evloututionary strategy to slow the growth of children, to slow their growth to extend early childhood and keep the carrying burden and calorie burden low on the mothers. This allows more time and calorie resources for brain development. As the children are weaned, the protein content increases and growth rates increase. Eating less that 10% protein on a varied whole food diet is actually very hard. The majority of hunter-gatherers ate significantly more. Only isolated populations on islands or the Kung People pushed into the marginal lands by bigger and more sophisticated Bantu tribes ate lower amounts.

Paul said...

Imagime life on Okinawa in 1915. Iq tests are highly correlated to written skills and level of education. I can imagine the biggest concern at the time was getting enough to eat not going to school