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

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.

5 Responses to “Meat-Only Diet: Crave Carbs. Meat + Egg: No Craving”

  1. john Says:

    I too have found that eggs decrease carb cravings. I think that they are simply a very satisfying food per calorie amount. Fermented dairy and unsweetened chocolate has this effect with me too. With certain foods, I keep eating until my stomach is too full to continue; with others, I feel satisfied without the physical fullness–I think taste is an important factor, because when I use hot sauce on eggs, or eat meat in a curry-type sauce, I eat much more.

  2. UncleLongHair Says:

    I sometimes get cravings after a workout (usually 30-45 min intense cardio and some weights). I have tried different things to satisfy them. I have tried carbs, proteins, or a mix, and they don’t really do it on their own. I don’t feel as hungry, but I still feel like something is “missing”. The feeling goes away after an hour or two, but is annoying in the interim, and I feel that I should try to figure out what my body needs for best health.

    The best thing I have found is whole milk, particularly raw milk, about 3/4 to 1 cup about 20 minutes after the workout. This completely satisfies my cravings for hours and allows me to wait until my next meal for some food. I suspect that this is due to a good combination of fat, carb, and protein, as well as vitamin D. I think a lot of people are “low” (maybe not technically “deficient”) in vitamin D without realizing it.

    I think cravings are interesting and should be studied. I think a craving can be your body telling you what it needs, but only in terms that your body has been “taught”. For example pregnant women might crave pickles or pickle juice, when what they need might be salt/sodium or other minerals, and the thing they’re most familiar with that is very high in sodium is pickles. I wonder if a woman who was familiar with Japanese cuisine would crave umeboshi instead?

    A person may be craving ice cream but maybe what they need is fat and vitamin D, and there are better ways to get that than ice cream (i.e. w/o the sugar), but they are not familiar with any foods that have fat and vitamin D but no sugar, so they crave ice cream.

    I often crave dark chocolate when I am a bit depleted (a long stretch with too little sleep or too much partying, etc), but from experience I know that what my body needs is vitamin B (i.e. taking a B vitamin tablet makes the feeling go away within about a half hour). This doesn’t make sense but my body must have some association between dark chocolate and vitamin B.

  3. Nancy Lebovitz Says:

    I think paleo is an interesting starting point, but not a reliable source of answers for individuals. I don’t think bird eggs would have been available through the whole year.

    On the other hand, it’s conceivable that insect eggs would be available more of the time in ancestral environments, and have similar nutritional value.

  4. stuart Says:

    It has been proven that you can live on a meat/fish only fish diet, and stay healthy the original inuits lived like that and had no cancer, cardiac, diabetes or other cilivilised diseases, however they aged quickly and had a shorter lifespan, possibly because of a lack of anti-oxidant foods.
    It is also noticeable that 75% percent of their calories came from fat, and that they would become sick just eating lean meat.

  5. Anna Says:

    Um, I don’t think there’s any evidence of the Inuit aging quickly or having short life spans while eating their traditional diets. At the time studies were done, Inuit were living to 50, while Englishmen and women were dying at 40. So Inuit were outliving Anglo-Saxons by at least 10 years (circa 1900). Many Inuit eat Western diets today and have all the problems associated with Western diets.