Ok doctors, society, health “gurus”, etc… can we finally put this one to rest? How many times have you heard “Eat lean meat” or “I eat a lot of lean meat”. You know what? It is a really good thing that for once, people CAN’T follow advice really well and I will tell you why. Do you know what happens when you eat nothing but “lean meat”? You die.
No, I am not joking. Maybe exaggerating a bit but it is a real danger. It is known as Rabbit Starvation and most anyone who has spent a fair amount of time in the wilderness or out in the great unknown is familiar with it. You see, a rabbit is a very lean meat. Very very very lean meat. If you are stuck in the woods and eat nothing but rabbit (over a certain amount of time of course – You won’t die from eating a couple rabbits), you will actually die from protein poisoning. This is because you are not getting enough fat!
Vilhjalmur Stefansson spent a great deal of time with the Eskimos and other North American indigenous people. This is what he has to say:
“”The groups that depend on the blubber animals are the most fortunate in the
hunting way of life,” wrote Stefansson, “for they never suffer from fat-hunger.
This trouble is worst, so far as North America is concerned, among those forest
Indians who depend at times on rabbits, the leanest animal in the North, and
who develop the extreme fat-hunger known as rabbit-starvation. Rabbit eaters,
if they have no fat from another source-beaver, moose, fish-will develop
diarrhea in about a week, with headache, lassitude, a vague discomfort. If there
are enough rabbits, the people eat till their stomachs are distended; but no
matter how much they eat they feel unsatisfied. Some think a man will die
sooner if he eats continually of fat-free meat than if he eats nothing, but this is a
belief on which sufficient evidence for a decision has not been gathered in the
north. Deaths from rabbit-starvation, or from the eating of other skinny meat,
are rare; for everyone understands the principle, and any possible preventive
steps are naturally taken.”
Fat = Satiety people (or “feeling full”). Eat lean meat = Be hungry. No wonder everyone is running around starving following “conventional wisdom”.
Heck even our buddy and original purveyor of Grok’s existence Charles Darwin wrote in The Voyage of the Beagle”:
Yet the Gaucho in the Pampas, for months together, touches nothing but beef. But they eat, I observe, a very large proportion of fat, which is of a less animalized nature; and they particularly dislike dry meat, such as that of the Agouti. Dr. Richardson, also, has remarked, “that when people have fed for a long time solely upon lean animal food, the desire for fat becomes so insatiable, that they can consume a large quantity of unmixed and even oily fat without nausea:” this appears to me a curious physiological fact. It is, perhaps, from their meat regimen that the Gauchos, like other carnivorous animals, can abstain long from food. I was told that at Tandeel, some troops voluntarily pursued a party of Indians for three days, without eating or drinking.”
Rabbit Starvation has been the purveyor of many a failed expedition. It has been the bane of past explorers. The need for fat and the “hunger for fat” experienced on low-no fat diets is actually surprisingly well documented. Once again, one of those bits of health knowledge right under our nose that is shunned by today’s “conventional wisdom”.
Don’t get me wrong, lean meat is plenty delicious and healthy … AS LONG AS YOU ARE GETTING YOUR FATS (actually Rabbit is quite good)! Or, you could join the starving “low fat diet” masses.
P.S. Animal fat sources are chock full of saturated fats. That is NOT a bad thing. I can’t wait until we can finally put that pink elephant to bed too.