Nutrition and related topics have been a topic a few times here and on related blogs, starting back with Shangri-La, hypoglycemia, and what we should eat.

Now, HT reddit, there seems to be some (new) evidence pro the position I think that quite some people here have: high-protein, low-glycemic-index. So, some people here can be a little bit more sure that they made the right bet earlier on -- but how have you actually arrived at those conclusions earlier? I see the evolutionary argument, but by itself alone, it is not that convincing. There must have been data, ...

So, any recommendations on further sources/high-quality collections?

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The argument that always seemed more convincing to me is that refined carbohydrates are really easy to digest. (This is not controversial: look at the chemical structure for sucrose or fructose, and now look at glucose. It takes hardly any chemical work to change food sugar into blood sugar.) This is why you're traditionally supposed to drink ginger ale or Sprite when you have a stomach bug: most people can keep sugar water down even when they're too sick for other food that takes more work to digest.

Ease and speed of digestion explains a lot of the subjective experiences that people have with carbs: you crave them all the time, and you're hungry again soon after eating. A piece of pumpkin pie sounds delicious even when the thought of another slice of turkey seems daunting and too-filling. If you were trying to lose weight, would you want to rely on precisely the foods that make you want to eat more?


Well, you write some things I would subjectively agree, but for me based on at best anecdotal evidence. But most people think "full" not "sugar crave" when they eat some rice or potatoes, so anecdotal is just that... Here dies the "experiences that people have": Only people who expect the carb crave suddenly just experience it.

BTW, The "really easy to digest" did not seem convincing to me, as usually the quoted calories for some food already includes the different efficiencies with which the body can digest it. Wanting to eat more sweets is one thing, but the article is about general food, not cake (sweets have a much faster feedback loop), and the "carbohydrate crave" is exactly what has been denied as "pseudo-science" (at least implicitly: you would not encourage >50% high-GI carbs otherwise).

So, back at square one.


true... and the "digestibility" thing is really only unambiguously true for simple sugar. I still believe the narrow statement that pure sugar is not filling.

The high-protein diet might be the best diet for losing weight.

However, is it really the best diet for prolonging longevity? Too much protein will end up leeching the bone's supply of calcium (and increase the risk of kidney stones). Furthermore, it seems that protein increases IGF-1 levels.

I'm still inclined to believe that a diet high in olive oil and low GI carbs (aka beans) would be optimal.


For longevity you want calorie restriction, and combined with that, your protein intake would stay the same. Of course the IGF, calcium and kidney issues could be caused by the relative amount of protein-to-everythingelse intake, but I highly doubt that.

There's plenty of evidence. I seem to recall Eliezer cited a very good NYT article back in the archives somewhere. Or maybe it was someone else... I'll edit it in here back when I'm my home computer.


BTW, its unrelated, but what is this "corn syrup" that is mentioned so often? I mean, I know corn, and I know what syrup means, but what would this be used for in cooking?