The idea that one can eat carbs + saturated fat and be sated is not true (at least for me) (genetics?)

(Bob M) #1

If you follow the PUFA debate, you’ll see over and over again people saying that we can combine carbs and saturated fat and get a satiating effect. For instance, croissants, high butter breads like biscuits, French fries fried in tallow, etc., and get a satiating effect. As one example, “The French eat carbs and high fat yet are thin”. Another: “We ate carbs in the 1940s/1950s/1960s, yet were thin.” (The latter is an argument for PUFAs causing obesity, but it implies we were eating carbs + high saturated fat, and that was good.) A final example: “McDonalds used to use tallow on their fries, and we were all thin.”

I have tried this multiple times:

  1. Real, homemade croissants, with extra butter packed on each one
  2. French fries made in tallow I made myself from suet (high in saturated fat)
  3. Biscuits + more butter on each one

With each one of these, I was able to eat and eat and eat…with no satiety effect I could discern. I had to force myself each time to stop eating. (Though for the french fries, my wife and I stopped…because we ate the several pounds of fries I made. All of them. And that was with burgers.)

For me, the idea of carbs + saturated fat = satiety is not true. It’s the opposite, in fact.

Furthermore, I’ve tried high fat/ow carb multiple times. Each time, I found no satiety from high fat. In fact, I find the most satiety from high protein, low fat. And I lose the most weight with that.

I’ll give you an example. I gained 20-25 pounds trying the croissant diet (though I used croissants only once, for (1) above). I then tried just higher fat by eating high fat yogurts, chocolate, cacao butter. While that was better, I was losing weight too slowly.

My diet now, to recover from the 20-25 pounds I gained from the croissant diet, is high protein, low fat. This has allowed me to get back into most of my 36 waist pants and some of my 34s. But it’s taken me almost 2 years to do this. (I have to say, I’ve also restarted some longer fasts, and these might help too.)

On the other hand, here’s someone who ate very high fat and lost weight:

I have not tried this exact same experiment, and not sure I could (the idea of starting out by eating fat…I can’t go there).

Personally, I’m leaning toward genetics. That is, my genetics “likes” higher protein, lower fat. Something like this:

Your thoughts? Is genetics a possibility? Or is fat + carbs always bad? Or does fat + carbs simply taste “too good” (yet another theory of obesity)?\

(Note: when I was testing the croissant diet, I often ate very high saturated fat meals in sweet potato, potato, spaghetti squash; it really didn’t taste that great, but I still gained weight.)

(Old Baconian) #2

As I recall, we ate much less carbohydrate back then. Breakfast was bacon and eggs; cereal was for weirdos. Lunch and supper were mostly meat, potatoes, and a vegetable. However, people were already getting obese, just not nearly in the numbers we see today. Read the case studies published by the corporate physician of E. I. Dupont, whose name escapes me at the moment. He put a number of executives and other employees on a low-carb diet and wrote up their experiences of becoming slim as a result.

Likewise, the French don’t eat as much carbohydrate as we do, and pommes de terre frites are a very rare treat for those who don’t spend all their time chez McDonald. It is true, however, that the French cook almost exclusively with butter, so the fat they eat is mostly saturated and monounsaturated, with very little PUFA. After all, it was French doctors who came up with the low-carb diet that changed William Banting’s life.

I suspect that any diet that includes carbohydrate in the quantities to which Americans have become accustomed is going to be fattening.


Yes, its the same for me. It might be genetics, but I have thought to myself, that I have brought this on myself with years of extreme binging on chockolate and crisps/chips, and somehow scewed that satiety signal. I have total addictive behaviour around carbs, and I think that has been a progressive development over 40 years, and not something I was born with.

Fat + carbs dont give me satiety…im thinking of the broccoli with butter and sourcreme i ate on keto…no stopping there… no satiety.

Very interesting questions this.

(Jane) #4

Not for me, either. Eating carbs with saturated fat just makes me want to eat more.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #5

This is one of the primary reasons I started keto counting/weighing and still do so. I do not have reliable ‘hunger/satiety’ signals. I also suspect, but with all due respect to the OP experiences (and Bob does more experimenting and data recording than I do!) that the combo of high carbs and high fat (I doubt that saturated or otherwise matters much) is the worst possible combo of foods. I agree with Paul that ‘high’ carbs means a lot higher carbs for SAD than it does for other cultures that are trotted out to exemplify the merits of high carb. Or to demonstrate that carbs in themselves aren’t evil incarnate.

The problem is that once you eat enough carbs - and this is probably sub-50 grams per day for pretty much 99.9% of the human pop - insulin interferes with fat metabolism. Once fat metabolism gets messed up, the problems accelerate. And at that point, I don’t think how saturated the fat happens to be matters much. Although I agree that a skewed Ω6/Ω3 from seed oils (plus the extreme processing) is likely worse.

I think one of the reasons obesity on ‘early SAD’ diets - like up into the early 60s or thereabouts - was less of a major health problem simply because dietary intake was less overall. As Paul also notes, we were eating carbs then - but lots less than now - but also eating more fat and more protein in proportion to those carbs. Not only, we were eating less overall and not eating all day long but mostly at set times. I think all of these had an effect that was subsequently lost.

Since the so-called dietary guidelines based on Keys’s fraudulent influence, we’ve not only upped the carbs but also reduced fat and protein and replaced healthy animal fats with unhealthy plant/seed based oils extracted by high heat, pressure and frequently solvents. People eat more overall and eat more frequently - I think mostly because the spikes and canyons of glucose and insulin trigger almost continuous hunger and also prevent fat metabolism. This is a ‘triple whammy’.

Rather than rely on hunger/satiety signals to tell me when to eat and when to stop - I use my overall weight. Once I reached maintenance - 145 pounds, 14-15% BF - I now simply eat to maintain that. I’ve observed from trial and error how much and what proportions of various nutrients I need to eat within an overall ‘energy window’ to maintain and remain healthy and alert. I seldom feel hungry beyond a slight and fleeting suggestion and never ‘full’ or ‘satisfied’ such that I could/would eat no more. I’m 76 years old, healthy, with my mental capacities intact. I’m thin but not skinny, have enough energy and stamina to work full time at Walmart (generally 30-35 hours per week) which requires being on my feet and lots of walking in addition to lifting stacks of shopping baskets. In fact my weight, height and body comp are virtually identical to when I was 18 in 1963. I also ride my recumbent bicycle as much as I can and have started building its suspended replacement.

By the way, I should mention that I’ve started drinking a cup of watered down apple cider vinegar in the evenings before going to bed. This contains about 2-3 tablespoonfuls of ACV and maybe 3-4 ounces of water. It tastes very acidic, but not corrosive. It seems to have eliminated the last of my ‘hunger’ signalling, such as it was, and virtually completely in the morning. This might be useful for those of you who have to deal with strong hunger signals. Just a thought.

(Old Baconian) #6

I was pondering this question further while mowing the lawn, and I had a couple more thoughts:

First, obesity is only associated with metabolic disease about 60% of the time. The remaining 40% of the obese population are metabolically healthy (MHO—“metabolically healthy obese”—is the medical term). And there are actually more TOFI’s (“thin on the outside, fat on the inside,” another medical term) than there are obese people with metabolic disease. So there could be a fair amount of French TOFI’s out there, who are sick, but who look fine, because they are thin. Who knows?

Second, it has never been my experience that fat + carbohydrate is at all satiating. I used to drench spaghetti in butter or olive oil, add some chopped garlic, and eat almost half a pound at a sitting. I would eat until my stomach was literally—not figuratively—at the bursting point and still be hungry for more. Anyone remember “Just wan more waffer-theen meent”? I often felt like that chap.

(Jack Bennett) #7

Portion sizes also changed (upwards) over the years.

Especially for the sugar-sweetened drinks and the fries.


The air and water in Europe is health in itself. The air is rich in iodine from the Sea and the addition of synthetic fluoride to the water is banned in Europe. Harmful pesticides are also banned. Another reason why they’re thin is that Europeans have culture and aren’t capitalistic or excessively politicize everything. Lower stress.

I’ve also never seen large jugs of vegetable oil or juice cartons for sale in Europe. Whole foods are more common.

(Jane) #9

When I travelled with my Dutch colleagues for 2 years I spent a great deal of time observing their eating and exercise habits.

They ate carbs at every meal, but not huge portions. They didn’t snack, and they walked everywhere they went. If they took a train, they walked to the train station. They never used an elevator at the hotels unless their room was above the 6th floor. And even then, only when they were dragging luggage.

My theory is they burned all the carbs they ate with their active lifestyle that starts when they are very young. The only Dutch I knew who had a “belly” had a leg injury and hadn’t been able to walk very far in years. And even he wasn’t huge - just wasn’t thin like the others.

They also never ate fast food and I never saw one eat any processed foods. Well, they would have to snack to do that - which they don’t - since we always went out to dinner at a restaurant. And walked to it, of course.


*electric train
*strict European laws on air pollution

I don’t feel like walking up the stairs after I’ve been poisoned by air pollution.

(Anthony) #11

Scientifically speaking, duh. How could it not be?

When I went keto from the SAD my weight dropped like a rock, the first 70 pounds in 6 months. Seeing my success, both my parents gave it a go and had similar success. My sister refuses to try it and continues struggling with LFHC, she has yet to lose any meaningful amount of weight.

Anecdotally, HCLF appears to be most effective for the people the SAD don’t work well for. How many of us know someone who only has 10-15 pounds to lose, tries LCHF and don’t get much traction? Is it because they’re “cheating”? Maybe, but I think more likely that their satiety signals don’t work well on it, like mine don’t work well on LFHC. I think it’s also why there seem to be so many more “centurions” with LCHF than with other WOE.

I personally am continuing my modified croissant diet style WOE. It hasn’t facilitated any further weight loss, but neither have I gained excessive weight. I do have to be mindful of carb creep and I might still considered “low” carb by the mainstream diet crowd, with a not insignificant portion of my carbs coming from 85% dark chocolate and Greek yogurt. Sugar is still a trigger for me that completely negates any satiety signaling and must be handled with that in mind. I do not eat carbs with every meal.

I believe that a lack of satiety is your body’s way of letting you know you need something you haven’t gotten yet and to keep eating until you get it. If you are eating the wrong thing you still won’t reach it and if you continue will get that physically stuffed feeling where you physically have to stop. I think this is what makes it hard to quantify macros from meal to meal, you don’t always need the same thing and need to look at them over the course of days/weeks for a pattern to emerge. Also, you don’t need the same macros in each meal.

I think that ones protein requirement is fairly static and carbs/fat should be manipulated independently of it. If you find high protein “low ” fat to be your ideal diet I think it’s no surprise that croissants and French fries won’t get you there being they’re mostly void of protein. What if you ate a half a croissant with a big pile of lean roast beef though?


protein and fat is what the body requires…after that, no matter how you balance out those carbs in one’s life it can become a train wreck ‘for that individual’ thru lifestyle, work stress, what quality food they are eating that is mass produced nowadays, to what medical issues per individual you are starting with when one changes to a ‘healthier eating lifestyle’ and exercise levels that change throughout their journey and so on…alot of variables in here per individual.

The body does best on animal protein cause it does cover all the vits/minerals one needs in life but fat is the vehicle that delivers it in the body so that ratio, that balance, is the key to satiaty and healing from an eating lifestyle change has to happen for that protein/fat balance to also occur and ‘change an individual’ slowly to a normal natural body reset point.

Wow, 10 lb gain is where I woulda stopped that ‘trying’ and reversed it before it got to be that much back…cause darn, that is alot of weight back on for an experiment. Every time I gained back it wasn’t an experiment, it was me carb bingeing backwards. I wish I could say I experimented my regains but I can’t :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t put alot of weight on the genetics part…I put it on today’s foods, our lifestyles and most of us can see how we lived and ate longer ago vs. what it is right now…right now we are at our worst food manufacturing chemical crap out there and ‘all to help us too mostly’ like those crazy protein candy bars, insane drinks with insane sugar and protein added and more, meal supplements and more supplement crap out there, addictive produced foods available 24/7, the entire low fat versions of foods, the insanely high sugar content of all foods purchased and so on.

Introduction of crap food onto the world, then global fast transportation to get it all to every inch of this planet is what changed the world on metabolic health. Still is doing just that :slight_smile:

Once metabolically wrecked the body has a long hard journey to heal, again, per individual person will be the monster big variable in here. I don’t think anything can be pinned down on one factor at all about ‘this eating style is the best’ for anyone truly. It is a fine line we all walked, all of us changing our eating and ‘finding what suits’ us the best to work with our individual lives at all times and not against us. Tough food world out there :slight_smile: We all manuever thru it best we can to find the healthiest version of us as we can I guess.


I probably wrote on every forum I frequented a lot zillion times that people are very different especially regarding hunger, satiation and how much we are able to eat.

Carbs with fat has about zero satiation effect on me, I know that already. A smaller loaf of bread with lots of butter (and optionally honey, it matters nothing)? I stay hungry just the same, I actually tried this 2-3 times in my life, before and after fat adaptation. I NEED a lot of protein for satiation, a lot of fat too and the more carbs I eat, the more fat (or partially protein) I must add. Usually as it’s not perfectly clean-cut but almost.
I am not even sure what PUFA is (I know I eat a lot and my usual food items are mixed, they have PUFA and other fat alike in big amounts, that’s it) but I never noticed it matters at all for me. Fat isn’t satiating unless it’s solid stuff from the animal, with the meat. I probably still need my protein but fat tissue is similarly satiating as a good, satiating protein (as there is non-satiating protein as well, rare but exists for me. chicken is my favorite example).

Genetics or some other personal thing. Mine is fixed, it seems.
I don’t say fat and carbs is always bad but it’s not good for me. It’s wonderful for my SO who is thriving on his HCHF woe, too high-fat stuff has a delayed satiation effect on him so he overeats and gets unwell. He uses low-carb meals but they aren’t extremely fatty and have some carbs too and a decent amount of protein as well. Almost pure carb food satiates him just as wonderfully as carb+fat+protein. Almost only carb+fat is such an insane way of eating that I am not sure he ever did that. How anyone can not eat protein…? I like that we two eat very differently, it helps to see how different people are (and someone needs to eat all the fruit we have) but we both need enough protein, lots of fat and bigger meals… Certain eating habits are too exotic to me and I never saw them from anyone close to me. All my family members ate high-fat all their life as far as I know. Maybe not my aunt, I never saw her eating in the last 20 years… I visit her for days a year and not a single meal happens where she eats.

Tasting too good… Nope for me, carb+fat can’t taste as good as some nice fatty protein :smiley: But the latter satiates me so I still stop easily… Eventually. I need my amount of food but less from fatty protein so I don’t overeat. Added fat (coconut oil, butter or anything else, it doesn’t matter) triggers overeating as it doesn’t satiate me. Carbs trigger overeating as they make me hungry so I automatically eat more fat and usually a bit more protein.
I overeat even if my food doesn’t taste good, I never stay hungry on any woe except on my rare Unsatiable Days. But they never happened on carnivore or close, maybe it’s good against them.
(I never will know if I would be starving all day on HCLF as that’s a style I am totally refuse to try. Well I did it for a whole day and I was satiated somehow… Probably my body stopped giving me hunger signs just to avoid the trauma of eating that food. It can do it, bad enough food and even my hunger disappears, not just my appetite.)

Oh but I have exceptions. Egg fast, fat fast. They lack the protein and calories I need, there is not satiating fat and I still get satiated (or my body gives it up, again). Maybe it’s very low insulin effect on fat fast and huge shock to my system on egg fast (it was probably even worse than my single fat-phobic day I tried. the most awful food ever, too few eggs and too much fat, ewww. I am glad I tried and heroically lasted for 9 hours, now I can hate it with a good reason, not like before when I found it an insane idea but I had no experience).

Sometimes I wonder if I would lose fat on carb+fat or not… Probably. No way I wouldn’t stop eating after a day, it’s a horrible menu and I hate being hungry anyway. But I would need outside force for it, no matter how nice an extended fast seems (eating every day seems even more tempting to me).

Oh and my anchestors… Most of them surely weren’t thin but they worked hard all day and they weren’t obese either… I must be similar (or a tad chubbier? it depends, probably) without all the work but I want to be slim. Middle-aged peasant women always were quite fine having a little fat, women in my village still have that.

Life changed a lot, our access to food, actitivies and attitude, they aren’t even similar to the old ways…

Wow, it’s the exact opposite than what we have in my European country. Huge stress, people politicize everything… And despite not being a rich country (or because of that, there is that opinion), it is full with obese people!

We still don’t have it as bad as the UK or the US, though. I rarely see extreme fat people but normal obese and morbidly obese? All the time I visit the city… Youngsters are often slim, older people usually not. People eat very unhealthy, shops are obviously full with overprocessed things… And people don’t really care about their health as it’s normal in and outside of Europe alike. Stupid modern homo sapiens…