The worst mistake in the history of the human race

In We were never meant to eat simple or starchy carbohydrates, I mention those three books of Professor Jared Diamond that I have read, in the context of archeological evidence for the ill effects of the grain-based diet that our first farming ancestors adopted some 10000 years ago. This morning, I stumbled upon this article (link to pdf file) by him that was published in Discover magazine in May 1987. He boldly gave it the title The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race (link to Discover magazine’s online version with adds and everything else). It is a short article that presents the issue succinctly, but nonetheless convincingly, I think.

He doesn’t mention anything about insulin and its metabolic effects, (maybe he doesn’t even know anything about the topic). He only discussed archeological evidence and studies. But I think that if you were not completely convinced by my post that the human animal that we are simply shouldn’t be eating simple or starchy carbohydrates at all, then reading Diamond’s article will certainly help in that respect. If you were convinced, (which I truly hope is the case), I have no doubts that you will certainly find his article interesting, maybe even more so in the light of the physiological background presented in mine.

On the same topic, the very extensive work of Dr. Loren Cordain and his team turned him into a world scientific celebrity, and rightly so, I think. His public lecture on the Origins and Evolution of the Western Diet is really incredibly informative, interesting and eye-opening. Naturally, it goes in the same direction, but from a somewhat different angle.

4 thoughts on “The worst mistake in the history of the human race

  1. After being in India for the last three months, we have noticed the effects of a high carbohydrate diet on the population. A lot of the food here is either packaged fried starch or tripled fried “fast food” at Dhabas. Most people, men, women and children are sporting what we call “the Delhi Belly” or a lower adominal paunch from a diet heavy in simple carbohydrates,


    • Yes, it is interesting that insulin resistance always leads to accumulation of fat in the abdominal area, and this, more or less independently of the number of calories or level of activity. It really is purely based on the hormonal imbalance and damaged fat metabolism brought about by consistently consuming large amounts of simple or starchy carbohydrates. Amazingly, but at the same time not surprisingly, absolutely everyone develops insulin resistance through sustained consumption of non-fibrous carbohydrates, even if each body responds slightly differently: some are more sensitive, some less; some take only 30 years to develop diabetes, others 60 or 70. But no matter what, any excess fat in the abdominal area that is not in balance with subcutaneous fat stores all over the rest of the body is a sign of insulin resistance, hormonal imbalance and impaired fat metabolism. I hope you will soon be able to eat fresh, crunchy, raw vegetables and coconut milk smoothies to your heart’s content.


  2. Have you read the book “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn? It covers a lot more than nutrition and talks about mankind lost its way. I would strongly recommend it.



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