I found this to be such an interesting story, so I had to share. This is such a unique group of people who have long lived on the frozen tundra of Northern Canada in the Arctic. They eat primarily meat and fat, very little vegetables or fruit, and yet they are healthier than any other group of people. How can that be? Somehow through this unique diet they have little to any known diseases known to modern man….next to zero heart disease, cancer or diabetes. Wow. That is pretty amazing. Some people refer to them as the Inuit Paradox.
Their traditional diet consists of fats (monounsaturated) and proteins, yet it contains no sugar at all. Their food mostly comes from seals, walrus, Bowhead whale, caribou and fish. Because of the harsh climate of the Arctic that they live in, it is not possible for them to consistently grow any forageable plant matter, so their diet is extremely low in carbohydrates and very high in fat and animal protein.
35-40% of their calories come from protein and 50-75% come from fat. They eat more fat than protein because of this absence of carbohydrates in their diet. Due to the absence of them, the protein they consume must be broken down in the liver through gluconeogenesis, which is utilized as an energy source. Overdoing this process on the body can cause liver issues, so they have to be careful to consume more fat than protein. Otherwise it will cause them to have excessive levels of urea.
The fats they consume are from wild caught game and are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which is why their diet doesn’t pose the same health risks as our typical diet (which is high in omega-6). The one green they do eat occasionally is kelp, which provides them with much needed vitamin C. A staple in their diet is seal meat (especially the blubber), which is very high in vitamins A, D and E and selenium. These are notoriously great antioxidants, preventing cardiovascular disease among other things.
So, what a story! However, I’m not suggesting we all move to the Arctic and give up our precious healthy carbs for seal blubber, but it struck me as amazing that they are so healthy in this long sustaining diet…that is basically CARB FREE. They are certainly unique in many ways already and a beautiful people with interesting customs, but through this process of how they eat, they are somehow void of the plague of diseases and cancers that the rest of the world struggles with. Don’t try too hard to be like the Inuit. I would say it’s impossible unless you move there. ( :