Note: Forgive us…we recorded this back in January…so the intro is going to sound a bit funny :)
The Smarter Science of Slim cites dozens of international research studies that show natural fats aren’t bad, but then goes on to recommend lean meats, a blend of egg whites with whole eggs, and low-fat or fat-free plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese. Is this a contradiction?
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Trailer: Jonathan Bailor’s Smarter Science of Slim
Jonathan: Hey everyone. Jonathan Bailor and Carrie Brown coming at you with a Smarter Science of Slim podcast that is going to be a good one, Carrie. This is a topic that I have been craving, just dedicating some time to, so I’m excited. How are you feeling today, Carrie?
Carrie: Well, I’m just curious, is that really you?
Jonathan: Is it really me?
Carrie: Well, I haven’t seen you for like three years. I need to get back in the groove.
Jonathan: Back in the SANE groove. You feeling a little insane or…?
Carrie: No, actually, I’m feeling very sane. I had a very sane Christmas, very sane holidays.
Jonathan: I had a very sane, capital SANE, very insane moving. It was no rest for the weary. I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day literally up at like six and asleep at 10, just moving stuff. As our listeners probably know, moving is not the most fun thing to do, especially in the middle of December.
Carrie: I turned up in middle and brought you chocolate cake.
Jonathan: You did bring me chocolate cake.
Carrie: SANE chocolate cake.
Jonathan: SANE chocolate cake. Actually it was quite delicious, as well as some of your SANE cheddar biscuits.
Jonathan: Those were delicious as well. I was properly fueled for my insane holiday, insane, SANE. Today is going to be a wonderful conversation to be had. It’s about the single most controversial, I guess, as far as insulin isn’t very controversial. A lot of it’s comments. When you compare it to…
Carrie: It tips the last forty years on its head.
Jonathan: When you compare it to a lot of the things out there that are a little bit more extreme, Smarter Science of Slim often finds itself in the middle.
Jonathan: You have people that are saying that you should eat no animal foods at all ever, and then you have people that say you should only eat animal foods.
Jonathan: Smarter Science of Slim fits in the middle.
Carrie: From that perspective, it is the most middle balanced thing there is.
Carrie: Although people don’t necessarily think that is the case.
Jonathan: That is true. Perception versus reality is always an interesting dynamic. One of the perceptions that is held by some individuals and that I’ve actually been called to task for, is a seeming contradiction. In the Smarter Science of Slim, we go over a lot of very clear research that shows how natural fats are very, very healthy for you. At the same time, in the Smarter Science of Slim and on this podcast, you will often hear me say things like eating egg whites or low fat Greek yogurt or non-fat cottage cheese or chicken breast with skin off. People are like Jonathan Bailor, how can you say?
Carrie: Low-fat! Low-fat!
Jonathan: You are a lipophobic. You are afraid of fat, and you are exactly like the USDA food guide pyramid because you are clearly terrified of eating dietary fat. Folks, I’m not kidding, if you actually look over on the Science of Slim blog, there’s a blog post called Is Jonathan Bailor lipophobic? One of my favorite podcasters in the whole world, actually the individual who inspired me to start this podcast, his name is Jimmy Moore. If you haven’t listened to his show, you absolutely should. I had the honor of going on one of his podcasts called Ask the Low Carb Experts, and Jimmy was of course a delight, but it’s a show where readers can call in and ask questions, and a good portion of the questions, because Jimmy podcasts mostly about low carb, high fat, which is an incredibly valuable dietary approach when done in line with research. However that is not what the Smarter Science of Slim is. It’s something different, and some of his listeners just got really amped up. They were like, “I can’t believe you have Jonathan Bailor on the show. He’s afraid of fat, and oh my gosh,” and they pose these questions.
Carrie: If only they saw how we ate.
Jonathan: So I apologize, it’s like four minutes and I’ve just been venting a little bit. I wanted to take some time to clear the air about is the Smarter Science of Slim a low fat diet? Is it a high fat diet? Is it a crazy talk moderate fat diet, which is actually what it is, and we’ll clear that up. So Carrie, how does that sound?
Carrie: I love fat. I love fat. Yes, yum, yum, yum, especially in the form of bacon.
Jonathan: Especially in the form of bacon. So we can unpack this on many levels, so I’ll go simple first, Carrie, and you tell me how this sounds. With every other aspect of the Smarter Science of Slim, it’s all about quality. The quality of the exercise you’re doing, the quality of the food you’re eating. Now, we all know and we all accept that there are different qualities of carbohydrate. For example, sweeteners, very low-quality carbohydrate; non-starchy vegetables, very high-quality carbohydrate.
They’re both carbohydrate, but the quality varies a lot, meaning the other things that come along with those carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, things like that, are very different between refined white flour and Brussels sprouts for example. We get that that there is high-quality carbohydrate and low-quality carbohydrate and that we want to focus on high quality carbohydrate. Same thing applies to protein. There is pink slime low-quality protein, and there is wild caught salmon and organic grass-fed beef liver, high quality protein. Actually I ordered 10 pounds of organic grass-fed beef liver off the internet the other day because I can’t find beef liver anywhere.
Carrie: I’ll be over. Tell me when it arrives, I want some. It’s liver. I’m going to have to come over, then. Beef liver!
Jonathan: We’ll see how that goes. If it goes well, I’ll certainly plug the website I got it from but if it goes poorly, I will not mention it. So, we get that and then we get to fats. The bottom line, folks, is that the same logic applies. There is high-quality fats and low-quality fats, and there’s fats that we really should go out of our way to eat.
Then there’s fats which we don’t really need to take that same approach to, so when I say, for example, I’m going to stress eating flax seeds and avocados and coconut and cocoa and salmon and fish oil, and I want us to go out of our way to eat more of that stuff. We’re going to be doing that. We are going to be focusing intentionally eating more of those fats. That’s where our emphasis lies.
Carrie: You know that’s…
Jonathan: Pursuing those specific fats and that doesn’t mean other fats are bad. It just means our focus is on the highest quality fats available. If I have the option of eating a bunch of coconut or a really fatty piece of corn-fed rib eye steak, I’m going to go with the coconut because it’s better. It’s higher quality and we get that for every other macro nutrient. The same thing applies to fats.
Carrie: That’s where the problem is, maybe, that people say we’re lipophobic because we’re not eating the traditional, typical forms of fat.
Carrie: People don’t think salmon, fat; cocoa powder, fat.
Carrie: They don’t think we’re eating fats. We are, but they don’t think we are.
Jonathan: I think that is one of the things that’s novel. Carrie mentioned this in a previous podcast about the Smarter Science of Slim is not the first lifestyle to say vegetables are good for you and that higher intensity exercise is good for you, and that protein is good for you and that fat isn’t bad for you.
One of the things that is unique about the Smarter Science of Slim is its focus on specific types of fat and, again, that makes sense because this is all about quality. It’s about quality in everything. Quality of fat matters, but the key distinction here, folks, is if we are going to go out of our way to eat certain types of fats, then we are not going to be able to eat other types of fats, because we want to make sure we are eating protein. We also want to make sure we are eating good, high-quality carbohydrate. We also want to make sure we are eating fat, because the Smarter Science of Slim is not a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. Not that those types of diets are bad. but a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet generally gets anywhere from five to 10 percent of its calories from carbohydrate, maybe.
We are talking 50 or fewer grams of carbohydrate, and then the vast majority is coming from fats, so 70 to 80 percent of the calories are coming from fat, and then 10 to 20 percent is coming from protein. If you’re eating that way, you have to eat the full-fat sources of everything because where else are you going to get your calories from, but in a SANE way of eating where we’re enjoying low-sugar fruits and a massive amount of non-starchy vegetables, and enjoying nuts and seeds, we are going to have a bit higher of a high-quality carbohydrate intake.
We are also going to focus on taking in a bit more protein. Because of that, our fat numbers are going to come down, and it doesn’t mean we’re afraid of fat. It just means we look at fat the same way we look at protein and carbohydrate. What are the highest quality sources available and let’s focus on eating more of those. Makes sense. If you eat more organic, grass-fed beef liver, you have to eat less chicken thighs because you only have so much room in your stomach. If you eat one thing, you are going to eat less of another. Same logic applies to fats. Makes sense?
Carrie: Yeah. I know we’ve talked about this before, but I think it bears repeating for anyone that maybe this is their first podcast, is that when we talk about non-fat Greek yogurt or non-fat cottage cheese, it’s not because it’s low-fat or non-fat, it’s because it’s high in protein. It’s nothing to do with the fat.
Carrie: It’s the protein that we’re after.
Jonathan: And some people say, “Why are you going after eating that protein?” Well, we’ve talked about how when we consume about 30 grams of protein in a sitting, we trigger something called muscle protein synthesis, which is fabulous for us. It essentially helps us to avoid osteoporosis of our muscles. I know that sounds a little bit odd. It’s called Sarcopenia and just like if we don’t eat sufficient nutrition, our bones can deteriorate as we get older. The same things happens with muscles. When we look at old people, they don’t have a lot of muscles. It’s because they’re deteriorating. It’s called Sarcopenia, and we can avoid that by not only doing weight training but also by eating sufficient quantities and qualities of protein at once. We talked about three servings of 15 grams of protein will not trigger muscle protein synthesis due to the lack of an amino acid called Leucine in your blood. You have to take in a certain amount of protein, and if your goal, hypothetically, at breakfast, let’s say was to eat 30 grams of protein and you were already eating some avocado and you were already eating some bacon, maybe you have some egg whites because your goal is to eat some protein there. Again, that’s not about fear and fat, you’re already eating fat somewhere else. You’re going to eat egg whites instead of eggs because you’re using those as your source of protein.
Carrie: We’re trying to get a balanced plate, not…
Jonathan: Yeah, it’s just different. It’s not a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. Again, it’s not bad, it works incredibly well. In fact, some of the most amazing research out there is showing about how individuals who are suffering from Schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease going on these ketogenic diets is transformative for these individuals, but that’s just not what we’re talking about here.
Another thing that’s interesting to note is that, and we’ve talked about this briefly before too, but a lot of people don’t realize just how high in fat certain foods are. For example, salmon. Salmon is almost half fat. Most people don’t get that. They’re like, “You eating salmon. There’s your protein right there. What are you talking about?” Or an egg.
Carrie: They also think that salmon is a healthy, low-fat food.
Jonathan: Exactly, or an egg I think is my favorite example because people are like, “Well, you’re eating your eggs, there’s your source of protein right there.” An egg, by weight, is about a third protein. It’s 65 percent fat. Not bad. Egg yolks, where the fat is, are one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world. All kinds of good stuff in them. However, if we’re talking about protein, an egg white is 91 percent protein by weight. An egg is about a third protein, so if your goal, again, “Where can I get my protein from?” Egg whites are a better source. There’s no question.
Carrie: If you’re having an omelet that’s crammed with vegetables, then you might choose to use the whole egg and not just the white.
Jonathan: Exactly, or you don’t like bacon, you may have the whole egg, and if you do like bacon…
Carrie: Don’t like bacon? Don’t like bacon?!
Jonathan: You may have egg whites with your bacon.
Carrie: Is there anyone on Earth that doesn’t like bacon?
Jonathan: The other thing sometimes that gets brought up is we talk about satiety and how important satiety is. It’s the S in SANE, and how fat plays an important role in satiety. It absolutely does. In fact, I like to make the distinction between feeling full and feeling satisfied, where if you sit down and eat two pounds of salad, you will feel full, probably will not feel satisfied. The best analogy I can give for the difference between feeling full and feeling satisfied or just the absence of feeling satisfied…
I don’t know if you’ve ever tried this, but if you’ve ever chewed something that’s delicious and not swallowed it – this is like a trendy not quite bulimia, but some people do it – they’ll be like, “I’m not going to eat this piece of cake, but I’m going to chew it up and spit it up.” If you’ve ever tried that, it doesn’t work, because it’s this hollow feeling where it just doesn’t work because it is not in any way, shape, or form satisfying.
The stimulation in your brain doesn’t happen, and that stimulation to your brain is in large part caused by dietary fat, and this is why eating just a small piece of chocolate can make you feel satisfied, while eating two pounds of vegetables will make you feel full but will not make you feel satisfied. Natural fats have a critical role to play in satiety, and that’s why we want to go out of our way to eat the highest quality sources. However, people might take that a little bit far and say that fat is the most satisfying macronutrient. That is just false, because you have to look at it on a per-calorie basis.
The research here is very clear that of the three macronutrients, calorie for calorie, protein is the most satisfying. In fact, some emerging research shows that individuals may continue to be hungry until they eat a certain amount of protein, meaning that you could just eat and eat carbohydrate all day long and you will never feel full unless you eat a certain amount of protein because it is so critical to bodily functions.
Carrie: I actually find when I eat a lot of vegetables – I have a fridge in my office and I have a lot of lettuce and cucumbers in there because it’s just easy to eat – I feel hungrier when I’ve eaten them. Protein for me, for sure. Protein is the way to stop me being hungry.
Jonathan: Absolutely, and another element of this conversation is that, when you talk about fat, talking about nutrient density always comes up. For example, nuts and seeds. At least every other week, someone says, “Jonathan, you talk about just eat when you’re hungry and stop eating when you’re full. I can sit down and eat a pound of almonds and so what do you say to that? Almonds, they’re high in fat, they have many calories in them, won’t I be overeating?”
Again, folks, the key here is water, fiber, protein and finishing off with fat. There is a potential misunderstanding with the Smarter Science of Slim and that’s that calories don’t count. That is obviously not true. If you stop eating food entirely. you will quickly realize that calories count because you will starve to death because you have no calories. If you eat 10,000 calories a day, no matter what they are from, you will also realize that calories count because you will gain a lot of weight.
The key thing is not saying, “Do calories count? They don’t count.” The key thing is saying that the body is smart and that a healthy body is designed to automatically regulate calories just like it automatically regulates your breath or your blood sugar, or your cholesterol, or your blood pressure. Do calories matter? Scientifically they absolutely matter. Should we have to think about them? No, and that’s the distinction. So yes, calories count. Does that mean we need to count them? No, not at all. Again, we do have to think here. Here’s what not to do. When you’re famished, just super hungry, grab a two-pound tub of highly seasoned, delicious cashews and eat them until you’re completely full. That would be a bad idea. However, if you were to sit down and eat some nutrient-dense protein, some non-starchy vegetables, and then enjoy some of those cashews, you would naturally stop eating those cashews way before you overate because you already maximized the satiety of that meal.
Is it possible to overeat fat? Absolutely. Could you consume an excess of calories if you ate too much fat? Absolutely. This is the other angle I get it from. If you haven’t heard, this is a couple months ago. On Jillian Michaels’ podcast, someone brought up the Smarter Science of Slim, and Jillian Michaels just went bananas. She didn’t really understand the Smarter Science of Slim at that point, I think, and she thought it was just saying eat whatever you want all the time and she made a point, which is true.
If you just sat down and ate nothing but avocados and almonds all day, you will gain fat, because you will overeat because you’re not eating water, fiber and protein. It’s not about eating all fat, it’s not about eating no fat, it’s about eating the highest quality sources of food and highest quality sources of fat. Is the Smarter Science of Slim low fat? No. Is it high fat? No. Is it moderate fat? Yes.
Carrie: It’s also balanced with protein and non-starchy carbohydrates.
Jonathan: Absolutely, so that’s the key thing there, I think. We started off this segment, Carrie, talking about how Smarter Science of Slim is not too extreme in a lot of senses. I guess you could say the exercise recommendation is extremely efficient. Sometimes I get grief from the low-fat community because it’s not low-fat enough and then I get grief from high-fat community because it’s not high-fat enough. I feel for the individuals out there that are doing low carb, high fat because the research around the safety of those diets is clear. They’re incredibly safe.
The research around the efficacy of those diets is incredibly effective. However, any of these individuals probably go to their cardiologist, and their cardiologists are like “you’re killing themselves.” Even though their HDL levels are better, even though their LDL levels are better, even though their triglyceride levels are better, these individuals are programmed to, any time they hear anyone say anything, except just eat fat, they may have a tendency to overcompensate. Just like people who are in the low-fat world, if you say, “I ate a steak,” they’d be like, “Oh, my God, you’re going to die.”
The answer is not to be extreme on either end. It’s to find a nice, happy spot in the middle, unless you’re intentionally doing low carb, high fat, in which case you can obviously eat more fat because you’re eating less of everything else.
Carrie: I think the Smarter Science of Slim seems extreme to a lot of people because we’ve had all this misinformation for the last forty years, and so they think that is balanced, normal, in the middle, therefore when you compare it with this…
Carrie: We are not in the middle.
Carrie: But actually, we are. I think that’s just relatively speaking, it looks like we’re not, and it seems extreme to anyone that’s been eating pizzas and Twinkie for the last 20 years. What we do is going to seem extreme even though it isn’t.
Carrie: We just don’t know what normal and healthy is anymore. Now we’re introducing them to normal and balanced and healthy, and they’re like, “Whaaat?”
Jonathan: That’s absolutely right. A couple of other points related to this that I would like to speak to. One is, we’ve talked a lot about the low carb, high fat community, which is a brilliant community. In fact, I’m going to be on the low carb cruise this year coming up speaking because I think there is so much great science out there in the low carb community.
We haven’t talked much about the Paleo community because in the Paleo community, you often hear things like, “Of course you’d always eat the whole egg because that’s what our ancestors would eat. You’d eat chicken with the skin on it because that’s what our ancestors would eat.”
Carrie: Because it’s yummy.
Jonathan: Because it’s yummy. I want to talk about that, and then I also want to talk about how if we are overweight, we already have a way to eat fat even if we’re not eating fat from our food source, so I’ll explain that in the second here. Let me talk about Paleo first. Keep in mind that again, the Smarter Science of Slim is very similar to Paleo. Paleo is a bit more restrictive in certain ways, but it’s also bit more permissive like in some Paleo communities, there are things called safe starches. You can eat things like potatoes and white rice, and those are insane in the Smarter Science of Slim so you don’t eat them, but in Paleo, you would always eat full eggs and chicken with the skin on, things like that.
Paleo says, “Our ancestors would eat chicken with the skin on and full eggs.” Again, folks, the answer here is the same as what we talked about before, which is Smarter Science of Slim is going to explicitly tell you there are certain sources of fat you have to go out of your way to eat. Because of that, you’ve got to trade that for something. It’s a zero sum game. If you’re eating one thing, you can’t be eating another thing.
Carrie: People, he drives me mad about coconut. Mad! He is always talking about “Carrie, can we look at my recipes?” He’ll go, “Carrie, can we replace that with coconut oil, coconut fat, coconut flour, coconut milk? Can we do coconut? Coconut, coconut, coconut!”
Jonathan: There is a very scientific reason for that, not just Jonathan’s neuroticism.
Carrie: Driving me mad.
Jonathan: We hear a lot, at least nowadays, about coconut oil and how coconut oil is supposed to help you lose weight. That’s a myth. Coconuts are fantastic for you. That coconut oil helps you lose weight is a misrepresentation of the science. The fat in coconut is by and large saturated. We know not all saturated fats are bad for you. In fact, certain saturated fats are great for you.
Coconut is a unique form of fat, meaning it has a lot what’s called medium chain triglycerides. There are short chain triglycerides, medium chain triglycerides, long chain triglycerides. The common sources of saturated fat are long chain. Coconut is medium chain. Studies consistently show that if you were to take, for example, a diet that contains 500 calories’ worth of long chain and swap those out for 500 calories of medium chain – meaning you’re eating the exact same number of calories but you’re getting them from medium chain triglycerides instead of long chain – consistently, those individuals lose more weight. The reason for this is your body actually processes medium chain triglycerides significantly differently than long chain triglycerides. They stimulate your metabolism, and they’re also processed less efficiently – the E in SANE – by your body.
The reason I’m saying this is it’s not that eating more medium chain triglycerides makes you lose weight.
Carrie: It’s swapping them out for the long…
Jonathan: It’s swapping them out, yes. That’s why we say, “Don’t eat the skin of your chicken breast because you’re going to eat this awesome dessert recipe that Carrie’s put together that is chocked full of coconut.” Maybe you had some salmon and that’s super high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which again, is critical, folks. We’ve talked about saturated fats, there is monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats, commonly you hear about Omega-6 and Omega-3.
These are the essential fatty acids. If you are at all familiar with Paleo, you know that we’re eating way too many Omega-6 and not nearly enough Omega-3s. We want to go out of our way to eat more Omegas-3s, but if we are eating more Omega-3s, we’ve got to eat less of everything else. Again, it’s all about these SANE-maximizing quantity substitutions and because of that, it’s a substitution, not an augmentation. The second thing I wanted to talk about is Paleo, which is, again, awesome, awesome, awesome.
I just wanted to call out some differences that we have, not good or bad, different strokes for different folks, and different goals. The goal of Paleo is to eat like our ancestors, the goal of the Smarter Science of Slim is to eat the most water, fiber, protein-rich SANE foods, so two different goals. They overlap somewhat, but they’re also a little bit different. The other thing to keep in mind is if your goal is to burn fat, there are certain things you need to eat for your health. For example, you need to eat protein. We all hear about essential amino acids, if you don’t eat those, you get sick. You also need to eat vitamins and minerals. You don’t eat enough vitamins and minerals, you get sick.
Very, very good sources of vitamins and minerals also often contain carbohydrate. Non-starchy vegetables, for example; low-sugar fruits, for example. We’ve got to be eating a lot of non-starchy vegetables. You may eat some low-sugar fruits. We’ve got to be eating some protein, also going to provide us with nutrients. Then we get to fats. There are things called essential fatty acids. Those are the ones that we need to eat. We need to eat some other fats, but in a lot of ways, fat and carbohydrate are the two sources of calories that are the least required.
If you’re 300 pounds, let’s say, and you happen to not to eat lunch. Believe it or not, you are eating lunch. It’s just coming off of your hips. You’ll eat a 500-calorie, saturated fat meal off of your hips if you are unclogged. If you’re clogged, your body is just going to slow down and it may burn off your muscle tissue, but if you are unclogged, if you’re following a SANE lifestyle and you’ve restored your body’s ability to burn fat…
I personally would not go out of my way to consume a bunch of fats other than the critical fats we talk about, things like the Omega-3s, the medium chain triglycerides, simply because you’ve already got it. It’s already there. You don’t need to eat any more of it because you actually want to burn what you already have off. Then once you get into a happy spot, if you want to dial up the amount of fat you’re eating, that might be fine, but keep in mind that your body can eat fat both from what you’ve taken via your mouth and what you already have stored on your body.
We’ve got to be eating our protein. We’ve got to be eating our non-starchy vegetables. We’ve got to eat our Omega-3 fats, and we’ve got to eat some other fats, but everything else is optional. If we’re trying to lose some stored body fat, going out of our way to eat more fat isn’t necessary. Is it bad? No. Is it necessary? No. This isn’t just Jonathan’s crazy musings; it’s a pretty well-accepted thing. You don’t need to eat more saturated fat if you’re already storing a bunch of saturated fat on your body.
Carrie: Don’t drive yourself mad counting stuff, measuring stuff. I’ve had a lot of questions on my blog recently – probably because it’s the New Year and people are focused on trying to lose weight or lose fat or whatever it is they want to do – “Can you add the amount of protein, the amount of fat. Can you add all this nutritional data to your recipes?” I’m like, we don’t need to do that. Just focus on eating SANE, protein, fiber, water and the healthy fats we need, and you’ll be fine. You don’t need to get into the details and drive yourself crazy, how many grams of this have I had? How many grams of that have I had? You don’t need to do that.
Jonathan: Yep, and as you’re doing that, do keep in mind that if you have a history of overeating or if you’re in a tough place emotionally, eating foods, going out of your way to eat fat, aside from the fats we’ve talked about here that we do want to go out of our way to overeat, can become a slippery slope. Again, this is pretty common knowledge, even in the Paleo community, where there is all these wonderful Paleo treats, like Paleo cakes… Carrie is doing this with sanity. SANE cake, SANE cookies which are better than the insane alternatives but again, taken to the extreme, it’s not a good approach. Your whole day isn’t eating SANE or Paleo cakes and cookies because you’re not taking in the water, fiber and protein you need, and you’ll end up overdoing it.
Carrie: They should be the dessert once you’ve had your balanced SANE meal, once you’ve had your fiber, protein, water, once you’ve had your non-starch carbohydrates, then if you want a cookie, have a cookie. A SANE cookie, that is.
Jonathan: Absolutely, so just to quickly summarize, is the Smarter Science of Slim pro whole food, natural fats? Absolutely. The whole Smarter Science of Slim approach is predicated on the four, let’s call them food groups. Non-starchy vegetables, first and foremost; nutrient-dense proteins; and then whole food fats and low-sugar fruits. Now, those latter two categories are different than the former two categories; non-starchy vegetables and nutrient-dense proteins should be the foundation of our diet.
Those should be the vast majority of what we’re consuming. Low-sugar fruits, a lot of people including myself see a lot better results minimizing our intake of low-sugar fruits. When I say low-sugar fruits, I mean things like berries and citrus versus like a banana. That doesn’t mean no one can eat low-sugar fruits, it just means that some people need to watch out for it. Then we talk about whole food fats.
There are some individuals who can’t just eat a few almonds. Not going to happen. For those individuals, they might need to watch out on those whole food fats a little bit. You don’t need to watch out on your non-starchy vegetables, you don’t need to watch out on your nutrient-dense protein. That’s, I think, the key thing here is we’ve got five-star SANE foods, and then we’ve got sane foods, and we’ve just got to keep that in mind.
Carrie: Yeah, and I was going to say something, and I’ve completely forgotten what it was, but it was really cool.
Jonathan: It was really profound?
Carrie: Yes, so you’ll find that – certainly I have, and everyone who I’ve taste-tested all these baked goods that I’ve been making – is that they don’t have the cravings to eat the whole packet. They have their protein, they have their non-starchy veggies, and then they’ll have one of my SANE biscuits, and then they’re filling. They fill you up, and you don’t want to eat an entire load of them. I find that I automatically do not overeat those things because I don’t have hunger anymore, and I eat one and I’m satisfied and then it’s good.
Jonathan: Absolutely. I still would recommend even in that case, we’ve got to make sure we eat our non-starchy vegetables, we’ve got to make sure we eat our nutrient-dense proteins. The temptation is, again, and to be clear, folks, there is a book called New Atkins For New You I read over the holiday season. It’s written by three brilliant researchers by the name of Volek, Phinney and I think Westman. Brilliant researchers whose work I leveraged heavily in writing the Smarter Science of Slim, low carbohydrate, high fat diets work very well for a lot of people.
However, if you actually look at a well-formulated low carbohydrate, high fat diet, there’s three phases, and the third phase, the maintenance phase is actually strikingly similar to a SANE lifestyle. People often conflate the induction phase with the maintenance phase. Again, and the maintenance phase is much more, let’s call it balanced between the three macronutrients than the induction phase.
Again, Paleo was a very academic concept for decades before it became mainstream. People like researchers Cordane, Eden, Conner, these individuals were writing about Paleolithic nutrition back in the ’80s.
All of their research shows a pretty balanced ratio of protein, carbohydrate and fat. You will notice that if you actually were to track what you were eating, if you do things like indiscriminately eat fat, you won’t be taking in a balance. You will end up eating a high fat, lower carbohydrate diet, nothing wrong with that, but hopefully it makes sense why we say what we do.
Carrie: It makes sense to me.
Jonathan: I love it. Well, hopefully this was helpful, listeners, to clear up any confusion there was about are Jonathan or Carrie lipophobic.
Carrie: If you saw me eat bacon, you’d never say I was lipophobic.
Jonathan: The only thing Carrie and I are afraid of is not preaching the science. The science is pretty clear that there is many different intakes of fats that work for many different people, and we are just talking about that which we’ve studied. Some people do really well on low-fat diets. Some people really do well on high-fat diets, and the science seems to suggest that a lot of us would do really, really well on a moderate fat diet focused on Omega-3 fats, medium chain triglycerides, monounsaturated fats, so all kinds of good stuff.
Carrie: I’ve certainly never been able to – not that this is a diet – continue eating a certain way like I have this last year. It’s just easy. There’s nothing difficult about it. It’s just how I eat now. I don’t feel deprived. It’s just all goodness.
Jonathan: Love it. I love it folks. I think it was Aristotle who said, “It’s not about never being angry, it’s about being angry at the right time and the right extent and in the right context.” And here it’s not about fearing fats, it’s about eating fat in the right quantities, from the right quality, in the right context and with the right other combination of foods. So there we go. Aristotle, sanity, back after the holidays.
Carrie: Everything in balance.
Jonathan: Everything in balance. Jonathan Bailor, Carrie Brown. We’re eating more, we’re exercising less, but we’re doing it smarter.
[End of Audio 36:23]