Thursday, March 5, 2015

don't under-eat protein!

During my attempts to fall asleep last night, I started reading something mentally stimulating -- that's always a mistake!  Exciting thoughts --> insomnia.

It all started with a yen for oysters yesterday....

There are two foods which I occasionally crave while eating correctly (eating INcorrectly, i'm inclined to crave big fatty steaks):  liver, and raw oysters.  Those two superfoods make me feel so good and ... NOURISHED!  I feel calmly exhilarated after a couple of ounces of either one.

We tried to go to a "new" place which has a high reputation for both fresh oysters and other kinds of seafood, but the website is out of date and when we arrived during the lunch hour it was deader than Jimmy Hoffa.  Bummer!  But this is SAINT LOUIS -- the true daughter of New Orleans, where good food is to be found in so many restaurants we put larger and more fashionable cities to S-H-A-M-E!!!    :-D

So we went back to a "tried" restaurant in the downtown area -- we previously sat on the patio and had no experience of eating indoors, but being wintertime we headed for the area beyond the first bar.  ...It was charming in a French Quarter kind of way!  Why did we delay revisiting this place?!

We started with raw gulf oysters, and they were delicious.  The appetizer menu was broad and innovative enough to convince us that we need to patronize the Broadway Oyster Bar much more frequently, for the pleasure of trying more dishes while in that delightful state of food-naïveté, in which hunger is the best sauce.  We next decided to get the baked-oyster sampler platter (which includes Rockefeller, Bienville, and Cardinale) and also the sampler including gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans & rice.  :-D  Nine oysters and a few spoonsful of the various other dishes charmed and ... FILLED me.  My home-made gumbo always beats commercially available ones;  even Mahatma brand red beans and rice is hard to beat;  but their jambalaya is capable of tempting even a low-carber.

All through the afternoon I floated on a nutrient-repletion cloud.  I felt happy and relaxed and satisfied. ... And energetic -- though I was pretty sedentary after we got back home, I didn't feel drained, just well-exerted.  Unfortunately the energetic sensation was still going strong in the late evening.

I still wasn't asleep at 2 a.m.  Too many thoughts were exciting me.  I followed twitter-links to interesting blogs and studies.  I googled the possibility that inositol supplements would be of use to me.  I followed links on tLCD and PoWM if they sounded at all interesting.  I read in a book I picked up on BuckBooks the other day. 

There was more about "moderating protein" which caught my eye -- and my thoughts.

If you're a young body-builder trying to get into single-digit body-fat levels there might be a reason to play with juggling macronutrient ratios, and for going to extremes.  For grown-up people who just want to be healthy, a different philosophy applies.  There are certain "universal" physiological facts on which we can rely.  One of those is how adequate dietary protein is metabolism-boosting ... NOT ruinous of the ketogenic state.

Advocating a sub-optimal protein intake is absolutely insane, and yet this is promoted in the LCHF community.  For the sake of pursuing high readings of ketones, nutrition-tweakers are overdosing on cream, butter and coconut-oil shots, and reducing their protein intake down to a ridiculous degree. 

Physiologically-correct protein intake is GOOD for your body composition.  "Excess protein converting to glucose" is HYPERBOLE, not par for the course.

In the case of individuals who require strong central ketosis for brain function, keeping protein intake regulated is important.  For people merely trying to lose weight on a LCHF diet, taking in adequate protein is something to encourage.  We see it over and over -- higher protein content in the diet almost always results in improved weight-loss.

Reasonably-high levels of protein (under two grams of protein per kilogram of ideal weight) in the diet DO NOT destroy ketotic status.  Outrageously-high numbers of protein grams MAY.  So also might one-meal-per day, lower percent of protein, in a single high-calorie meal.  One big bolus of calories with ANY macronutrient ratio causes a strong insulin response, which impacts ketone production.  Percent of protein in diet means NOTHING -- it's the grams that count.

If you don't believe me, read Bill's educated opinion:


  1. My favorite food is beef. Period. I would have a better chance of being a Zero Carb, eat beef/drink water/only person than a vegetarian. I feel GREAT when I'm eating a lot of beef. Just the way I am.

    I definitely still wonder about all the super high-fat hyperbole/talk. I don't restrict my 'full fat', but I don't particularly seek it out, either. I think low carb veggies that are personally tolerable to me, plenty of protein, and about 20% of my daily caloric intake via fat (through nuts or dairy, mostly) is what works best for me.

    Of course, to each their own. :)

    1. absolutely!!! I think there's been a lot of confusion about courting ketone values -- there are those who need to from a neurological standpoint, and those who are trying to optimize athletic performance, ... and then there's US. All WE want to do is control our weight and feel good! The ketones we want to see in our blood and urine are what was made of our own fat, NOT dietary fat, after all -- we need to only eat enough fat to satisfy our appetites and let our bodies know there's not a food-shortage going on.

      As people age there's a tendency to reduce protein intake, so this is exactly what we need to guard against. Protein, though it does prompt SOME insulin secretion, is not enough to seriously hinder our fat-burning capabilities unless we eat really ridiculous amounts -- certainly we DON'T need a pound of steak at every meal, nor should we aim at 3000 calories a day ... but conversely eating only TWO OR THREE OUNCES of animal protein per meal, as some idiots would encourage, is absolute BS and a shortcut to muscle-wasting and bone-weakening.

  2. ↑ The Denverterranian Diet!

    I feel better on moderate protein/high fat, but not super high fat/low protein. And I've never had a taste for lots of fatty food at one time, unless I haven't eaten much fat in a while.

    I also don't feel well unless I eat red meat, whether it's beef, pork or lamb.

    1. amen sister! :-) fatty cuts of red meat are the mainstay of my diet too, with occasionally excursions into poultry or fish-land. I think that once we tame our appetites for starches and sugars, it's safe to listen to the promptings of ... what just "sounds good today."

  3. Well have to say all this sounded blissful ....

    " All through the afternoon I floated on a nutrient-repletion cloud. I felt happy and relaxed and satisfied. ... And energetic -- though I was pretty sedentary after we got back home, I didn't feel drained, just well-exerted. Unfortunately the energetic sensation was still going strong in the late evening."

    What a wonderful feeling - one to hang on to and not let our mind go onto stronger subjects and thought processes .... fatal, although of course great when it ends up with a good blog post !

    Take Care and .....

    All the best Jan

    PS Sounds like one of your great cocktails would have gone well with your meal ?

    1. it was rather blissful.... if I didn't feel a little "guilty" about staying up so late, I wouldn't have had a care in the world. :-) I drank chardonnay with my oysters, btw, though they had some N'Orleans classics on the cocktail list!

    2. "chardonnay with my oysters,"

      ........ sounds a good choice to me Tess.

      All the best Jan

  4. Hmmmm liver! I've come to find the post chicken liver "buzz". Very fun...

    Deader than Jimmy Hoffa!! Love it. I've not tried raw oysters. Too much continuing education and parasitic lab work. Not rational, but I can't get past it. Sigh. Cooked shell fish, yes.. :)

    1. yes, i'm picky about where I get my oysters if i'm going to eat them raw -- and i'm the same way about rare hamburgers and steak tartare! i'd never had oysters on-the-halfshell till we spent so much time in the Quarter ... and then I was hooked! :-D