Dr. Dean Ornish answered:
Our genes have hardly changed during the past hundred years, but our diet and lifestyle have altered considerably. Dr. Donald Coffey is Professor of urology, oncology, pathology, and molecular biology and Director of research at the Brady Urological Institute at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. In a major review article, Dr. Coffey wrote:
This major phase shift in food style occurred only about 10,000 years ago, when humans became farmers and domesticated both plants and animals. This technology quickly evolved into a tighter focusing of human diets from wild fresh vegetables and fruits to an eating pattern toward limited plants that could be domesticated and grown in great quantities and stored, like wheat, rice, barley, corn, potatoes, and other tubers.
This resulted in approximately 20 plant types rapidly replacing the high diversity of 3,000 plants and fruits that were earlier eaten fresh as they came into season and were gathered from the wild.
With large-scale domestication and breeding of cattle came a high meat intake, and this was combined with storage, curing, drying, and cooking as well as a propensity to use milk and cheese from dairy processing. Cooking, burning, and smoking produce high levels of heterocyclic molecules, many of which make adducts to DNA, and are carcinogens.
Since separating from the great apes and chimpanzees approximately 8 million years ago, humans evolved into Homo sapiens sapiens that are very similar to our present form in as little as 150,000 years. However, we dramatically changed to a Western-style diet only in the very recent past (i.e., 15,000 years) - at a pace much faster than we could biologically evolve. This Western diet consists of high meat and fat; dairy products; stored, processed, and cooked meats; and low fruit and fiber intake, along with a more sedentary lifestyle.
In summary, we were not biologically selected by the evolution process to eat the way we do today, and the damage is manifested in prostate and breast cancer.Find out more about this book: The Spectrum: A Scientifically Proven Program to Feel Better, Live Longer,...Our genes have hardly changed during the past hundred years, but our diet and lifestyle have altered considerably. Dr. Donald Coffey is Professor of urology, oncology, pathology, and molecular biology and Director of research at the Brady Urological... More