Meat Diet May Have Contributed To The Development Of Human Intelligence

The debates about the development of human intelligence are ancient and controversial to this day.

Some current scholars, along with a small number of researchers in the past, claim that the development of human intelligence is directly related to meat consumption.

dietary diet
Meat Diet

According to these researchers, a diet rich in animal fats and proteins allowed a continuous increase in human brain volume, and along with this continuous increase, there was significant progress in human intelligence.


Recent research has linked the size of the brain of countless primates to the chewing time each one spends during feeding. Like our earliest ancestors, the so-called Homo habilis, gorillas spend the greater portion of their time chewing raw vegetables in order to generate the energy necessary for their survival. This metabolic limit was overcome by humans through the cooking of foods to be ingested, which vastly amplified the caloric utilization and simplified the whole process of chewing and digestion of food.

An important consideration is that gorillas have a relatively smaller brain compared to humans, and also have fewer neurons, even though they are considerably larger than humans.

Human x Gorilla

The digestive system of man is classified as omnivore, which basically refer to those who are able to feed from vegetable source and also animal. Omnivores generally have a substantially more varied diet, and even have a great ability to digest meat in general.

Some research shows that vegetarians are six times more likely to suffer from brain atrophy. Such a theory was based on a study done at the University of Oxford in England, which pointed out that eating only vegetables leads to reduced brain volume.

Approximately two million years ago man began to use tools made from stones, so that they could “beat” the flesh, this caused the human species to abandon the habit of chewing vegetables, and in addition to all the changes mentioned above, the man’s jaw reduced. In contrast our bodies and brains were relatively larger. Spare calories provided energy to humans, enabling longer and distant walks, and nurturing their significantly more evolved brains.

Human evolution
Human evolution

Pouso Alegre, April 15, 2016.

Aline Garcez

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