Rule 1: high fat, high protein meals are the most satisfying. They quench hunger for many hours. By “high fat, high protein” I mean sufficiently high to turn off hunger for many hours.
Five different satiety factors make this a rule. One satiety factor measures fat directly, two others measure total calories, which is predominantly a function of fat, while one measures total protein, and of course sensors in the stomach sense fullness (bulk). The ideal meal has sufficient fat, protein, total calories, and bulk to turn off hunger until at least next mealtime.
Why is this? Is nature working against our better health?
No – not at all. There are at least two essential fats and at least eight essential amino acids. By stimulating our appetites to get us to eat high fat, high protein diets, nature is increasing the odds that we will get sufficient quantities of these ten essential nutrients.
Note the “at least” ten essential nutrients: I think that we do not make enough of the non-essential low molecular weight polyunsaturated fats, and way too little of the high molecular weight omega three and omega six fats – thus these are conditionally essential.
I do not think we always make enough of the non-essential amino acids. For example, enough glutamine when we are under stress. When that is the case, these amino acids are conditionally essential.
In addition, consider that those who consume low protein diets may suffer more dire health consequences from mis-incorporation of a higher percentage of competing bogus amino acids into cellular protein, leading to potential problems with greater protein mis-folding and possibly prion-type effects on “normal” proteins. Speculation: was this Roy Walford’s problem, and is this an unrecognized risk factor in muscle-wasting and prion-type diseases?
Though not an amino acid, taurine, which is derived from an essential amino acid, methionine, is another compound that we probably do not make enough of. It is probably an essential nutrient, though not recognized as such. Where is it found? In high fat, high protein animal products. None at all in plants, as far as we know. What makes things worse is that most plant products are also very low in taurine’s precursor, methionine. People on low-fat, plant-based diets should beware of methionine-taurine deficiencies. Vegans who do not like soy products should also beware of choline deficiency, a deficiency exacerbated by a deficiency of its precursor methionine in plant foods (relative to animal foods, which are rich in methionine, taurine, and choline) in general. Vitamin B12 is hardly the only supplement vegans should be taking.
Rule 2: people have little will-power.
Thus – Rule 3 : high-fat, high-protein dieting is running downhill.
Solution: eat high fat, high protein meals that also have sufficient plant products to make them nutritionally complete and bulky, to satisfy the other important satiety factor.
Finally, Rule 4: In addition, attend to good mental health (at the least, control stress), exercise, and get plenty of rest/sleep.
Those four rules are THE Rx for good health. What others emphasize are either exceptions to the rules, and thus running uphill, or just plain rubbish.