The previous post mentioned that protein, while a critical building block of life, is occasionally overeaten. Why would one overeat protein? A major reason is that fear of fat leads many to eat mainly lean muscle meats or low fat dairy. Traditional indigenous cultures which rely on hunting have consistently throughout history eaten the entire animal including skin, bones and organs and have particularly cherished the fatty parts. Muscle meats, during times of abundance, were often left for scavengers. In fact, the indigenous Arctic tribes such as the Inuit, when forced to eat the lean meat of small animals in times of famine acknowledged that they felt terrible calling it “rabbit sickness”. Think of saturated fat in that same way. It is a nourishing, filling and tasty part of a healthy diet but you don’t want to eat too much.
How do you avoid eating too much? Here’s an idea. Enjoy grass fed meats and dairy, organ meats and fatty fish along with copious vegetables with olive oil, tree nuts and some berries for dessert. As often as possible, eat your food together with friends and family enjoying relaxing fellowship. Also, eat “mindfully”. By mindfully, I mean the opposite of a scarfed down McDonalds meal in the car or a microwaved sausage biscuit consumed while running out the door. Eat slowly, enjoying the delicious, savory taste of your food while frequently giving thanks. With such a meal, you would be getting adequate protein, a proper mix of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and plenty of fiber and nutrient laden carbohydrates to energize your own cells as well as your gut microbes (remember, they like to eat soluble fiber). It would be extraordinarily unlikely if not impossible to overeat saturated fat in that setting. Your body, when presented with a proper mix of nutrients in natural form regulates intake in a remarkable way. If fortunate enough to be presented with such fare on a regular basis, you can forget “the zone”, LCHF, Paleo, primal, low fat, Mediterranean or the moniker du jour and simply enjoy your food. However, given that our culture and habitual desires frequently throw us curve balls, VitalSigns will continue to teach the science and practical knowledge needed for healthy eating!