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Meat-Only Diet: Crave Carbs. Meat + Egg: No Craving

Posted Feb 20 2011 12:00am

Joseph Buchignani, a businessman in Shenzhen, has suffered from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) since he was a teenager. He is now in his 20s. By trial and error, he discovered that a meat-only diet eliminated his IBS. However, it also caused craving for carbs. Because carbs caused IBS, he couldn’t simply eat carbs. He tried many ways of getting rid of the craving for carbs: eating more animal fat, eating less animal fat, eating oil, eating lard, and eating different kinds of animals and cuts of meat. He varied how he cooked the meat, eating  especially fresh meat, and eating fresh whole fish. All of these attempts failed. He did not try taking a multivitamin pill.

Finally he tried adding egg to the meat. That eliminated his craving for carbs. It made his diet much more sustainable.

This is fascinating for four reasons.

1. Sure, some cravings reflect nutrient deficiencies. (Not all cravings: An alcoholic craves alcohol.) But in the cases I know about, there is an obvious or semi-obvious connection between the craving and the deficiency. For example, people who chew too much ice ( pagophagia ) crave ice to chew. They are iron-deficient. Eating iron eliminates the pagophagia. Long ago, a craving to eat something crunchy would have led you to eat bones. Bone marrow is high in iron. So the craving makes sense. In contrast, there is no obvious or semi-obvious connection between carbs and eggs.

2. It suggests that a paleo diet is a good place to start looking for the ideal diet. Paleo ideas suggest a high-meat diet. But no matter how long you study what Stone-Age people ate, you will not figure out that eggs will eliminate carb cravings.

3. Like many people, especially those doing paleo, I eat mostly meat and vegetables (a conventional low-carb diet). Unlike most low-carbers, I also eat lots of fermented foods. I don’t crave carbs, perhaps because of the lactose in yogurt or the sucrose in kombucha. It hadn’t occurred to me to start eating eggs regularly but Joseph’s discovery suggests I should try it.

4. Joseph’s personal science led him to discover something highly useful and completely non-obvious.

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