The fact that Westen culture is so-obsessed with telling people what they should and shouldn't eat is indicative of the feminized times that we currently live in (even elements of the manosphere promote paleo-diet and juicing). So-called experts tell people what they should eat & drink every day, and the media inevitably reports these studies like a mothering hen telling her children what they should be doing:
- Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables.
- Drink two litres of water.
- Eat no more than six grams of salt. (Six grams! Like anyone has the time to quantify six grams when much of our foods are processed, either partially or totally.)
- Eat lots of fibre.
- Eat 'complex carbohydrates'. (Those experts love their fancy soundin' words! Why can't they just say 'starchy foods' like they did donkeys years ago?)
- Don't drink more than two units of alcohol per day.
- Eat plenty of omega-3 fatty oils.
- Try to eat the 'Mediterranean diet' which has oily fish, pasta, wine and olive oil in it. (This might be a quirk confined to the UK. The English Middle-class snobs champion the Mediterranean diet over their indigenous Northern European diet. The fact that Northern Europeans have an equivalent that is almost identical in nutritional terms (herring, wholemeal bread, beer and butter; all traded in large quantities by the Hansa during the middle-ages) is ignored by these people.)
Now some of you might be expecting me to provide you with an alternative list of what you should and shouldn't be eating, but I'm not going to do that. All I'm going to do is to show you a short list of daily diets over the past two millenia. Nothing more than that. The only point that you should note is that these people were a lot more active than modern Westerners ergo would need more calories per day.
4th Century Soldiers in the Roman Army:
[T]hose of A.D. 360 are not dissimilar in quantity from those of the Principate: 3 pounds of bread, 2 pounds of meat, 2 pints of wine, 1/8 of a pint of oil per man per day.
11th Century Norman Aristocrats in England:
"The Normans were acquisitve, greedy and ambitious; they absorbed the culture of others, whether it was France, Sicily, England or North Africa...It was clear then that if these peoples liked a new food, flavourings or ingredient, they would take it over and make it their own...The earliest extant recipes were written down sometime before 1280, and are likely to have been court favorites passed down from master cook to apprentices over decades, if not for almost 200 years, from the time of the Conqueror...These early recipes show a high degree of gastronomic sophistication...Of course, these dishes were made for the nobility so this is food for only two per cent of the population. Animal protein comprised a third to a half of their consumption, for everyone in a magnate household would have had about a pound of meat of fish per day. The fact that these recipes were written down at all shows that they were used for special celebrations. Here is a description of a selection of them:
noodles, ravioli, oranges, white pancakes, jelly (made from animals, not fruit), sage sauce, nag's tail, white elder (chicken chunks cooked in soup stock), veal stews, poached chicken, chicken, mawmenny (minced chicken and pork poached with wine flavoured with spices including cloves and fried almonds), nut tarts (small pastries with almond milk custard), rose pottage (almond milk flavoured with ground rose petals sprinkled with sugar), and food of Cyprus (almond milk flavoured with ground ginger and pistachio nuts, thickened with rice flour)."
---British Food: An Extraodinary Thousand Years of History, Colin Spencer [Columbia University Press:New York] 2002 (p. 36-41)
14th Century Peasants in England:
The diet of the lower classes seems to have improved during this period, as a part of the general rise in the standard of living following the Black Death. Wage earners during this period were able to negotiate improved rations for their work: one contract from 1397 stipulates a daily ration of two pounds of beef or mutton, four pints of ale, and two pounds of wheat bread.Page 184
14th Century Oarsmen in Venice:
"The oarsmen of the the travellers' galley were free boatmen of the Lagoons and Adriatic fishermen, well paid and well fed, with allowances of between eleven and twelve pounds of biscuit a week, twelve ounces of salt pork, one and a half pounds of beans, nine ounces of cheese and a gallon of wine."
16th Century Soldiers in England:
19th Century Soldiers in the Union Army (during the American Civil War):DAILY UNION ARMY RATION
3 August 1861 –20 June 1864
CAMP AND GARRISON RATION:
Meat: 12 ounces of pork or bacon, or
1 pound and 4 ounces of salt or fresh beef
Bread: 1 pound and 6 ounces of soft bread or flour, or
1 pound of hard bread [hardtack] or
1 pound and 4 ounces of corn meal
To every 100 rations:
15 pounds of beans or peas, and
10 pounds of rice or hominy
10 pounds of green coffee, or
8 pounds of roasted (Or roasted and ground) coffee, o
1 pound and 8 ounces of tea
15 pounds of sugar
4 quarts of vinegar
1 pound and 4 ounces of adamantine, or star candles
4 pounds of soap
3 pounds and 12 ounces of salt
4 ounces of pepper
30 pounds of potatoes. when practicable. and
1 quart of molasses
19th Century Soldiers in the British Army:By the time of the War of 1812 each soldier was being supplied with:
1 lb. of flour,
1 lb. of fresh beef or 9 1/7 oz. of pork,1 3/7 oz. of pork or 6/7 oz. of butter,
3/7 pint of pease,
and 1 1/7 oz. of rice