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36: Paul Jaminet | All Things Hunger (Satiety 101)

AIR DATE: January 24, 2013 at 7PM ET
FEATURED EXPERT: Paul Jaminet
FEATURED TOPIC: “All Things Hunger (Satiety 101)”

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If you ask a typical registered dietitian about the role of hunger in your diet, then you’ll likely hear something like what I recently read in a SHAPE Magazine column by Cynthia Sass, RD entitled Why A Little Hunger Can Be Healthy. Sass wrote that “one of the most common missteps I see that keeps people from getting results is being afraid to get hungry…mild to moderate hunger is normal, and it’s something you should be experiencing about four times a day.” She went on to say that “if you’re never hungry you’re probably eating more than your body needs to reach and maintain your ideal weight.” Interestingly, she went on to admit that if you eat a “balanced breakfast” of cooked oats with fresh fruit and nuts with a glass of fat-free or soy milk that should “feel a little stomach rumbling” in a few hours. What an admission by someone who is supposed to be an authority on what good nutrition is all about!

But the idea of getting hungry as a positive sign in your diet goes against what our expert guest this week believes is the sign of a healthy nutritional plan. Paul Jaminet (listen to my previous interviews with him in Episode 453 and Episode 526 of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show” podcast) is the author of the newly-revised version of his book called the Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat where he explains that hunger is actually a tell-tale sign of malnutrition that needs to be addressed and not something to be glorified or honored as something good for you as the RD above suggests. The nutritional content of your food and making sure you are getting all the key essential micronutrients in what you are eating is very closely associated with the level of satiety you will experience on your chosen diet plan. But far too many people still feel this strange connection to being hungry on a diet which is why Paul Jaminet is joining us in Episode 36 of “Ask The Low-Carb Experts” to look at the role of hunger and satiety on a weight loss diet.

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Here are just a few of the questions we addressed in this podcast:

RISA ASKS:
I eat a ketogenic diet and have observed during the week of my period and the week after that I have very little need to eat. However, during the week of my PMS, I experience an increased hunger unlike anything I see at other times. I am feeding my hunger sensibly with fat and proteins and it still takes much less food in order to make me feel satisfied. Unfortunately, though, I just can’t lose weight during this time. Does Paul have any theories about the potential impact of the menstrual cycle on hunger and satiety in a ketogenic state for women?

DR. BRETT HILL FROM AUSTRALIA:
Is there any research out there on the satiety per calorie of various foods? If not, then I am seriously considering doing some and writing a book about it. My main question has to do with the satiety of nuts vs. nut meals? I am curious about what happens to the satiating properties of consuming whole nuts when they are ground into a flour or meal that ostensibly makes them more easily digestible.

SCOTT ASKS:
I work very hard to eat appropriately, monitoring the types of fats I eat, adequate amounts of proteins and restricting carbs to no sugar/starch/flour. I make my own breakfasts and lunches, but dinner is with my wife and kids who are not following this diet yet. Typically we consume a leaner protein and a vegetable or salad. Sometimes, though, after we’re finished eating and I’m cleaning the dishes, I have an almost insatiable desire to just KEEP EATING! This is just crazy to me. As you might imagine, when this hits is when I get into all of the wrong foods. Is this an emotional or physiological response?

MIKE ASKS:
My wife and I have been eating a Paleo diet with dairy for a few years now. Thanks to Paul & Shou-Ching’s work we have reintroduced “safe starches” into our diet and doing well overall. I eat within a 6-8 hour window, Tracey’s window is more like 8-10 hours and we have been intermittent fasting for 2+ years. I very seldom get hungry and if I do it quickly passes. Tracey on the other hand is often hungry to the point that she can’t stop thinking about food during her fasting time and very seldom does she feel satisfied even after eating quite a bit of food. I have seen a lot of blog posts lately related to the differences between males and females, but I find this concept interesting since it has been very easy for me. Does Paul have any thoughts or ideas about why Tracey may be having this hunger?