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unna 01-12-2013 12:12 AM

Ibn Khaldun's Low-Carb Observations (1332-1406)
 
I'm currently reading some Arabic philosophy for a project I'm working on. I ran across this interesting piece of low-carb information about a "healthy diet" by Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) in his discussion of "Food and Its Influence Upon Human Beings":

"It should be known that not all the temperate zones have an abundance of food, nor do all their inhabitants lead a comfortable life. In some parts, the inhabitants enjoy an abundance of grain, seasonings, wheat, and fruits, because the soil is well balanced and good for plants and there is an abundant civilization. And then, in other parts, the land is strewn with rocks, and no seeds or herbs grow at all. There, the inhabitants have a very hard time. Instances of such people are the inhabitants of the Hijaz and the Yemen, or the veiled Sinhajah who live in the desert of the Maghrib [...] All of them lack all grain and seasonings. Their nourishment and food is milk and meat.

[...]

In spite of this, the desert people who lack grain and seasonings are found to be healthier in body and better in character than the hill people who have plenty of everything. Their complexions are clearer, their bodies are cleaner, their figures more perfect and better, their characters less intemperate, and their minds keener as far as knowledge and perception are concerned [...]."

unna 01-12-2013 12:20 AM

The "seasonings" he refers to could include sugar or honey (I'm not sure).

Besides grains and wheat, he also names fruit as existing in the hill regions.

Then, he finds that the desert people who must live off of milk and meat are the healthiest in both mind and body.

Of course he doesn't really know why they are more healthy, but he does seem to think it has something to do with the fact that they are not able to eat grains, fruits, or seasonings.

Anyway, there are many historical texts that recognize low-carb eating as leading to a better figure, even though they couldn't explain why. Most explanations are: If a man eats the meat of a strong animal, he will also start to become strong like the animal. I suppose it is similar to the wisdom "You are what you eat".

girondet 01-12-2013 04:28 AM

Very interesting. Thanks for this.

clackley 01-12-2013 05:55 AM

Very interesting! It appears that we were suffering the effects of high carb long ago and if was being noticed.

Taxbane 01-12-2013 08:33 AM

Pretty cool stuff.

biancasteeplechase 01-12-2013 08:51 AM

Fascinating - thanks for posting it!

Phranquie 01-12-2013 08:54 AM

Good post. It is fascinating to find the benefits of LC eating go so far back.

rubidoux 01-12-2013 12:19 PM

So interesting! Thanks for sharing!

lowcarbella 01-12-2013 12:39 PM

amazing!!

MaryMary 01-12-2013 05:54 PM

Thank you for sharing this!

unna 01-13-2013 12:15 AM

I'm glad everyone enjoyed this - I know I found it interesting!

I'll make sure to share other interesting tidbits of information as I run across them.

thealything 01-23-2013 07:53 PM

this is awesome, thank you!


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