The Egyptian diet was primarily carbohydrate rich, coming from bread, fruits, vegetables and honey. Occasionally they would eat fish, waterfowl and red meat, a diet that every doctor would have us eat today to avoid obesity, heart disease. and diabetes.
Ancient Egyptians idealized images of themselves in their tomb paintings but in reality their statues seem to show a different picture, many of the statues showed men with, man boobs and a bloated stomach, could this be from the phytoestrogens in the amount of wheat they ate and beer they drank?
In the 1800’s scientists performed autopsies on Egyptian mummies and what they found was evidence of heart disease. The paleopathologist Sir Marc Armand Ruffer wrote
“I cannot therefore at present give any reason why arterial disease should have been so prevalent in ancient Egypt. I think, however, that it is interesting to find that it was common, and that 3000 years ago it represented the same anatomical characteristics as it does now”
A translated papyrus from 1550 BC which says “If you examine a man for illness in his cardia and he has pains in his arms and in his breast and in one side of his cardia . . . it is death threatening him” Which is a text book case of a heart attack today.
With todays scanning technology they are able to study mummies in more detail and they have found that the vast majority of the mummies were obese and had tooth decay due to the grinding down of the teeth in a very characteristic way from eating bread that had been made from flour containing sand used in the grinding process, even children had this dental damage. They also found signs of calcification in the aorta of the mummies and in the carotid arteries. They found that over 50% had heart disease at the age of 40, this is on the same diet we are prescribed today, lots of stone ground whole wheat bread a small amount of red meat, poultry and fish.
Their conclusion to these observations was…
“The explanation for these frequent pathological findings almost certainly resides in a diet rich in saturated fat”
This fascinating presentation by Dr Mike Eades can be viewed in its entirety below