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The Eskimo Diet
Influencing Weight Factors

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

Frigid Temperatures, Body Weight Relation

Have you ever been amid a heat wave, then the following day a cold front blows through?  It may take those 110 degree temperatures down to 80 but it feels downright cold. 

Lucky stroke that people adapt to temperatures quite well, and particularly so in the case of Eskimos who must thrive amid the thrusts of the arctic wind. And they don't get those warm-weather breaks like those of us enjoy in the lower United States.

The Eskimo physique tends to be solidly insulated, comprising of equal fat distribution - and is perhaps nature's way of further engineering the necessary tools to face those bitter elements - a body built to conserve warmth, a body built to endure.

Heart Disease, Eskimo Culture

Much study has been done on the Eskimo culture and daily diet in part due to their low incident of heart disease. 

The focus has been placed on fish in the Eskimo diet which contains heart healthy omega 3's - the good old fats. 

Combined with the rugged lifestyle in the nooks and crannies of the region, fish adds a healthy spark to overall health and assists in protecting against heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Eskimos of long ago enjoyed a diet that included: cod, salmon, whale, seal, caribou, fox and hares. The diet contained little vegetation. Today, the Eskimo diet has been modernized - a gift of civilization which brought sugar and starch to the table.

Calories, Nutrition Facts for Caribou

Let's take a look at the Nutrition Facts for roasted Caribou - just one of the staples of the Native Alaskan diet.

Nutritional Elements

Units

100 grams

3 ounces

1 piece, 340 grams

Energy, Calories

kcals

167

142

568

Protein

g

29.77

25.30

101.22

Carbohydrates

g

0.00

0.00

0.00

Fiber, Dietary

g

0.0

0.0

0.0

Sugars

g

0.00

0.00

0.00

Total Fat

g

4.42

3.76

15.03

Saturated Fat

g

1.700

1.445

5.780

Monounsaturated Fat

g

1.330

1.130

4.522

Polyunsaturated Fat

g

0.620

0.527

2.108

Cholesterol

mg

109

93

371

Minerals, Vitamins
Calcium

mg

22

19

75

Iron

mg

6.17

5.24

20.98

Magnesium

mg

27

23

92

Phosphorus

mg

233

198

792

Potassium

mg

310

264

1054

Sodium

mg

60

51

204

Zinc

mg

5.26

4.47

17.88

Vitamin C

mg

3.0

2.6

10.2

Thiamin

mg

0.250

0.212

0.850

Riboflavin

mg

0.900

0.765

3.060

Niacin

mg

5.790

4.922

19.686

Vitamin B-6

mg

0.320

0.272

1.088

Vitamin B-12

g

6.64

5.64

22.58

Vitamin E

mg

0.40

0.34

1.36

Vitamin K

g

1.4

1.2

4.8

Health Notes on The Eskimo Diet

- Cold temperatures spawn a quicker metabolism;

- Calories are not only burned at a quicker rate, more are required to meet the body's basic energy needs.

- Fish oil may also help combat depression. 

The History of Ethnic Diets

Hispanic | Oriental | African American

White American  | Irish | Scottish

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