Jump to content

Eat like the Animals


Recommended Posts

I’ve been listening to ‘Eat like animals: what nature teaches us about the science of healthy eating’ byDavid Raubenheimer and Stephen Simpson.

Eat like animals: what nature teaches us about the science of healthy eating

The authors say that appetite is not about simply seeking energy.  Rather living organisms have multiple appetites for several different nutrients.  Appetites identified for humans are protein, carbohydrates, fats, fiber,  calcium, and sodium.  The first, protein, is the priority one that can overrode the others.  One consequence of this is that as the first world diet has changed a lower protein density, people maintain the amount of protein eaten by eating more to maintain the same level of  protein as shown by this diagram.

image.png.8a3e08a038a256c8de324ff99c5918df.png

https://ourworldindata.org/diet-compositions

It’s an interesting argument that the obesity epidemic which has been attributed to carbs and fats is really caused by a drive to maintain protein intake.

While there is a drive to obtain a minimal level of protein, there is also an upper limit to our protein intake.  In the lab, the researchers could produce seriously undernourished animals by giving them an extremely high protein diet.  That may be why there are reports of successful weight loss on high protein diets.  This can be a very harmful way to lose weight as other nutrients are neglected.

One finding, discussed often in these fora, is that animals at the low end of protein intake live longer while animals at the high end have larger families.  One surprise was that in their experiments, low protein-high carb animals lived the longest.  Low protein-low carb was not a good combination. 

The last chapter discusses Ultra Processed Foods.  These are often constructed to be low protein-low fiber which cause people to eat more since both are low in things are bodies are programmed to crave.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a really interesting protein discussion on one of the latest Attia's drives (with Don Layman), I came to some similar conclusions on my own regarding RDAs and how they are misleading people into malnutrition, especially on low energy plants only regimens.

I have a feeling that my current regimen with 2800kcal/day plants only that brings 85-90g of protein in cronometer is actually close to the bottom minimum (no idea from which side) due to the fact that plants protein is not absorbed 100% and my lower values for the most crucial methionine, leucine and lysine are 120-160%RDA formally.

For those lower than 2200kcal/day w/o high quality protein sources the things are worse.

When I did 1700kcal/day with fish/clams and 50g of total protein intake I definitely came to an unwanted situation - slow wound healing and low sex drive (complete abscense of sex interest, not expected to such a degree). I suspect that real challenge in such a state could be disastrous.

My current regimen seems more proper, possible markers in analyses are better (muscles are growing very slow, expected).

On the other hand, I am not sure if my risks for serious challenges are acceptable, maybe a bit more protein could work better but I need more research on it.

 

Br,

Igor

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting concept, but I didn't see anything mentioned on pretty important aspects, like fiber content (which is notoriously a main driver of the satiety signal). Also, quality of protein is ignored, which may be a main driver of satiety (for example, the limitation in some EAAs may drive hunger).

At the end, it seems more like a conceptual elaboration, I wonder where is the hard data (epidemiological or best clincal).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, mccoy said:

Interesting concept, but I didn't see anything mentioned on pretty important aspects, like fiber content (which is notoriously a main driver of the satiety signal). Also, quality of protein is ignored, which may be a main driver of satiety (for example, the limitation in some EAAs may drive hunger).

In the book, they do mention fiber and the body's expectation of some level of it.  I also wondered about the EAAs - do we have a driver for each.  Back in the 70s, I remember reading the admonitions for pregnant women to *not* eat paint chips.  (The paint contained calcium which was low in their diets.)  So there is a drive for at least one mineral if there is not a sufficient amount in the diet.

14 hours ago, mccoy said:

At the end, it seems more like a conceptual elaboration, I wonder where is the hard data (epidemiological or best clincal).

I could find some on Pub Med:

image.png.0b78dd2eedd591576caf71080cd0e0ce.png

 

image.png.5fd96d509995cae4dcb50d5fd1cf42cf.png

 

I was struck by Figure 1 in this abstract for the ratios of protein and carbohydrates for the Okinawans:

image.thumb.png.20d812fbd8fcb3b9d6e947a41450d245.png

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Corybroo, I know some of the articles you found on Pubmed (the one with Le couter and Solon-Biet has been discussed in another thread. There is also an article with Luigi Fontana). What's nonplussing, is that in such articles the narrative seems to be the opposite of what the book suggests. In the book there is a suggestion to eat more protein to avoid triggering of hunger, whereas in the articles there is an emphasis on low or moderate protein to boost longevity. Different if not opposite narratives as far as I could grasp.

Also, as you correctly mention, the driver of hunger may be the objective need of some specific EAAS or micronutrient, not just protein in general.

 

Edited by mccoy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the authors are trying to distinguish between eating more protein as a proportion of the diet while avoiding an excess absolute amount of protein.  For people in the first world whose diets have experienced a decline in the proportion of protein in their "food", there has been weight gain while the absolute amount of protein consumed has not changed significately.  They recommend reversing this dilution of protein by decreasing the amount of carbs and fats in the diet while preserving the existing absolute amount of protein.  Actually, they recommend using something like the Harris-Benedict calculator and using that to determine the number of calories of protein that is your target.  The amount of carbs and fats are limited to keeping the per cent of protein between 10-20%.

From A New Eating Style ...

After studying 40 different animals species, Dr. Raubenheimer and Simpson found that eating like an animal means eating a specific balance of nutrients based on evolved needs. "Predators like cats and wolves select a diet high in protein, up to 50 percent of energy. Some herbivores—many primates in the wild, for example—select a diet that is lower in protein, typically 10 to 20 percent of energy," Dr. Raubenheimer says.

Dr. Raubenheimer and Simpson found that animals crave protein more than fats and carbs, and when they ate fats and carbs instead of protein, they tended to overeat them because they needed to eat more fats and carbs to reach the same energy level that a more moderate amount of protein would provide, and that made them more likely to develop animal obesity.

 

  Dr. Raubenheimer says a protein goal of 10 to 20 percent is enough for humans. But what should the rest of your plate look like? "Fiber fills the gut and acts as a 'brake' on appetites," says Dr. Raubenheimer. Without fiber, animals and people alike tend to overeat protein. Healthy fats and unprocessed carbohydrates play important roles in animal and human diets as well, says Dr. Raubenheimer. But the key is to prioritize protein and fiber first.

 

    

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, corybroo said:

Dr. Raubenheimer and Simpson found that animals crave protein more than fats and carbs, and when they ate fats and carbs instead of protein, they tended to overeat them because they needed to eat more fats and carbs to reach the same energy level that a more moderate amount of protein would provide, and that made them more likely to develop animal obesity.

I don't know if I'm missing something, but the emphasized sentence appears incorrect to me. It cannot be that you eat more fats and carbs to reach the amount of energy a moderate amount of protein would provide. Fats are more than twice the energy in mass than protein and carbs are a little more. Probably the writer meant something else, I don't know what though.

3 hours ago, corybroo said:

Dr. Raubenheimer says a protein goal of 10 to 20 percent is enough for humans. But what should the rest of your plate look like? "Fiber fills the gut and acts as a 'brake' on appetites," says Dr. Raubenheimer. Without fiber, animals and people alike tend to overeat protein. Healthy fats and unprocessed carbohydrates play important roles in animal and human diets as well, says Dr. Raubenheimer. But the key is to prioritize protein and fiber first.

OK, the above is pretty much sensible, but the reviews from a site cited in an above post were speaking of optimizers who ate an average percentage of energy from protein far above 10-20 percent. Maybe there is some confusion in the interpretation of concepts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, mccoy said:

It cannot be that you eat more fats and carbs to reach the amount of energy a moderate amount of protein would provide.

Raubenheimer and Simpson have shown in the lab that most animals have a desired level of protein intake.  The animals will consume as much food as necessary to hit their protein target.  If the researchers modified the lab chow so that it had less than normal amounts of protein, the animals would eat more chow to get the desired protein intake.  To reduce the protein density of the chow, it was necessary to up the percentage of carbs and/or fats.  As the lab critters ate to maintain the level of their protein intake, the extra carbs and fats came along for the ride.  The animals were not intentionally eating more carbs and fats but had to do so to get the right amount of protein since their chow had been made protein sparse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, but then the syntax appears to be wrong, the sentence should have read like follows, substituting the noun satiety to the noun energy. 

and when they ate fats and carbs instead of protein, they tended to overeat them because they needed to eat more fats and carbs to reach the same energy satiety level that a more moderate amount of protein would provide.

And perhaps clarify at the end: in the process consuming far more energy by fats and sugar than by protein to reach a proper level of satiety, because this concept is the point they want to express, less energy intake if you eat protein instead of carbs and fats (when driven by a deficit in protein).

 

Edited by mccoy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

By the way, I tend to eat vegetables=fibers first in a meal , but sometimes I satiate with them (they are dresses with EVOO), so I am already full and can only eat few protein at the end.

Maybe I'll have to decide a priori my protein intake for that meal, eat it first and then proceed to satiate myself with vegetables/fibers (and just at the end consume some nuts or carbs). 

Edited by mccoy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...