Lose weight: eat raw meat

Interesting research recently that suggests that cooking food actually allows us to extract more energy out of it.  Anthropologists have suggested that cooking our food may have given early proto-humans the necessary energy to fuel our large brains (about 20% of our energy) and thus been critical in human evolution.  Well, we cannot do experiments where humans eat a bunch of raw meat, but presumably it should work roughly the same in mice, so we get this:

This feast for furry critters was all in the name of science, of course. Carmody and her colleagues served up the mini burgers as part of an experiment to determine the differences in energy provided by cooked versus raw foods.

It turns out that cooked meat delivers more energy than the raw version — which may have given ancient humans an evolutionary advantage. But the extra energy from cooked food may now translate into unwanted pounds because nutrition labels don’t reflect the fact that we process cooked food more efficiently.

The mice loved the mini-burgers. But they also appeared to enjoy eating raw cubed meat, and meat that was pounded to make it easier to digest. And they snarfed down raw, pounded and cooked sweet potatoes as well.

The mice lost weight when they ate only meat, because mammals aren’t very good at metabolizing all-protein diets. But they got more energy out of the cooked meat. They maintained body weight while eating cooked sweet potatoes, but lost 10 to 15 percent of their body weight in just four days when chomping them raw.

As for the evolutionary aspect:

Early humans ate raw food like tubers, roots, and berries. It took a big gut and a lot of energy to digest that food, and the brain lost out.

Eating meat, which is packed with fat and protein, helped fuel development of humans’ large, complex brains, some anthropologists think. Cooking meat and vegetables made proteins and starches easier to digest, delivering even more energy.

Of course we cannot exactly go on a raw meat diet these days lest one die of all sorts of bacterial poisoning, but it does suggest that for those looking to lose weight, it makes sense to eat raw that which is safe to do so.


15 songs you kind of know

This is a pretty cool list of songs that you know, but probably don’t know what they actually are.  I was pretty pleased that I actually knew the name and artist/composer for at least half of them.  In fact, Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King was the ring-tone on my first cell phone.  I was most interested to learn that the song I know so well from sporting events is actually Zombie Nation.  Enjoy.

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