What is hunger?
Been catching up on blog reading and came across this.
J. Stanton is one of those really intelligent people who gets his mind into everything. He’s a writer and researcher, and his book “The Gnoll Credo” is a beautiful fantasy tale combining Stanton’s interests in archaeology, anthropology and what constitutes “truth and beauty”.
Stanton was a speaker at the 2012 Ancestral Health Symposium at Harvard, speaking on the topic of HUNGER. I was struck by some of his data and conclusions (both agreeing and disagreeing), and here’s our interview to tell you more. HINT: Humans are predators. In fact, we’re the top predator alive since T.Rex roamed. Predators think, eat, and act differently than prey. We hunt, eat and rest. Prey grazes constantly as a way to keep alert and energized, ready to run when needed. Our digestive and nervous systems are completely different.
Obesity and hunger have a complex relationship. Bingeing on cookies, eating cake even though you know it will make your gluten-free body hurt, and having most any processed food fools our satiety/satisfaction centers in the short run. In the long run, the nutrient deficiencies caused by eating processed starches makes us overeat, attempting to find that FAT or CALCIUM or B12 that our body needs right now! We are driven by hunger, and the more overweight you are, or real-food deprived you are, the more you crave. But isn’t it easier when hungry to grab a bag or box of something rather than shop for, cook and eat that prime rib which is what you really want! Yes! We’ll take the easy way out and pretend that our desire for fatty red meat isn’t true or correct.
Personally, I think advertising has a lot to do with this brainwashing effect, as well as the synthetic chemicals put in food to fool our taste buds. I talk to Stanton about this here as it was not discussed at Harvard. Haven’t we all had that experience of thinking “Wow, this is the BEST thing I ever put in my mouth”, as we stare at a mournful pile of franchised factory “food”? Darn, those food engineers really did a good job on these….
As predators, what we really want and what satisfies us and allows us to just STOP eating, is the protein and fat we hunted for millions of years. You know how it is when you eat a really solid breakfast with plenty of meats, fats, eggs and veggies, and you are fueled for hours! Unlike juice and cereal which sends you into an adrenaline rush when your blood sugar crashes a little while later. What does adrenaline feel like? Irritable, anxious, moody, and just plain unsatisfied! In fact, its part of the flight-or-fight response, as in “I need food now because I’m in some sort of big trouble”.
Nutrient Dense food that turns off the Hunger Center in our brain…. that’s the ticket and is why Paleo/Primal/Ancestral diets such as my diet for human beingsare so satistying with so little food. There’s lots more to listen to in this show, so tune in to an interesting discussion on What Is Hunger, and Why Are We Hungry
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