I read the cracking 5 Appetites book last year.
It’s disappointing, though not remotely surprising, that interesting new ideas about nutrition have to come from unorthodox sources; in this case two entomologists (that’s insect folks) David Raubenheimer and Stephen Simpson. They have made interesting discoveries about how appetite works in various species, finding similar mechanisms, first in insects and subsequently in mammals, and in some small studies on humans. Their endeavours are covered more painstakingly that you might wish in their otherwise excellent book that I highly recommend.
The key takeaways.
Protein is an expensive ingredient compared to carbs and fats - especially those that are used in processed foods - and so has declined relative to the other macronutrients in our food supply. It’s not at all impossible that this has contributed to the epidemic of weight gain, obesity and related diseases as we eat enough food to get the protein our bodies need, whilst exceeding our energy requirements.
So, what are the cool kids doing, you ask? I have no idea, of course, but here’s my take.
Protein is important for growth and general well-being - this Peter Attia podcast with Don Layman makes a compelling case. It’s probably more important as we get older as our ability to synthesise and re-synthesise protein degrades as we age. Plus, of course, it’s essential to load up on protein if one is trying to maximise one’s gainzzz from shifting iron around in the gym.
My solution; for six days a week I eat around 2g of protein per kg of bodyweight, and one day a week I go completely without food. The latter, fun, intervention is intended to stimulate the “longevity” pathways to help offset the time spent with the “growth” pathways activated. Neat, plausible - probably wrong.
Anyway, not to worry. I’ll let you know how it pans out twenty or thirty years from now.