publication . Article . Other literature type . 2015

The Importance of Dietary Carbohydrate in Human Evolution

Hardy, K.; Jennie Brand-Miller; Brown, K. D.; Thomas, M. G.; Copeland, L.;
Open Access
  • Published: 01 Sep 2015 Journal: The Quarterly Review of Biology, volume 90, pages 251-268 (issn: 0033-5770, eissn: 1539-7718, Copyright policy)
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Country: United Kingdom
Abstract
We propose that plant foods containing high quantities of starch were essential for the evolution of the human phenotype during the Pleistocene. Although previous studies have highlighted a stone tool-mediated shift from primarily plant-based to primarily meat-based diets as critical in the development of the brain and other human traits, we argue that digestible carbohydrates were also necessary to accommodate the increased metabolic demands of a growing brain. Furthermore, we acknowledge the adaptive role cooking played in improving the digestibility and palatability of key carbohydrates. We provide evidence that cooked starch, a source of preformed glucose, g...
Subjects
Medical Subject Headings: food and beverages
free text keywords: human evolution, diet, carbohydrate, preformed glucose, salivary amylase genes, copy number variation.
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