Are Humans Designed To Be Carnivores Or Herbivores Based On Digestion Mechanism?

Amid the growing interest of people in vegetarian or vegan diet, some experts have raised questions if we are really fit for such zero meat approach. Did humans come from plant-loving primate species and are returning to what its ancestors previously loved to eat?

Nora Gedgaudas, a keto and ancestral nutrition specialist, provides a clear answer to that. In a recent article posted on Bulletproof, she explains the physiological makeup and nutritional requirements of early humans.

Comparing modern human physiology to its ape ancestors, Gedgaudas said chimps’ digestion heavily relied on bacterially-based, fermentative processing of plant-based diet. However, humans lack the ability to fully extract nutrients.

“The digestive systems of pure herbivores are simply different from ours,” she said. “We instead rely on the extraction of nutrients from the animals we consume.”

That’s the answer. Even the humans who first walked on Earth enjoyed the blood, meat and organs of animals. 

“Our human digestive system much more closely resembles that of a carnivore than any herbivore,” Gedgaudas said. “Our very physiological design clearly indicates that animal products are an integral part of human health.”

Early humans also consumed plants. However, they were wild, largely fibrous and hard to digest. Human ancestors ate raw plant tubers and roots, which were not digestible and lacked proper nutrient content and essential fatty acids.

Gedgaudas said humans evolved by not relying on plant-based foods. She emphasized that “our species was never, ever even close to being vegetarian, much less vegan.”

Vegetarianism and veganism are modern-day experimental diet inventions. Such approach never existed even for humans’ most distant primate cousins. 

“Vegetables were also a food having a far greater cost-to-benefit ratio on multiple levels, also taking into account the relative potential toxicity of wild plants and their comparatively poor digestibility, nutrient availability and caloric value — even cooked,” Gedgaudas said.

Plant-based food can only be considered as a secondary food source for early humans, Gedgaudas said. Honey used to be among the few natural organic food consumed on early Earth. Fruits were also much smaller and mostly seasonal during the time of human ancestors compared today. 

Vegetable More and more people are turning to plant-based diets from being meat lovers. Pixabay