Eat meat, it is better for you, especially your teeth

I knew I was right all along, eating meat is far better for you than following the rubbish food pyramid, especially for your teeth:

Prehistoric humans didn’t have toothbrushes. They didn’t have floss or toothpaste, and they certainly didn’t have Listerine. Yet somehow, their mouths were a lot healthier than ours are today.

“Hunter-gatherers had really good teeth,” says Alan Cooper, director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA. “[But] as soon as you get to farming populations, you see this massive change. Huge amounts of gum disease. And cavities start cropping up.”

And thousands of years later, we’re still waging, and often losing, our war against oral disease.

Our changing diets are largely to blame. 

In a study published in the latest Nature Genetics, Cooper and his research team looked at calcified plaque on ancient teeth from 34 prehistoric human skeletons. What they found was that as our diets changed over time — shifting from meat, vegetables and nuts to carbohydrates and sugar — so too did the composition of bacteria in our mouths.

Not all oral bacteria are bad. In fact, many of these microbes help us by protecting against more dangerous pathogens.

However, the researchers found that as prehistoric humans transitioned from hunting and gathering to farming, certain types of disease-causing bacteria that were particularly efficient at using carbohydrates started to win out over other types of “friendly” bacteria in human mouths. The addition of processed flour and sugar during the Industrial Revolution only made matters worse.

Which is all very boring…when what he should have said was eat more meat:

“We brush our teeth and we floss, and we think that we’ve got good oral hygiene. But [we’re] completely failing to deal with the underlying problem,” he says. “Ten years from now, I think we’re going to find that the whole microbiome is a key part of what you get monitored for and treated for.”

As for right now, Cooper suggests that one way to help return your microbiome to a healthier, more balanced state might be to cut out all of those processed carbs and start eating like our ancestors.

Sounds like he’s another fan of the paleo diet.


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  • Lion_ess

    Kellogs was largely responsible for the Food Pyramid adopted by the USDA in the 1950’s. You know, that food pyramid that has 4-6 servings of grains at the top? Ironic, not!

    • Dan

      Good old private enterprise, always influencing government for the better.

      • Patrick

        Far better than leaving Governments’ to their own devices – image it if they were left to make their own decisions: we would end up with welfare for the middle classes, students borrowing money to party & never paying it back, young girls being financally rewarded for having babies. The possibilities are endless, imagine every time an election was due the Government could throw out more sweeteners to encourage people to vote for them.
        Some would say we would end up like Greece, but hey who cares as long as we are getting something for nothing from the “gummint”

        • Dan

          So basically, if government treated the rest of us the way it treats big business, shit would hit the fan? Agreed.

          • Patrick

            No I don’t agree – lets turn that on its head. If Government treated big business the way it treats the rest of us shit would hit the fan. We would all start businesses making a widget, no one wants the widget, there is no market for it but the taxpayer would be obliged to pay me for it.

            Government should be a lot harsher on big business & what you call “the rest of us”. For instance Labour should never have underwritten the Financial Institutions liabilities like they did in 2008. Those businesses should have been left to sink or swim on their own. Now the taxpayer is obliged to pay for the risk taking (sometimes criminal) behaviour of certain individuals. In the same manner “the rest of us” should face the same consequences, the welfare bludging members of society should not be the taxpayers obligation.

            Define welfare bludger? Well that could be the woman who sees breeding multiple kids as a lifestyle choice, the bloke who refuses to work, or it could be the likes of Peter Dunne or Winston Peters, two bludgers of note that have spent their lives on the taxpayers tit & have contributed nothing.

            Politicians bang on about a fairer society – what could be fairer than asking everyone to contribute? Sure not everyone is in a position to contribute financially but currently a large percentage of the population are being supported by the remainder, that is not fair & it is not sustainable.

          • Dan

            Coming from the left-of-centre, I agree that ‘Labour should
            never have underwritten the Financial Institutions liabilities like
            they did in 2008’. Similarly, I don’t like WFF because it distorts the
            real situation with wages in NZ. For many recipents, it is unnecessary, and they’d be better off simply paying less tax, or paying taxes for a more meaningful purpose. For others, it simply runs cover for pay rates which should be higher, and will have to be once WFF goes.

          • Patrick

            Glad we can agree – here’s two stories re WFF.

            I work for a company, there are two of us employed doing similar roles. We have to work Saturdays due to workload – after a few Saturdays my colleague announces he is no longer prepared to work overtime – it is going to affect his WFF payments. Therefore I am left to do the work of two, I do not receive WFF (I have two kids he has seven). Therefore I am directly subsidising him because he has chosen to have a large family & further to this I have to give up my weekend while he enjoys his. Does that sound fair?

            A self employed builder friend of mine pays himself minimum wage to avoid PAYE taxes, all the while accumulating commercial & residential properties through his company. Labour introduced WFF & suddenly he finds he is entitled to $100’s per week because he only earns minimum wage – same cute little rort is worked by farmers. Is that fair?

            What Labour did by introducing WFF was to distort the labour market. where elsewhere business would pay a fair wage for a fair days work in NZ they do not have to because the taxpayer picks up the difference, that is the perversity that we have in NZ. It all came about because Labour were buying votes prior to the 2005 election. Are National any better? Probably not – all Pollies will try to seduce the voters, all the more reason that Government should be given limited scope to do this sort of thing.

          • Dan

            Nobody wins with WFF. There must be better ways to support the those who are our nation’s working poor, and as you point out, it meanwhile provides yet another loophole for self-employed scammers who know how to keep a spare hand in the cookie jar (while probably reserving the right to whine about unemployed ‘bludgers’). Personally, I support the living wage campaign, but I don’t see a realistic way of getting it off the ground while WFF exists.

          • Hazards001

            The only way to support the nations working poor is for the nations working poor to get off their arse and work harder and longer and/or increase there usefulness via upskilling and education. I have no time for people that choose to work in a service station for 40hrs a week and then complain that the guy humping concrete hoses on a construction site for 60 hrs a week makes twice as much as him!

            And Government middle class welfare such as WFF, interest free student loans and exorbitant paid parent leave is bullshit and destroying NZ. The living wage is a complete load of lefty bullshit. Like the stupidity that was brought in with pay parity for teachers. Each year the least qualified are brought up to the most qualified pay level and each year the most qualified get a pay increase justified by their higher qualifications!

            WTF do you think will happen with a living wage set at the ridiculous amount it’s been touted at?

            No irony there…only lefty thinking!

    • Cracker1963

      I read somewhere that the food pyramid was caused by USA Farming Lobby Groups faced with a massive surplus of grain that was intended to be used for Military ‘C-Rations’ during WW2 , and with the War over- not required- hence, the food pyramid was designed to get the population to eat grains- previously avoided by everyone as being tastless & not good for you..

  • surfisup

    Sugar is poison to humans.

    Although, you’d expect evolution to fix this in a few thousand years.

    • Muffin

      ‘a few hundred thousand maybe’

  • Saccharomyces

    “Eat meat, it is better for you” – THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID! Lol!!! Thank you, thank you, I’m here all night! Ba-dum-chiiich