Diet Wars: Keto, vegan, low carb, low fat or carnivore… Which one is best?
What should you eat to tame your appetite and look good naked (or at least avoid obesity, diabetes and the host of metabolic diseases that come along for the ride)?
Who should you believe?
Which one is best and why?
Our analysis of half a million days of MyFitnessPal food logs from ten thousand people indicates that any of these approaches have their benefits. Just don’t try to do them all at once!
As you can see on the far right of this chart of carbohydrate intake vs satiety, it’s hard to overeat low-fat foods due to their low energy density. Likewise, we get an improvement in satiety when we reduce carbs.
Foods and meals with more protein and/or fibre also tend to leave us feeling fuller for longer.
It tends to be foods that are a combination of moderate fat and moderate carbs with low protein that get us into trouble.
The foods that many people think of as ‘bad carbs’ (e.g. doughnut, chips, pastries, ice cream, milk chocolate) are actually a mix of carbohydrate and fat that gives us a double dopamine hit that means we never ‘eat just one’.
Low protein with a mixture of carbohydrate and fat is essentially the modern formula for hyperpalatable processed junk food that drives us to consume more.
The only foods with less than 20% protein and more than 30% fat and 40% carbs found in nature are breastmilk (which helps babies to grow quickly) and acorns (which help squirrels get fat in autumn in preparation for winter).
So, to tame your appetite, the best thing you can do is prioritise foods and meals with more protein and/or fibre and treat processed foods with some combination of refined starch and oil listed on the packet as a recreational drug.
And for bonus points, focus on nutrient density which happens to align pretty closely with satiety.
Whatever your dietary preference, it’s hard to go too far wrong if you stay focused on getting the micronutrients you need from the food you eat.
- Nutrient Optimiser Free Report
- What does nutrient density look like?
- Nutrient Density 101
- Systematising satiety: How to optimise your diet to manage hunger
- Guess what happened to body fat, lean mass and waist when a hundred people tried the Nutrient Optimiser?
- A hundred people used Nutrient Optimiser for six weeks. Can you guess what happened to their weight?
- Real life responses to the Nutrient Optimiser
Where to next?
You can join the Nutrient Optimiser Facebook Group of amazing and supportive Optimisers who are on a similar journey.