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Is the History We're Taught a Lie? Victorians "Healthier and Lived longer Lives".

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posted on Jan, 10 2013 @ 10:08 AM
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I have long suspected that much of the history we are taught and led to believe is fallacious and deceiving, particularly the notion that we now live longer and much healthier lives than our ancestors thanks to improved nutrition and the healthcare system. I've always believed the opposite to be true, in fact, and that it's actually thanks to our modern diet and our healthcare system that we live shorter and much unhealthier lives.

This article in The Daily Fail had me wondering about this today...

They were healthier than us - and even lived longer, so should we all copy the Victorian diet?

Now I don't know about you, but when I think about the Victorian ages, I automatically imagine (and I quote the first paragraph of the article), "Dickensian scenes of wool mills, orphanages, and workhouses full of malnourished, overworked children, and adults living short, harsh lives.". What I don't imagine are fit, rosy cheeked, well nourished people of all classes living long and healthful lives.

According to the article, it was down to their diet.


Men consumed 4,000-5,000 calories daily, women around 3,000 calories, compared with an average of around 2,200 today. Yet obesity was virtually unknown except in the upper-middle and wealthier classes.


This surprises me, especially since I have read a lot recently about the benefits of fasting and eating less.


In addition, they typically ate eight to ten portions of fruit and vegetables daily, in a diet that contained far higher levels of vitamins and minerals than occur in today's nutrient-depleted, refined and processed foods. 'They also consumed less salt, sugar, alcohol and tobacco.'



Prior to 1900, fruit and vegetables were cheap, as they were mainly grown in allotments or gardens. With the rapid growth of the rail networks, fresh produce could reach the cities quickly. 'Even in London 4lb of freshly picked cherries or a large armful of watercress was a penny,'


I'm surprised that nutrient-rich food was so cheap and readily available to everyone...I've always imagined starving families in Victorian times shivering around a huge pot of cabbage soup!

The article goes on to talk about how the high amount of yeast in their diet seemed to boost their immune system significantly, helping them to fight of infections. A very interesting theory that I've not heard before and will definitely spend some time looking into. I've certainly changed my view of the Victorian times.

The article is worth a look, even if it is The Daily Fail. It certainly makes you wonder if we're taught falsehoods about our history so that our faith and trust are invested in the healthcare system and "The Food Pyramid"....




posted on Jan, 10 2013 @ 10:12 AM
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Have not read your link yet but.....Man, your avatar is awesome



posted on Jan, 10 2013 @ 10:14 AM
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reply to post by minkmouse
 


Haha! It's mesmerising isn't it. I keep waiting for it to swallow...



posted on Jan, 10 2013 @ 10:17 AM
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It could go hang gliding with those ears



posted on Jan, 10 2013 @ 10:17 AM
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How did they consume 4,000-5,000 calories a day?

I don't believe it



posted on Jan, 10 2013 @ 10:24 AM
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reply to post by GrandStrategy
 


It could have been down to the amount of fats they ate, seeing as fat is more calorie dense. The article mentions how they'd eat stone ground bread with dripping spread onto it and a handful of watercress. Calorie dense and highly nutritious.



posted on Jan, 10 2013 @ 10:35 AM
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yah but you have to think about the fact that most people then did 10x the amount of work a normal person does now days.. my uncle is a fishing boat captain and when he was a first mate and worked super hard he was like 100% muscle but he would go to taco bell and eat like 12 big tacos and he would eat like 3-4 times as much that I would eat but was much better shape then me.

Of course he worked 14hr days sometimes longer probably and doing hard manual labor the entire time, you have to have that type of calorie intake or you would probably die from lack of nutrition.



posted on Jan, 10 2013 @ 10:36 AM
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One thing you are not taking into account is the amount of physical work they did every day. Even housework would of been a very active and labor intensive work. I think all that exercise helped make the difference. That, and the fact that everything they had was made from scratch. Now, we are nothing but processed foods and sedentary lives.



posted on Jan, 10 2013 @ 11:18 AM
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Originally posted by Silenceisalie
One thing you are not taking into account is the amount of physical work they did every day. Even housework would of been a very active and labor intensive work. I think all that exercise helped make the difference. That, and the fact that everything they had was made from scratch. Now, we are nothing but processed foods and sedentary lives.


I think you've hit the nail on the head there.

The only exception I'd take with the article is them consuming less alcohol than we do today.

Everybody drank Small Beer.


Before public sanitation, cholera and other water-transmitted diseases were a significant cause of death. Because alcohol is toxic to most water-borne pathogens, and because the process of brewing any beer from malt involves boiling the water, which also kills them, drinking small beer instead of water was one way to escape infection. It was not uncommon for workers (including sailors) who engaged in heavy physical labour to drink more than 10 Imperial pints (5.7 litres) of small beer during a workday to maintain their hydration level. This was usually provided free as part of their working conditions, it being recognised that maintaining hydration was essential for optimal performance.


Weaker than we tend to drink today, but ten pints is a fair amount unless you don't intend to do any thing else for the rest of the day.



posted on Jan, 10 2013 @ 11:54 AM
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reply to post by KatieVA
 

I started finding this out years ago, when I started doing geneaological research on mine and others family trees. I kept running across all these people who lived long lives. At first, I thought it was a fluke, and they were a minority, but the more research I've done, the more I believe it's true. We've had the proverbial wool pulled over our eyes.

S&F for bringing this to the table.



posted on Jan, 10 2013 @ 12:18 PM
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Originally posted by GrandStrategy
How did they consume 4,000-5,000 calories a day?

I don't believe it


Simple: Pork Lard. That was staple way of frying frying almost anything with. Still recall my mother cooking the fat out of the pork and safing it for spreads, for cooking and baking.



posted on Jan, 10 2013 @ 12:34 PM
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Originally posted by Guenter

Originally posted by GrandStrategy
How did they consume 4,000-5,000 calories a day?

I don't believe it


Simple: Pork Lard. That was staple way of frying frying almost anything with. Still recall my mother cooking the fat out of the pork and safing it for spreads, for cooking and baking.


Yes, this. And people back then weren't afraid of fat - unfortunately now we've been conditioned to believe fat is bad. Obviously trans fats are never going to be good for us but animal fats and fats like coconut oil are amazingly good for our health.

Also, I can see the point being made about people working for much longer and much harder, but not everyone worked in a job involving hard physical labour and I imagine the vast majority of women would perhaps stay at home with the children.



posted on Jan, 10 2013 @ 12:56 PM
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Originally posted by GrandStrategy
Also, I can see the point being made about people working for much longer and much harder, but not everyone worked in a job involving hard physical labour and I imagine the vast majority of women would perhaps stay at home with the children.


Also people back then would not take the car around the block just to get one can of soda and chips. People would actually WALK. More regulated life that began at sun up and ended at sundown. Fixed holidays. A "predictable" routine in activities and so forth. Additionally all food was natural. No feedlot pigs and cows. And of course a decent amount of normal clean alcohols to ensure not many bugs sit in your digestive system. Add to this the seasonal intake of vitamins. Each plant/fruit/veggi has its own harvesting time. Pickling of fruits and veggies. And the list goes on.
Kitchen waste was "recycled" by being send to the local farms for the pigs. So 6 month later the pork you ate was your old kidchen waste in essence.
Just look at us today when we go "tourist" into a less developed country and how fast we begin to "hug the toilette" if we "dare" eat outside the resort hotel.
Personally i never had this problem, then again i never stopped eating the "old fashioned way".



posted on Jan, 10 2013 @ 01:05 PM
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Originally posted by BritofTexas
I think you've hit the nail on the head there.

The only exception I'd take with the article is them consuming less alcohol than we do today.

Everybody drank Small Beer.

Weaker than we tend to drink today, but ten pints is a fair amount unless you don't intend to do any thing else for the rest of the day.


It is complex machinery that forced us from abstainign from alcohol before work is over. WHile alcohol consumed just for the "fun" as today gets one drunk quickly. Alcohol consumed while doing manual labour does hardly a thing. Sure try sitting all day on your butt while consuming 5L beer and try to then do computer programming. Chances that a canary pecks better words on the keyboard than your fingers becomes obvious. But with manual albour its not a problem to drink, stay hydrated and a bit "happy" to enjoy your work. Additionally one has to look at thing that a large number of people actually worked in the jobs that they had chosen. Carpenters did became carpenters because they loved to work with wood and so forth.
It in essenc ethe sum of all the "little" things that enhanced their lives.



posted on Jan, 10 2013 @ 03:28 PM
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Originally posted by Silenceisalie
One thing you are not taking into account is the amount of physical work they did every day. Even housework would of been a very active and labor intensive work. I think all that exercise helped make the difference. That, and the fact that everything they had was made from scratch. Now, we are nothing but processed foods and sedentary lives.


BINGO






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