What A Gorilla Can Teach Us About Healthy Eating
April 25, 2013 20 Comments
I was walking down my street when I met my new neighbor in the yard next door. Doesn’t she look friendly?
I’m just joshing you.
No, I was at the Bronx zoo with my son over spring break when I took this photo. Before I continue, I know there are people who hate keeping animals in captivity, etc. I happen to like the Bronx zoo because they use the exhibits to talk about habitat conservation and they use their money and influence to make it happen. (if you want to learn more check out: Wildlife Conservation Society.)
Gorillas are close relatives of humans (95% - 99% DNA match) and all you have to do is look at them and you will see the similarities. Can we learn something from how they eat?
Here was one display at the zoo:
This made me giggle, but what is interesting here is fibrous foods. They are vegetarians and up to 25% of their diet is made up of fruits. They eat leaves, too. Their bellies get full on all that fiber that they have to digest.
Well, actually, all I have to do is walk about 20 feet from my desk right now and I will have a hot slice of pizza. Foraging for me means that I have to shove some stuff in my grocery cart (or check the back of the fridge to see what I left there).
Most of us don't fill up on fruits and vegetables and spend a very little amount of time finding our food and preparing it. Of course, gorillas don't have to send their kids to college or fight the afternoon commute.
My thesis here is that our stomachs (if you agree that they are related to gorilla stomachs) are built to feel full when we have added fruits and vegetables. And, taking the time to buy them by foraging at the supermarket or farmer's market is important to our health.
I mean look at that beautiful gorilla! Don't we all want to be as buff as she is?
What do you think of my gorilla hypothesis?
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