No, It’s not About Protein, It’s About Nutrients

And here I thought we had put this protein debate to rest. However, the “Chief Content Officer” Chris Shugart, over at T-Nation, managed to find yet another “study” where he, just like the dimwits performing the study, draw some seriously flawed conclusions.

Chris begins the article in the typical ‘T-Nation’ fashion with some mocking disguised as humor about telling people who are a little bit ‘too pudgy’ to simply stop ‘eating so damn much.’ Of course, this was deliberately to set the stage for ‘his discovery’ about protein.
However, Mr. Shugart, just as 99% of all these writers and “experts,” simply have no clue about real human physiology and what is actually going on. Obesity is far from only being a result of ‘eating so damn much.’ In fact, it’s more a result of being malnourished and not being able to detox, and your body has no other option than to store toxins in your fat tissue, thus increasing your body fat, the garbage heap area of your body.
Also, being malnourished, as in not consuming enough animal-based foods, the only source of bio-available nutrition for humans, not only hamper your bodily functions such as detoxing, it also increases hunger and cravings, as your body desperately want you to actually get some nutrients. Unfortunately, most people will snack and stuff their pie-holes with any man-made crappy slave-food other than real food that actually is nutritious, such as meat and animal fats. I’ve explained this vicious cycle in my article ‘What Makes You Fat.’

This takes us to what they call “The Protein Leverage Hypothesis,” which is another flawed theory based on limited understanding. However, to humor them, and to actually let me explain what is really going on, let see what Shugart has to say.

The protein leverage hypothesis says that your body “prefers and prioritizes” protein. If you don’t give it the protein it wants, various bodily mechanisms drive you to keep eating. Call it a protein threshold. If you don’t meet it, you stay hungry and have cravings – your body’s way of asking for protein.

Problem is, your big dumb body doesn’t use words; it only signals you to keep eating. Most people answer their body’s call for protein with more carbs and fats, usually of the junky, neon-orange, puffy-snack variety. The cycle continues, calories are overconsumed, and now you’re shopping in the ever-expanding plus-sized section of Target.

Recent studies show that gen pop’s protein intake has decreased over the last few decades. For whatever reason – cooking less, eating more convenience foods, or being afraid of meat – people are eating less protein… and getting fatter.”

The signaling, as in getting hungry and experience cravings, although you just have had a meal, is what I have explained hundreds of times for the last 20 years or so. However, it has very little to do with ‘protein,’ and everything to do with essential nutrients, as in those nutrients your body need to sustain itself without having to slow down or even shut down processes. This ‘signaling’ he mentions is simply a symptom of being malnourished, as in having one or multiple nutrient deficiencies.

Actually, Shugart even mentioned the culprit without realizing it as he said, “being afraid of meat.” And that is the thing, everyone only looks at meat as a ‘protein source,’ when it is in fact a source of all bioavailable nutrition a human need. Eat more meat and you will be satisfied. Hunger and cravings will go away. It was not the protein per se, it was the effect of finally getting the essential nutrients in the meat that your body desperately was in need of.

The Study

The alleged “researchers” gathered 22 lean and “healthy” people and divided them into three groups.

Group One: 10% protein, 60% carb, 30% fat
Group Two: 15% protein, 55% carb, 30% fat
Group Three: 25% protein, 45% carb, 30% fat

Well, all of these “macronutrient splits” are horrible. This tells us, right of the bat, that these “researchers” has zero understanding of human physiology and nutrition. Not only do they focus on ‘macronutrient splits’ instead of micronutrients, as in nutrient density, but those splits are atrocious and extremely unhealthy. However, let’s play along and see what they thought they ‘discovered.’

All the groups stayed in the lab for four days at a time, took a week off, and then came back to the lab twice more, each time in a different group.

This is where it gets clever. The participants were blinded: they didn’t know which group they were in. The provided meals and snacks were made to look and taste the same.

The human lab rats were told they could eat as much or as little food as they wanted, and snacks were available all day. Foods were weighed and everything was analyzed and controlled, Big Brother-style. The researchers knew exactly how many calories everyone consumed.

The problem here should be obvious. As they only did this for four days, their previous nutritional status is of most importance. Those who arrived fully nourished, as in those who regularly consume animal-based foods, as in meat, would simply eat less, as they are easily satisfied even when presented with bad food, at least until their nutrition stores runs out, which could take weeks, not four days. And on the other side, those coming in with nutrition deficiencies would still consume pretty much anything they would get, as they are literally starving.

If you would actually want to do a proper study, you would need to put people on a highly nutritious carnivore diet for a few months to establish a baseline of fully nourished applicants, and then you could try different food combinations and “macronutrient splits” for several months to see how they would react.
With such a setup, you would actually see that those who got fatty cuts of meat would be satisfied with much less food on their plate, while those getting inferior “protein sources” would eat a lot more, and that would throw the silly “Protein Leverage Hypothesis” right out the window, as it’s all about essential nutrients.
But I digress, let’s see their “results.”

The 10% low-protein group consumed 260 more calories than the higher-protein groups each day. The 15% and 25% protein groups were about the same on average. If you buy into the protein leverage hypothesis, this tells us that the protein threshold to meet is at least 15% protein (as a percentage of total daily calories).

To put that into real-world numbers…

• The 10% protein group had about 66 grams of protein per day.
• The 15% group had 85 grams.
• The 25% group had 138 grams.

Body fat wasn’t tested since these dietary interventions lasted only four days each, but eating 260 more calories per day – triggered by low protein intake – equals 1820 extra calories per week and 7280 bonus calories per month. All things being equal, that’s enough to gain two pounds of body fat every month. (Yeah, that’s some overly simplified metabolic math, but you get the idea: the 10% group would get fatter over time.)

First, we know that protein has a slightly higher “satiety index,” just like fat, as it’s more slowly digested, making you feel “full” after a meal for longer. And secondly, food that are higher in protein, usually have more nutrients, especially animal-based foods. So, even if you only have a small serving of meat to meet the protein ratio in the macronutrient split, that serving of meat will get bigger in the higher protein groups, and thus giving them slightly more nutrients, also helping with satiety.

Also, plant-based foods, such as vegetables, who are said to be “high” in protein are also the plants that tend to be the most toxic and have a high amount of fiber, such as beans, peas, spinach, artichokes, corn, kale, asparagus, seeds, nuts, and tofu. The protein in these slave-foods is of extremely low quality, and also bound to most of the fiber, making it undigestible. So, the “satiety” effect of eating less after such meals comes from being stuffed up with harmful fiber and your body desperately trying to detox and get rid of all the damaging defense chemicals, antinutrients, pesticide residues, and fiber you just consumed.
They also tend to be “low calorie” foods, so you can stuff yourself with enormous amounts, blowing up your intestines, and still not meet your ‘energy requirements,’ and thus tricking your body by the enormous bulk of the crap you managed to stuff yourself with. Extremely unhealthy.

So, while you could say that a diet that is “higher protein” tend to make you eat less, it’s still not a function of the protein. That is very misleading and also very dangerous, as it keeps the focus on a macronutrient, when in reality it’s about all the nutrients that we as human needs. Focusing solely on protein is even more dangerous among the brainwashed masses who will interpret it as simply adding anything that has slightly more protein in it, such as toxic plant-based crap (pea-protein, soy-protein, tofu, etc.)

This is also why anyone on a diet get hungry, get cravings, and eventually lose muscle mass and damages their metabolism, because they only focus on protein and the wrong kind of fat. As I’ve explained numerous of times, lean protein is the least nutrient dense (as in anything plant-based and as in chicken and white fish, like cod and tuna, the staple food of stupid ‘dieters,’) while fatty protein sources such as beef, lamb, and eggs are extremely nutritious and will keep you full simply because they will keep you from getting malnourished.

To finish his article, Shugart actually makes a few funny statements, as this one:

First, keep this in mind: many dieticians and government health agencies say that women only need 46 grams of protein per day, and men need 56, maybe a smidge more if they’re athletes. The low-protein group in the study above was eating 66 grams… and they still overate and set the stage for future fatness.

Yes, the official Google-answer recommends that you under-eat protein. WebMD tells you to under-eat protein. The government tells you to under-eat protein. That’s why everyone is so lean and disease-free! (That joke sponsored by Pfizer.) Either the “experts” are woefully behind the science or they’ve been compromised. I’ll let you decide as I adjust my flattering tinfoil hat.”

While this is both true and funny, as in the Pfizer pun, it’s still not about protein per se. It’s about our natural species-appropriate and species-specific diet of animal-based foods. It’s about the modern diet severely lacking meat and animal fats. That is the whole problem. People are ‘over-fed’ but still malnourished. Then add toxicity and stress on top of that.

Of course, Shugart’s solution is once again to advertise and recommend their shitty protein powder, again failing to understand the concept of nutrients and nutrient density. And this is the big problem in all of the industries dealing with food, whether it’s the healthcare community, the fitness community, the antics among “dieticians” and “nutritionists,” or simply among people on a man-made diet, as they are all focusing on macronutrients such as protein instead of all the essential nutrients, as in all the nutrients humans need to actually thrive. And again, you can only get all of these nutrients and in the right amounts from animal-based foods such as meat, organ meats, animal fat, and the produce of animals, such as eggs and to an extent milk – from the sources that are identical to our own physiology or from those sources meant to develop such life.

For more, please check the recommended articles below. And if you need help, I’m available for both coaching and consulting.

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