3

votes

Diet: Low protein, high fat

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 22, 2010 at 9:29 PM

Hi All,

I stumbled on this article which ostensibly (I haven't really read it carefully yet) describes how low protein and high fat intake can:

* Increased longevity via downregulation of the mTOR pathway
* Increased nutrient status in regards to vitamin A
* Increased metabolism by limiting protein as an energy source
* Increased levels of testosterone
* Decrease levels of cortisol 

http://www.carnivorehealth.com/main/2010/9/16/low-protein-diets-longer-life-decreased-cortisol-more-testos.html

Any thoughts?

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on October 18, 2011
at 09:26 AM

+1 for The Byrds reference!

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on September 27, 2010
at 06:43 PM

Welcome to the benefits of high carb Okinawan diet :)

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on September 27, 2010
at 06:42 PM

Welcome to the benefits of a high carb Okinawan diet :)

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on September 25, 2010
at 08:46 AM

@Cave Man Mind, I do similar now, I fast 24 hours water only, sometimes no water and have tried a fat only (coconut oil and butter, but no protein or carb only. I usually only eat one meal a day at 6PM then nothing again till 6PM the next night. Wouldn't care to try all carb as I don't do well on them and am practically ZC except for what comes along with cream and eggs etc.

9bc6f3df8db981f67ea1465411958c8d

(3690)

on September 24, 2010
at 05:35 AM

Makes me think of Turn, turn, turn by the Byrds: A time to be born, a time to die, A time to plant, a time to reap, A time to kill, a time to heal, A time to laugh, a time to weep. This song is so powerful when you think of it that way.

9bc6f3df8db981f67ea1465411958c8d

(3690)

on September 24, 2010
at 02:12 AM

These sound like good ideas to me, except maybe the protein fast. I think that rabbit starvation can happen sooner than expected when too much protein is consumed. Other than that, go with the flow and whether you feel like a period of repair and relaxation or a period of growth and expansion. We tend to always make things linear and constant, but life is a continuous cycle and native Americans understood that very well.

5be844214037850c304c1e6a05dc5277

on September 24, 2010
at 12:13 AM

Great answer, and thanks for these links Seb! These ideas are all vibing really well with Art de Vany's ideas about variation. I've started thinking about going through all possible variations of fasting, protein only fast, fat only fast, carb only fast, a fast with water, a fast without, etc. What are your thoughts on this, taking the idea a little too far?? ;)

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on September 23, 2010
at 12:03 AM

That's a good response. My instinct is that these LE hacks are unlikely to work and, thus, with respect to each unproven method, are not worth the effort and risk. Rapamycin might extend life too, if it doesn't kill you first...

5be844214037850c304c1e6a05dc5277

on September 22, 2010
at 11:53 PM

So it almost becomes a trade-off on performance vs longevity. The real issue is it appears Paleo may be optimal for right-here right-now, but putting the body in full-throttle may mean your in more dangerous waters once you hit ~80-90 years old and an area our ancestors rarely went (and evolutionary selection effects no longer relevant). It is an issue I am thinking about a lot recently. Of course still all totally up for debate, some argue Paleos optimal right-here right-now is the best way to make to 100 and beyond. I sure hope so! 100 sounds good :)

5be844214037850c304c1e6a05dc5277

on September 22, 2010
at 11:49 PM

I sort of got off track there lol but I was planning on saying the science is still VERY immature, however there does seem to be many different areas of investigation pointing to the central idea of less protein favours longer life, and vice versa. The way I think about it in Paleo terms is low-protein is like CR (look it up if your unfamiliar) it tells your body resources are low, don't worry about thriving and reproducing, you need to buckle down and focus on surviving and maintenance & repair, to wait for more prosperous times. The opposite high-protein says abundance, grow, mate, thrive!

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on September 22, 2010
at 11:12 PM

Welcome to the benefits of low carb paleo

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4 Answers

5
5be844214037850c304c1e6a05dc5277

on September 22, 2010
at 11:46 PM

These ideas are getting a lot of play in the extremely-out-there health communities who practice Life Extension (LE) and/or Calorie Restriction (CR).

Much new science is coming in to show that many of the benefits of CR may in fact be coming from protein restriction. There is also a lot of speculation surrounding Methionine restriction which is an essential amino-acid found in protein. There are studies of Methionine restricted rats who show large extensions to their lifespan, to the point where many people in the life extension community are choosing the lowest methionine-content foods they can eat.

This is all getting a little technical, and typically stuff not explored in traditional Paleo circles where the focus is on simple, back to basics, traditional, ancestry, etc. But I have noticed more of these ideas popping up. I guess it is just a natural extension of the question "What is optimal health?". Personally I think much of the LE and CR community are a little off the mark--they don't focus on Paleo nearly enough! Funnily enough despite being on the cutting-edge of medicine, because they have been doing this stuff for years they are very sceptical and critical of Paleo as it is a fairly new idea and challenges some of their basic assumptions. Like average Joe on SAD there seems to be an inbuilt defence mechanism to having what you think (or know) is right to be challenged.

Here is a good article that summs it all up:
NewScientist: Eat less, live longer?
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627621.100-eat-less-live-longer.html?full=true

^^ If the above article doesn't work (sometimes NS allows then restricts articles) do a google search of the article title and you should find a way to read it...

5be844214037850c304c1e6a05dc5277

on September 22, 2010
at 11:49 PM

I sort of got off track there lol but I was planning on saying the science is still VERY immature, however there does seem to be many different areas of investigation pointing to the central idea of less protein favours longer life, and vice versa. The way I think about it in Paleo terms is low-protein is like CR (look it up if your unfamiliar) it tells your body resources are low, don't worry about thriving and reproducing, you need to buckle down and focus on surviving and maintenance & repair, to wait for more prosperous times. The opposite high-protein says abundance, grow, mate, thrive!

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on September 23, 2010
at 12:03 AM

That's a good response. My instinct is that these LE hacks are unlikely to work and, thus, with respect to each unproven method, are not worth the effort and risk. Rapamycin might extend life too, if it doesn't kill you first...

5be844214037850c304c1e6a05dc5277

on September 22, 2010
at 11:53 PM

So it almost becomes a trade-off on performance vs longevity. The real issue is it appears Paleo may be optimal for right-here right-now, but putting the body in full-throttle may mean your in more dangerous waters once you hit ~80-90 years old and an area our ancestors rarely went (and evolutionary selection effects no longer relevant). It is an issue I am thinking about a lot recently. Of course still all totally up for debate, some argue Paleos optimal right-here right-now is the best way to make to 100 and beyond. I sure hope so! 100 sounds good :)

4
9bc6f3df8db981f67ea1465411958c8d

on September 23, 2010
at 04:20 AM

I tend to agree that a good diet for health and longevity would limit proteins to not much more than maintenance.

My favorite blog right now is the Perfect Health Diet ( http://perfecthealthdiet.com/ ) and low protein, high fat is their premise, and it makes a lot of sense.

It's also the premise of Nora Teresa Gedgaudas in Primal body, primal mind, though she agrees that proteins are needed in greater quantity when mating/growing/performing is involved. Goes well with the idea that life is always cycling, like nights and days and the seasons and life and death and we should therefore cycle our food intake. Periods of fasting, periods of ketosis, periods of higher carbs from fruits, periods of higher carbs from starch, with the bulk of the time in low carb, low protein, high fat.

Bary Groves also has this same opinion: http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/fat-not-protein.html

As does Peter from hyperlipid and Kurt from PaNu.

All this is very interesting and could be areas where improvements can be made for health and longevity

5be844214037850c304c1e6a05dc5277

on September 24, 2010
at 12:13 AM

Great answer, and thanks for these links Seb! These ideas are all vibing really well with Art de Vany's ideas about variation. I've started thinking about going through all possible variations of fasting, protein only fast, fat only fast, carb only fast, a fast with water, a fast without, etc. What are your thoughts on this, taking the idea a little too far?? ;)

9bc6f3df8db981f67ea1465411958c8d

(3690)

on September 24, 2010
at 05:35 AM

Makes me think of Turn, turn, turn by the Byrds: A time to be born, a time to die, A time to plant, a time to reap, A time to kill, a time to heal, A time to laugh, a time to weep. This song is so powerful when you think of it that way.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on September 25, 2010
at 08:46 AM

@Cave Man Mind, I do similar now, I fast 24 hours water only, sometimes no water and have tried a fat only (coconut oil and butter, but no protein or carb only. I usually only eat one meal a day at 6PM then nothing again till 6PM the next night. Wouldn't care to try all carb as I don't do well on them and am practically ZC except for what comes along with cream and eggs etc.

9bc6f3df8db981f67ea1465411958c8d

(3690)

on September 24, 2010
at 02:12 AM

These sound like good ideas to me, except maybe the protein fast. I think that rabbit starvation can happen sooner than expected when too much protein is consumed. Other than that, go with the flow and whether you feel like a period of repair and relaxation or a period of growth and expansion. We tend to always make things linear and constant, but life is a continuous cycle and native Americans understood that very well.

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on October 18, 2011
at 09:26 AM

+1 for The Byrds reference!

3
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 23, 2010
at 03:58 AM

The problem is, we don't know exaclty what paleo people really ate or exactly what is healthiest for us. The innuit throw muscle meat to the dogs. Maybe paleo hunters often did not have to eat a lot of protein. Maybe they were good enough hunters to not need to eat the whole animal? We don't know.

I do agree with the comment though, that it is possible that carb fueling the body for increased muscle and strength and indurance performance may indeed cause long term damage. Many athletes die young. Seems to me that the body is really designed for mostly fat burning activity and very little glycogen depleting activity. Fat burning activity makes up the vast majority of campsight and hunting life. The life of an athlete is not a natural one.

3
4a1966b5bc00a9aefd3abd63b9913284

on September 22, 2010
at 09:57 PM

I think it can be pretty easy to eat a high fat, relatively low protein and carb diet. Whenever you see "high" or "low" macronutrient diets, it's always subjective. What do they define as high or low? My diet naturally ends up around 50-60% fat if I'm not trying to watch how much I eat.

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