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Publisher's Summary

Tapping into nature and the power of protein to tell us what to eat, when to eat, how to control weight and how to live longer.

How is it that a baboon, a cat and a locust instinctively know what to eat for balanced nutrition, and we humans can't seem to figure it out?

Mixing a nutritionally balanced diet, with a precise ratio of protein to carbohydrate, seems daunting, but animals, from apes to cockroaches, all manage it instinctively. It comes down to the essential role of appetite to communicate the body's needs to the brain. Humans have this ability too, but our appetites have been hijacked in the modern food environment, causing obesity and the serious diseases that come with it. 

David Raubenheimer and Stephen J. Simpson have been studying appetite in animals, transforming the science of nutrition with their findings. In Eat Like the Animals they take us on a journey from jungle to laboratory and back to our own kitchens to understand how and why we eat, how appetites are fed and regulated, and how, in the end, it all comes down to protein.

Armed with this knowledge, they explain simple steps you can take towards eating a more natural diet for optimal health and a longer life.

Praise

"Eat Like the Animals is a wonderfully clever and unusual introduction to the science of healthy eating. I loved the way it was written, and I found it full of drama, insight and surprise. Raubenheimer and Simpson make a very compelling case for the importance of protein in regulating our hunger and very powerfully demonstrate the horrific role that the junk food industry has played in our lives. Essential reading" (Dr. Michael Mosley, science presenter and author of The Fast 800)

"At last a book on diet and nutrition that makes sense. In a world awash with misinformation about what and when to eat, Eat Like the Animals is a breath of fresh air. I couldn't put it down. Based on more than 30 years of cutting-edge research, it explains how the modern food environment hacks our hunger control system then explains what we all should be eating to live healthily and age well." (David Sinclair, Professor of Genetics and co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging, Harvard Medical School, and author of Lifespan: Why We Age-and Why We Don't Have To)

"Eat Like the Animals is a must-read. This beautifully written book proposes a highly original and compelling explanation for why so many of us gain weight in today's over-processed food environment. Raubenheimer and Simpson are biologists who use their deep knowledge of animal and insect physiology, evolution, and feeding behavior to construct a compelling hypothesis: we share with animals an innate appetite for protein that regulates what we eat." (Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Emerita, New York University, and author of Unsavory Truth)

"Eat Like the Animals is quite simply a masterpiece. I am completely blown away by the science and enthralled by the clarity and elegance of the writing. Raubenheimer and Simpson have revealed the deep evolutionary secrets of the most important physiological need any animal faces by asking the right questions, and have eviscerated all the charlatans, quacks and pseudoscientists who seek fame and fortune by peddling rubbish. The story the authors have told is very important - more so than many people will realize." (Dr. George McGavin, zoologist and broadcaster)

©2020 David Raubenheimer (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

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Excellent, mostly...

I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. Engagingly written and performed, finished in one session. Recommended.

Although I agree with the protein leverage hypothesis, I do have a few comments:

1. The conclusions from the mega-mouse study (chapter 8) don't entirely ring true. I don't want to spoil the story, so no detailed discussion of the results, but a little bit of reading elsewhere showed that some of the mice on a particular diet became so unhealthy that they were euthanised, which skewed the results in the wrong direction! Moreover: (1) the authors didn't point out the differences between the metabolism of mice and humans (mice don't do well on high fat diets, but humans need a combination of the wrong kinds of fat and carbs to deteriorate); (2) the most long-lived mice actually followed the opposite diet to the one recommended. Very odd not to point this out, particularly when the recommendation may tempt some readers to further reduce protein consumption below an already too low level (eg less than 15%), which seems to defeat the point of the book!

2. Not much on quality and bio-availabilty of different protein sources.

3. The guidelines at the end of the book are mostly excellent, but don't all draw on the research supporting the hypothesis, and stray into opinion. I disagree with some of them (particularly anything that suggests that vegetable oil is 'healthy' - it's toxic), but I'm nit-picking.

Overall, a really good report on some incredible research.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.