Has (or "have"? Pardon my English.... ) any of you seen the news the last days about heart disease findings in 3,500 years old Egyptian mummies?


It's kind of interesting that some people who usually claim that 'humans always ate meat' now claim that eating meat can't cause heart disease, because these Egyptians hardly ate meat, but primarily lived on a plant based diet. Why is that that humans back then, according to media, suddenly were mainly vegetarians/vegans - when a study shows that they had health problems?

Many humans have had easy access to animal products for about 10,000 years - since agriculture was established. They didn't have to hunt for animals anymore since they kept animals on their small farms. Others were actively hunting long before that - in order to keep themselves and their families alive.

Humans as a species also dramatically increased their intake of (refined) grains around 10,000 years ago. And those few who were mummified weren't people living on an average diet anyway - they were usually (if not always) wealthy people with slaves/servants (read: little exercise). One of the mummies in this study had been a princess. As someone pointed out, "the upper class has been historically lazy". The lower class couldn't afford mummification.

They also often had a high salt intake, since salt was used to preserve foods.

Some of these his findings were discussed eg. in this article from last year. Only 20 mummies were referred to back then, and they confirm that "scientists acknowledge that the people who got mummified came from the upper strata of ancient Egyptian society". Also: the mummies, when alive, most likely ate "large amounts of bread, cheese, red meat and poultry, as well as honey and cakes made with butter."

An article from this year also points our that "the subjects the team studied belonged to an elite class" and that Dr. Thomas' team still hope to find some "less-exalted" mummies to scan. But personally, I wouldn't be surprised if they'll find that humans from much earlier periods had lifestyle/diet related diseases, simply because many groups in many periods have had very unbalanced diets.

Our ancestors didn't know what we know today about nutrition. Because some of them had to rely on meat for survival - and because bad habits die hard, we can assume that many of those could afford it continued an intake of animal products even when they didn't need to consume flesh for survival anymore. Meat related diseases in human ancestors may have been around for ten thousands of years.

Besides - nobody really insists that atherosclerosis is caused only by intake of animal products.