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Why Humans Crave Fat
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September 29, 2011
6:59 am
Steven
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What about this? Ancient man did not have access to an endless animal protein supply, but if one eats meat in the way described here, one would be eating far more protein than they every could have consumed. Nephrologists agree that too much protein damages the kidneys, and the ones I have spoken with advise moderation. Clearly there was no refrigeration and not a steady kill, so it is unassailable.. Yet, now I snack on salami, not carbs, and eat meat (or eggs) for every meal. I now have some doubts. It seems to me that, far from advocating a traditional diet, this is quite the opposite, advocating a never-before possible diet,made possible by supermarkets. I don't know if the effects on the kidneys of a very high protein diet are known, but every doctor I know is against it. I am worried now about the protein more than the fat, which you have defended satisfactorily. How can the Paleo Diet not be a misnomer?

September 29, 2011
9:02 am
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Gnoll
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The balance of food is down to the individual.

What paleolithic man did is the starting point (and well open to re-evaluation) - paleo is more about understanding what foods are most damaging to humans over the long term and removing them from our diets. J has an article here called 'Functional Paleo' summarising this - Mark Sisson has 'The Primal Blueprint' and Kurt Harris' 'Archevore' explains how the priorities can be altered depending upon your starting point. I think if you looked at any of these you would see that traditional diet.

For me, it didn't come as much of a surprise that cutting out processed food and sugar is something that will be beneficial to human health. Beyond that, understanding the carb balance, removing legumes and grain and then perhaps re-evaluating the position of well prepared legumes, even some grain, is where paleo is today.

Take a look at my food: https://picasaweb.google.com/107179421315824659117/Cuisine

As an aside, modern food is nothing like stone age food - I've never seen Ibex in a neat polystyrene and clingfilm wrap at the supermarket Wink

Living in the Ice Age
http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk

September 29, 2011
4:13 pm
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Steven:

Untrimmed cuts of meat are very high in fat calories compared to protein calories.  For instance, 70/30 ground beef provides 82% of its calories from fat!

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/beef-products/8004/2

That's why I emphasize fatty meats!  Since the physiological requirement for protein is between 10% and 20% of calories, you're doing just fine.  Don't worry about it.  

Furthermore, your body is very good at knowing whether it's got enough protein...once it does, you'll find lean protein extremely unappetizing.  (Google "protein targeting.")

As far as "protein damages the kidneys", this is generally more of a problem with incomplete protein, such as from grains and plants.  

The way it works is (simplified): protein remains in the bloodstream until it is either used to make hormones, neurotransmitters, and other signaling molecules; or to build and repair tissues, including circulating blood and immune cells.  After it hangs around unused for a while, our liver starts converting it to glucose via gluconeogenesis.  And if there's still some left, your kidneys start to filter them out.

Note that the limiting factor in protein utilization is the least abundant amino acid...the rest of the aminos will hang around unused and get converted to glucose, and eventually filtered by the kidneys and pissed away.  But if you're below your physiological requirement for protein, your body will break down its own tissues in order to get more of that one amino acid...leaving all the others hanging around in your bloodstream , whereupon they eventually get converted to glucose or filtered by the kidneys and pissed away too.  

So it's far more dangerous to eat incomplete protein...because you'll either 1) eat way too much of it in order to get the amino acid you're short on, or 2) break down your own tissues to get the aminos you're short on.  In both cases you'll end up with a lot of surplus aminos.

Translation: stop worrying, you're fine.

JS

September 30, 2011
5:25 pm
Steven
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Thanks, guys. I went to the first link and found something disturbing. One ounce of beef contains 1g of trans fat. Now, I did not see that coming. No one eats one ounce; I eat more like 8 oz at a go, so that would be 8g of trans fat, twice a day, so that's 16 g of trans fat. What's up with that? I thought trans fat is either artificial or the result of high temperatures on PUFA, but beef is all sat fat. I did not anticipate seeing this at all. I don't mind the sat fat, thus far (I will see my lab results next week), but any amount of trans fat is a known evil. I need some help here!

September 30, 2011
9:06 pm
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Steven:

Calm down!  The trans fats in beef are entirely composed of:

-Trans-rumenic acid, one of the CLAs, or conjugated linoleic acids. It has anticarcinogenic and (probably) anti-obesity properties.  It's frequently sold as a dietary supplement for those purposes -- though the supplement forms contain a number of alternative geometries that may have harmful effects.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjugated_linoleic_acid

-Trans-vaccenic acid, which your body converts to CLA.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccenic_acid

In other words: there are two good trans fats, and they're the ones in animal fat (and dairy).

The rest of them are bad because unlike TRA and TVA, they're found nowhere in nature.

Further reading: Eat More “Heart-Healthy” Trans Fats! (We hid them in plain sight)

JS

October 1, 2011
11:52 am
Steven
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Whew! I think you saved this one, J.S. I never heard of good trans fats. I read your linked article and it makes no mention of good trans fats; I had read it before as well. Your response is the very first mention of good trans fats ever, for me. I did not think you had an answer for this one, and it was very upsetting, since we have banned agriculture among other things here. Meat had to be good at this point. I thought I might go to lean meat, to avoid the alleged bad trans fats, less fat, less trans, but you came up with this good trans idea. It reminds me of the HDL versus LDL, good and bad. How is it that no one speaks of good trans fats? I have heard of CLA, but had not recognized it as "trans fat." When they banned trans fat here they never mentioned the good trans fats, so it's good that I am not a betting man. To beef fat!

October 2, 2011
5:48 pm
Steven
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It seems I can't go a day without some sort of insult to my new Paleanism.The Eat for Life lifestyle was posed to me, saying, among other things, that broccoli has more protein per calorie, or at least close, than steak. It made me think that it would then have been worth eating by our ancestors, which I think was argued against here as not worth their time. I think they argue that broccoli and beans each have full proteins, but I have not been able to read the source as yet. In any case, is anybody worried about too much protein on the Paleo diet? How to gauge one's ideal amount? If I eat both meat and broccoli, it seems a lot. I recall it said that one will simply not desire protein, but that may not be the most scientific way. It is interesting that two opposed diets both claim improvements in health, including avoidance of DM2, going off bp meds, etc. There is no sense of moral superiority from the Paleo side, as far as I can see, though whenever you deal with veggies there always seems to be, even if unsaid, an interesting aside.

October 4, 2011
10:15 pm
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Steven:

"Trans fats are bad" is a bit of an oversimplification.  "Molecules found nowhere in real food are bad" is the correct statement. 

However, the TRA and TVA in ruminant meat are the only known exceptions to the oversimplification.  The main source of trans fats in the American diet is chemically hydrogenated seed oil, which produces a bewildering variety of bizarre fats with configurations that occur nowhere in nature.

 

As far as "Broccoli has complete protein", well, no.  It's low in leucine.  The main problem is that one cup of chopped broccoli contains...

...wait for it...

...a whopping 31 calories, and 2.6 grams of protein.

So in order to get the same amount of complete protein from broccoli that you'd get from half a pound of high-fat chuck steak (38.4 grams), you'd have to eat 67 grams of broccoli protein.

That's 26 cups of broccoli!

And even if you could somehow choke them down, much of that protein would be wasted because it's incomplete, as I mentioned above.  It's the vegetarians that have to worry about a combination of protein deficiency and pissing out too much of it (due to incompleteness) -- not us meat-eaters who are always consuming complete, good-quality protein.

Again, I'm not worried about consuming too much protein.  Try eating extra-lean ground beef (the 95% stuff) or boneless, skinless chicken breasts with no added fat, and see how much of them you want to eat.  Your body will tell you very quickly "No, I've had enough."  Read more about protein targeting here.

And that's yet another reason I recommend fatty meats.

JS

October 5, 2011
4:58 pm
Steven
Guest

Thank you very much, JS. I appreciate your consistent, quality answers, and those of PH as well.

I just got back from my doc, who never heard of the paleo diet and urged me to eat only lean meat. My LDL is 120. Total is 180.On the positive side, my tri is 74, proving that it is carbs that raise it, not fats,QED. I don't know if I need to worry about the LDL. My HDL is consistently low,45. My hemo,crit, wbc and rbc are all low, which is not what I had expected; I thought red meat would raise that. I am going through those bullets of salami like it's nobody's business.
Thanks for being so gracious to someone who you don't even know. I feel honored.

October 7, 2011
2:16 pm
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Gnoll
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Steven,

Encourage your doctor to do more research on our way of eating.  Also, congrats on the blood levels.

Regarding what you're being told about diet and what is good and bad: ask who funded the studies being cited, and whether or not the person reciting statistics and percentages is doing so by rote (or even worse, via some moral/political motivation).

Eat well and good luck.

In the spirit of the hunt,
Rob

October 7, 2011
7:52 pm
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Steven:

Now that you've taken charge of your own health, you'll start realizing that you know more about diet than most doctors, who receive very little to no training (and most of that wrong).  Think of your doctor as a resource through which you get tests, medication, and injury repair, not a person to whom you delegate health decisions.

If you're really worried about low HDL, eat more coconut milk (the full-fat kind, not "coconut water" or So Delicious) and cook with coconut oil.  That'll raise it.  But if you want to know more, read the Perfect Health Diet posts on cholesterol, LDL, disease, etc.

Translation: you're fine.  As Dr. Doug McGuff said: "Is the number bad?  Eat healthy.  Is the number good?  Eat healthy."

As always, the best way to thank me is to buy a copy of The Gnoll Credo. 

Rob:

Usually we're not even hearing about studies: we're just hearing received wisdom.  "Everybody knows" that cholesterol and saturated fat are bad for you.

JS

October 7, 2011
8:55 pm
DT
Guest

J. Stanton said:

DT:

It might look like shooting from the hip, but in reality, it's very carefully prepared.  As anyone who's tried to learn acting knows, it takes a lot of practice to look natural.

I'm glad I've inspired you.  Have you read The Gnoll Credo yet?

Steven:

Cook extra dinner and bring the leftovers to work for lunch.

No, I've never made my own mayo.  Tuna tastes great just in extra virgin olive oil, by the way.

JS

hey i didn't mean to imply that you didn't put a ton of work into each post.  they are WAYYY to detailed and full of very complex material that you break down piece by piece.  i was commenting more on tone.  and speaking of tone, that's one thing about the web that just plain sucks.  it's easy to misinterpret things.  and i could even be wrong that you took it that way!  lol been a very very long week.  

no, i haven't read the whole book, just the free portion.  when i stumbled on your webite i had 5 other books i was in the middle of reading and just couldn't stuff another one in.  and i took the time to read each post you have written.  seriously, if you knew me, you would be amazed that i'm even taking time to write this. i'm not one to drop compliments but i will if i really want you to know that your blog is important to me----because i want to reinforce your will to continue to write.  i know i would take any compliments to my contribution very very seriously and i'm sure you do as well.  

i want to read your book now that i'm done with the others and i actually sent you an email with 2 questions, one being about the lack of a kindle version.  

 

thanks again

DT

October 7, 2011
11:31 pm
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DT:

No offense taken.  Nuance is difficult over the Internet.  I know what you meant.

Part of the secret is knowing when I'm confident enough in my knowledge to take a firm stand, and when I need to either disclaim something or simply not mention it.  Right now there are well-known people in the paleosphere who seem to be presenting themselves as "experts" on every subject, but who clearly haven't done the research necessary to make such pronouncements -- and have the attitude that they don't need to because their n=1 is sufficient to make recommendations to everyone.  I find this puzzling.

I just received your email, but it'll take me a while to craft a thoughtful response.

Thank you for the moral support!  It makes a difference to know that people appreciate calm, reasoned attempts to explain basic principles in a world where grandstanding, chest-beating, and controversy-baiting seem to get the most attention.

JS

October 8, 2011
6:41 am
DT
Guest

exactly.  calm and reasoned.  where the hell did that go?  and alot of those "experts" i do read and respect quite a bit, so it's rather dissapointing.  but i've also always been a "take what works for you and discard the rest" kinda person.  so quality is paramount.  if i feel everything in a given post (or whatever) is worth taking note of, then i do.  if not, then i can at the least gleem some inference or a reference point for possibilities of what could be workable for me.  to try to make every concept developed into a unified field theory applicable to everyone signifies, IMO, a lack of basic understanding of the laws of the universe.  there are no hard and fast rules that apply all the time to everything.  ALWAYS is a word that doesn't truly exist.  

and the only thing that really keeps me from blogging on my own, is my lack of a reference point beyond n=1.  i've spent years researching, reading, testing, and all that but never clinically, and always on my own.  i'm completely autodidactic.  i have no formal training in anything except martial arts.  the rest i've been teaching myself for about the last 15 years. hell, i'm a retail store manager and i work 70ish hours a week(entirely physical work i might add).  i'm an expert on nothing, so why would i try to strut around as if i am?  again, i feel that those that boast and pontificate miss the forest for the trees.  or their own ego.   not my game and that's why i continue to read your blog.  Mark Sisson is like that as well; a very balanced approached.  the forest is all aspects of lifestyle coming together; the trees, brain goblins make me eat sugar....lol

DT

October 10, 2011
1:29 am
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DT:

One reason I only post once a week is that it allows me to put time into a single quality presentation.  Busy people like yourself value quality over quantity.

JS

October 10, 2011
4:53 pm
Steven
Guest

I just had me some buffalo. First time for that one. Tasted like beef, but four times the price. A pound of chop meat. didn't say if it was grass-fed but I reckoned it was. Hope it was better for me. Never thought I would get into buffalo, but this site must be contagious.

October 10, 2011
8:05 pm
DT
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buffalo kick ass.  idk where you live or if they even have these anywhere but in texas (where I hail from) but Fudrucker's has buffalo, ostrich, and a bunch of other types of what they call "exotic" meats.  They are all about hamburgers but if you ask them to wrap it in a huge leaf of lettuce, they are totally cool about it.

October 10, 2011
10:33 pm
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Steven:

Buffalo is delicious -- but nutritionally, grass-fed buffalo isn't any different than grass-fed beef.  My favorite game meat is elk, which I highly recommend if you can find some.

I'm glad you're expanding your horizons!  The human diet was much wider before we domesticated just a few species of animals and started eating them exclusively.  Even restaurant menus from the 1800s showed a wide variety of wild game on the menu.

DT:

I didn't know Fuddruckers did exotic meats!

Once I found a Mongolian BBQ that served game as well as beef/pork/lamb.  That was delicious.

JS

 

October 11, 2011
2:30 pm
DT
Guest

Yeah Fuddruckers is a great place for those of us that have paleo leanings.  Not that I eat out all that much.  There are a couple of Mongolian BBQs around Waco.  They're great-just put a bunch of vegetables and meat in a bowl and they cook it right in front of you.

I wonder how many people that eat there even realize that true Mongolian food consists of horse meat and well, horse meat...I've actually eaten horse meat before.  I wonder if it being illegal to process horse in that manner is what makes it taste so damn good???

I've never had elk though.  Ted Nugent actually lives like 5 miles from me.  He has this huge tract of land that he's filled with all manner of animal.  He holds hunting lessons out there and has a program exclusively for children.  Both bowhunting (read:true hunting) and with guns.  I've heard he has elk.  And a moose.  

October 11, 2011
4:32 pm
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