1

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More nutrients=eat less?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 17, 2013 at 6:41 AM

since eating according to the paleo diet allows you to absorb nutrients much more efficiently are you able to eat less than you normally would and stay healthy?

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on February 19, 2013
at 01:45 PM

@ thhq, I think the point made is that, while willpower/what one wants is relevant for 'paleo' and non-paleo' eaters alike, there is less of a need for it for many 'paleo eaters' with good endocrine function. If satiety is induced mainly by how nutrient dense a meal is (macro and micro), then it makes sense that overeating is less likely to occur over the long term for 'paleo' eaters than those who eat potato crisps everyday...

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on February 17, 2013
at 06:38 PM

Context definitely makes a difference in interpretation! :)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 17, 2013
at 06:23 PM

True enough, hard to tell what the intentions were, I read it one way (and in the context of other posts, which was probably wrong.)

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 17, 2013
at 05:10 PM

I need maybe a dozen oysters to satisfy my hunger, but only one or two to satisfy my need for zinc. The bioavailable minerals don't satisfy the need for 500 calories of food.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:57 PM

And some of us (myself included) do need to eat fewer calories because of age/lifestyle/activity level and eating a nutrient-dense diet allows us to do this. Not eating-disordered, just logical.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:56 PM

Matt- I can see how you might read the question that way, but I don't think the intention was to use Paleo as an excuse to eat less, but how to explain that a person *could* eat less food while eating a Paleo diet (compared to SAD) and still be healthy.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:41 PM

It's not about eating less to get the same amount of nutrients, it's about eating the same amount and getting so much more nutrition.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:41 PM

They don't say eating less to drop weight, but that's generally implied for most folks adopting paleo.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:39 PM

Watch Stanton's video to see what I mean.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:38 PM

This question has nothing to do with fasting or eating less to drop weight. It's one of the best questions I've seen on here lately, to be honest.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:35 PM

@Dragonfly, I'm just seeing a lot of questions lately talking about eating less, fasting... Using paleo to justify not eating or not eating enough.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:17 PM

Slightly different tangent; I see a lot of newer Paleo folks craving grains because they are deficient in Magnesium & other minerals. When they make up these deficiencies with other foods (seafood, liver) and/or supplements, these cravings disappear.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:12 PM

Whoa! I don't get where disordered eating plays into this question at all, Matt.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:10 PM

If you eat less than you normally would, over an extended period of time you will lose weight and rebalance at a lower level. This is great if you're obese, but a disaster if you're already at 19 BMI. People might start mistaking you for vegan...

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:10 PM

+1 LOVE the video! This has always been my sense and nice to see the science backing up my intuition. I observe my clients stop binging and having cravings when they have been eating (and absorbing--so gut health is key) highly nutrient-dense foods for 6-9 months.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:08 PM

I haven't found any research studies to back it up, but for myself, it seems true.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:07 PM

When I first started eating lacto-Paleo, I ate a lot more veggies (not so nutrient-dense) and a lot fewer animal foods. My FODMAPS-intolerance makes many vegetables difficult to digest and has shifted my dietary choices and now I notice my carb/sugar cravings are a thing of the past, though I am certainly not vlc. (I eat about 100 gm carb/day.)

7fb5e7849c5d9d8ebdfa9d36786b1fe9

(178)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:04 PM

Low calories + high nutrients = satiation is the point. Where as m&ms are high cal + no nutrients = amplified hunger. Im not so sure I would compare eating oysters to eating water...

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:02 PM

In the case of fasting, 0% of daily requirements are satisfied.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:00 PM

I can't quite buy this. Paleos voluntarily avoid the foods that others gorge on. This is willpower-driven: a conscious effort to avoid the rewarding foods.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 17, 2013
at 03:59 PM

Do you think that there is any truth to people craving certain paleo foods because they need the nutrients from them? I'm just curious.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 17, 2013
at 03:57 PM

I've noticed exactly the same. I would also argue that that is some of the reason why so many people lose weight on paleo. Although I do believe there is more to it than calorie counting there is some truth (at least in my opinion) that paleo/ketosis/whatever lowers your calorie intake to some degree.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 17, 2013
at 03:53 PM

It's hard to overeat oysters and kale because they're not calorie dense, not because they're full of nutrients. Almost like eating water.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 17, 2013
at 03:23 PM

What's with the folks who want to eat so little? Seriously, it seems were being invaded by disordered eaters left and right.

A08b210e4da7e69cd792bddc1f4aae4b

(1031)

on February 17, 2013
at 10:25 AM

Probably it enables your body to better self-regulate so that you move out of the danger zone of being overfed and undernourished that seems to be norm for SADies.

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6 Answers

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3
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 17, 2013
at 03:22 PM

It all comes down to nutrient density. 100% across the board DVs might take 2500 calories on a standard diet, a paleo diet might only require 1500 calories. That doesn't mean you stop eating when you meet those micronutrient requirements, energy is a requirement as well. Then of course, there's the question whether 100% DVs are adequate for optimal health. I don't think they necessarily are.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:02 PM

In the case of fasting, 0% of daily requirements are satisfied.

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2
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on February 17, 2013
at 03:28 PM

I have certainly noticed this to be true for me.

I regularly eat nutrient-dense foods like liver, hard cheese, eggs, salmon, oysters (as well as grass-fed ruminants) and my food volume as well as my caloric needs have decreased considerably over the last 2.5 years of eating a Primal diet, (even though my activity has increased over that time.)

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:07 PM

When I first started eating lacto-Paleo, I ate a lot more veggies (not so nutrient-dense) and a lot fewer animal foods. My FODMAPS-intolerance makes many vegetables difficult to digest and has shifted my dietary choices and now I notice my carb/sugar cravings are a thing of the past, though I am certainly not vlc. (I eat about 100 gm carb/day.)

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 17, 2013
at 03:57 PM

I've noticed exactly the same. I would also argue that that is some of the reason why so many people lose weight on paleo. Although I do believe there is more to it than calorie counting there is some truth (at least in my opinion) that paleo/ketosis/whatever lowers your calorie intake to some degree.

3
Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

on February 17, 2013
at 01:15 PM

I watched Jay Stanton's AHS speech recently and a lot of what he talks about would probably interest you. Check out the video and links here - http://www.gnolls.org/ahs-2012-bibliography/

He argues (persuasively) that people generally stop eating when sufficient nutrients are ingested. 'Empty calories', whether in the form of snack foods (potato crisps eg) or dessert don't influence 'satiety', which in part explains those foods are so 'moorish'/ easy to overeat; they don't influence satiety. As they don't provide nutrients, the body craves more calories, 'chasing a reward that never comes' so long as nutrient dense food isn't eaten (that's a quote from video).

He also questions the 'palatability' model of obesity that so often is used politically to putrefy 'fatties' as being fat due to lacking willpower etc, a palpable problem in our 'obesogenic' environment where junky food is everywhere. He points out though that palatability is a subjective property assigned to food and and that what drives overeating of these foods may boil down primarily to people being malnourished and craving nutrients. The snack food hits all the spots that we're hardwired to like (salty, fatty, sweet etc) but without being nutrient dense will not really induce satiety In this context eating a nutrient dense diet is conducive to people with well functioning hormones etc being able to 'eat to satiety'/'listen to their bodies' while maintaining well being. (Unlike the crisps that for many are so 'moorish'). This isn't to say that palatbility isn't an issues (salted nuts anyone?) but that satiety is conceivably influenced by one's hormonal and metaboli status going into a meal. Generally then it seems that the more nutrient dense a meal is, the more likely one is to induce satiety.

[By the way I don't think that eating 'paleo' necessarily makes people absorb more nutrients than if they would eat the 'SAD'. Sure eating nutrient dense foods instead of 'emptpy' ones will generally mean that a greater amount will be absorbed due to the sheer amount of nutrients ingested, but for people with digestive issues this won't necessarily be the case. Still certainly is better than the SAD though and makes bodily wellness easier to get to attain and maintain..]

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:00 PM

I can't quite buy this. Paleos voluntarily avoid the foods that others gorge on. This is willpower-driven: a conscious effort to avoid the rewarding foods.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:10 PM

+1 LOVE the video! This has always been my sense and nice to see the science backing up my intuition. I observe my clients stop binging and having cravings when they have been eating (and absorbing--so gut health is key) highly nutrient-dense foods for 6-9 months.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on February 19, 2013
at 01:45 PM

@ thhq, I think the point made is that, while willpower/what one wants is relevant for 'paleo' and non-paleo' eaters alike, there is less of a need for it for many 'paleo eaters' with good endocrine function. If satiety is induced mainly by how nutrient dense a meal is (macro and micro), then it makes sense that overeating is less likely to occur over the long term for 'paleo' eaters than those who eat potato crisps everyday...

2
24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on February 17, 2013
at 08:40 AM

The key ideas being:

(1) If your body has obtained the nutrients it needs while eating the daily caloric requirement, you will not have seemingly inexplicable cravings for more food (which is your body's way of saying it's still missing something), along with would deliver unwanted caloric load.

(2) Efficiency of absorption. Eating certain foods make your body's nutrient uptake more efficient; e.g., that with pro-biotics. Or eating combinations of food together, such as fat with fat-soluable vitamins.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:17 PM

Slightly different tangent; I see a lot of newer Paleo folks craving grains because they are deficient in Magnesium & other minerals. When they make up these deficiencies with other foods (seafood, liver) and/or supplements, these cravings disappear.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 17, 2013
at 03:59 PM

Do you think that there is any truth to people craving certain paleo foods because they need the nutrients from them? I'm just curious.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:08 PM

I haven't found any research studies to back it up, but for myself, it seems true.

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on February 17, 2013
at 04:18 PM

I am 6' 205# and often eat around 1400-1600 calories per day, sometimes less. According to those body weight index things I'm supposed to eat 2000-2400 calories per day, but if I did that I'd swell up like a balloon, in fact I would have trouble even eating that much food if it was paleo. It's a lot easier to eat a lot of empty carbs and such. This is basically the reason why the paleo diet works for a lot of people I think, you get more nutrients while eating less food, and obviously you lose weight because you're eating less, even though you are completely satisfied.

I definitely eat less than when I was on a more SAD diet, I skip either breakfast or lunch several times per week and really don't miss it. When eating things like steak, kale, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, salad, etc. you are satisfied quicker and longer.

1
7fb5e7849c5d9d8ebdfa9d36786b1fe9

(178)

on February 17, 2013
at 03:16 PM

This certainly makes sense, and it seems like the idea has convergent validity: people overeat stuff like candy and other processed foods, while its kinda hard to over eat on kale, oysters, and beef liver. Additionally, Ive heard often that cravings are simply the perception or sensation of macro/micro nutrient deficiency.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 17, 2013
at 03:53 PM

It's hard to overeat oysters and kale because they're not calorie dense, not because they're full of nutrients. Almost like eating water.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 17, 2013
at 05:10 PM

I need maybe a dozen oysters to satisfy my hunger, but only one or two to satisfy my need for zinc. The bioavailable minerals don't satisfy the need for 500 calories of food.

7fb5e7849c5d9d8ebdfa9d36786b1fe9

(178)

on February 17, 2013
at 04:04 PM

Low calories + high nutrients = satiation is the point. Where as m&ms are high cal + no nutrients = amplified hunger. Im not so sure I would compare eating oysters to eating water...

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