Monday, January 22, 2007

Unsure What to Eat? Ask an Ape.

tidbits that tantalize

Feel Like Bananas

For Lunch?

The grunts were confusing - at first. Then, slowly, they began to come into focus. Your instructor was a great help, with his hand gestures and acrobatic pantomime movements - full of enthusiasm, a real take charge type who made sure everyone was right there in the thick of things. Still... it was going to take a while to get used to the after dinner grooming routine and, admittedly, your chest thumps were weak and lacked the rhythm of the more advanced students.

In an odd evolutionary throwback, it appears the apes may have much to teach the humans about a healthy lifestyle, particularly when it comes to diet. Researchers at King's College Hospital in England recently participated in a study at the Paignton Zoo. Nine volunteers - yes, people really volunteer for this type thing - agreed to live in tents next to the ape house and share the ape's dietary habits for twelve days.

The diet consisted of raw fruits and vegetables, as well as honey, nuts and water. The purpose of the study was to assess the impact of diet on key health related parameters: cholesterol and blood pressure. In England, 50% of the coronary heart disease deaths each year are related to high cholesterol.

Volunteers ate "lavishly," consuming up to 11 pounds of raw fruits and vegetables each day. The diet was devised to eliminate modern day dietary evils - processed foods and saturated fats - and to mimic the diet of the ape, our closet relative. Ah, just imagine what you could do with 11 pounds of bananas each day...

The results of the short experiment were striking. One volunteer, a 36-year-old man, had led a devout veggie-phobe lifestyle. However, after being convinced that fruits and vegetables actually were consumable, he succumbed to the menu at the Banana Bistro and found his life quickly transformed. In a mere two weeks he trimmed over 12 pounds off his 266-pound weigh-in heft, reduced his blood pressure and lowered his cholesterol by an amazing 20 percent. Asked about his experience with bananas he stated, "I just never realized those skinny yellow things were food."

Zoos around the world are hailing the study as a major breakthrough in dietary science. They pledge to continue to study the relevance of animal diets and will soon be offering weeklong packages for dieters. The apes have also come out in favor of the trend, saying they look forward to spending some quality time with their homo sapien cousins - they do, however, forewarn that certain minimum standards of chest-thumping proficiency will be enforced.

To read more about the study, see this from ScienceDaily.


Blogger Devon Ellington said...

VEry funny -- and a good reminder. I tend to forget about bananas. I'm allergic to most citrus, but the nutrients in bananas, though very different, would do me good!

10:40 AM  
Blogger Devon Ellington said...

Tim -- yes -- I had the Snap Live on my blog, but it awas getting on my last nerve, so I turned it off! ;)

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Tim,

Head on over to and get your blog listed on "the great wall of blogs" - more people need to learn about all medical stuff you write about here.

Suzanne Lieurance
The Working Writer's Coach

9:22 AM  
Blogger sylvia c. said...


Does banana bread count?
Just kidding.

Thanks for the friendly-reminder to
"eat our fruits and veggies."

And thanks for the 'always-so-interesting' topics.

Sylvia C.

11:40 AM  

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