In Taming the Wolf - 2 we talked about the role of the hormone leptin and how it was discovered to be the apetite controlling hormone. I've written some more about this hormone to help you understand it a little better.


Leptin is a hormone that is released by your fat cells; when you lose fat, leptin levels decrease, but leptin sginaling response increases (hunger diminishes). By comparison, when you gain weight, leptin levels increase but leptin signaling response lowers considerably (hunger increases). Lowering calories just 500 calories during a 15-week weight-loss study in Davis California resulted in decreasing leptin levels in the blood plasma by 54 percent and also led to an increase of hunger. Research indicates that supplementing more of the leptin hormone during weight loss does not help to lose weight or to lessen hunger, however supplementing the leptin hormone after the weight-loss is complete does help prevent the yo-yo effect in humans. To what extent or for how long is uncertain and further research is needed.


Weight-loss helps restore impaired response to leptin signaling. Also, there have only been a half dozen people discovered world wide that actually cannot produce leptin. Obesity in humans does not seem to be related to the lack of leptin; in fact obese people consistently have unusually high levels of leptin in their blood. Rather obese and overweight people suffer from the lack of response to leptin signaling.


Interestingly, research conducted at Oregon National Primate Research Center has demonstrated that high-fat diets impair leptin signaling while low-fat diets do not. Researchers tested cells which conduct nerve impulses and found the cells behaved as if there was no leptin present, even though leptin levels were 40 times higher in mice that were being fed the high-fat diet. It may be that "leptin resistance" is caused by high fat levels in the blood, similar to how "insulin resistance" has been linked to high levels of fat in the bloodstream.


Consider that during weight loss it is normal for fat levels in the blood to lower considerably. This correlates with leptin becoming more efficient in its ability to signal the brain. Our dietary recommendations naturally lower and maintain ideal fat levels in the blood. Typical diets that do not promote long-term changes, often lead to short-term weight losses and increased leptin signaling response. However, when the dieter returns to "normal" eating, their fat levels in the blood increase significantly and leptin signaling response lowers considerably, resulting in significantly increased hunger and caloric intake, and the yo-yo effect which results in weight gains.


This science is still being sorted out, but hopefully this much information will be helpful to you. As you follow the Original Fast Foods and Daniel's Challenge recommendations, the following occurs:


  1. A diet of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes only yields 9 to 12 percent total fat in the diet. It also provides all essential fats at more than adequate levels.
  2. The average American includes 30 percent fat in their diet through the use of oils alone. Eliminating unnessary oils from your diet will go a long way to creating excellent leptin signaling response and to a more natural appetite. Most diets do not strive to help people make this a permanent change and once dieting is over and overt fats are added back into the diet, it is likely that leptin signaling response lowers considerably.
  3. Most Americans consume 42 percent of their calories from animal-based foods. If you will limit intake of animal-based calories to 10 percent of your diet, you increase total fat intake by only five to ten percent--which is still considerable but is managable for the body. 

As you enjoy fruits, vegetables, and grains (legumes included) freely and use animal-based foods sparingly or not at all, you will naturally maintain adequate but low levels of fat in your bloodstream, and your leptin signaling response to the brain which controls feelings of dietary satisfaction will normalize. This means you will come to more easily and naturally eat just the right amount of calories and nutrients.


Remember that fruits, vegetables, and grains/legumes enjoyed together at any meal results in at least five to six hours of stable blood sugars and ideal fat levels in the blood that help to enable leptin signaling response in the brain (hunger is satisfied within a stay-slim caloric budget). The over-consumption of meat and other animal-based foods during any meal can lead to 12+ hours of high fat levels in your bloodstream and to decreased leptin-signaling response and to increased hunger. Best!

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Selecting good fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains as the foundation of our meals, sustenance provides numerous benefits. The phytonutrients and fiber along with the needed protein and calories supplied through these whole foods will promote and sustain health.
Note DC 89:11 distinctly indicates these plants are best when eaten "in the season thereof." Fresh, whole foods are best. Processing of foods, preserving through addition of sugars or chemicals reduces the health values of foods.
Consumption of significant levels of fats is harmful. When the W of W was revealed, animal fats were the only significant source of concentrated fats in the diet. But with technological developments, we now have such volumes of cottonseed, corn, palm, soy, and other vegetable oils which are also very problematic to health. These vegetable oils are often hydrogenated and concentrated so today when these oils are consummed, they are perhaps as detrimental to health as animal fats.
Heat processing of foods, adding sugars, concentrating oils, adding preservative chemicals, are ways in which we degrade fruits, vegetables and grains from their highest beneficial value to health of natural ripe condition 'in the season thereof'.
So what about taking fish oil? I have heard many health specialist say that it is very important to supplement with fish oil to get your omega 3s.
Salmon, flax seeds and walnuts are excellent food sources of omega-3 fatty acids. On the chart below, foods with the highest Omega DV % are the highest sources

daily value of Omega 3 Omega 3
Food Serving Size Cals Amount (g) DV (%) Healthiest Foods Rating
Flaxseeds 2 tbs 95.3 3.51 146.3 excellent
Cloves, dried,grnd 2 tsp 14.2 0.20 8.3 very good
Walnuts 0.25 cup 163.5 2.27 94.6 excellent
Salmon, chinook,4 oz- 261.9 2.09 87.1 excellent
Cauliflower 1 cup 28.5 0.21 8.8 very good
Sardines 1 each 191.4 1.36 56.7 very good
Mustard seeds 2 tsp 35.0 0.20 8.3 very good
Cabbage boiled1 cup 33.0 0.17 7.1. very good
Romaine lettuce2 cup 15.7 0.08 3.3 .good
Broccoli, steamed1 cup 43.7 0.20 8.3 very good
Brussel sprouts 1 cup 60.8 0.26 10.8 good
Winter squash, 1 cup 80.0 0.34 14.2 good
Tofu, raw 4 oz 86.2 0.36 15.0 good
Summer squash 1 cup 36.0 0.15 6.3 good
Halibut 4 oz-wt 158.8 0.62 25.8 good
Collard greens 1 cup 49.4 0.18 7.5 good
Spinach, boiled 1 cup 41.4 0.15 6.3 good
Kale, boiled 1 cup 36.4 0.13 5.4 good
Soybeans 1 cup 297.6 1.03 42.9 good
Shrimp 4 oz-wt 112.3 0.37 15.4 good
Turnip greens 1 cup 28.8 0.09 3.8 good
Cod 4 oz-wt 119.1 0.32 13.3 good
Strawberries 1 cup 43.2 0.11 4.6 good
Green beans, 1 cup 43.8 0.11 4.6 good
Snapper 4 oz-wt 145.2 0.36 15.0 good
Scallops 4 oz-wt 151.7 0.35 14.6 good
Tuna yellowfin4 oz-wt 157.6 0.33 13.8 good
Raspberries 1 cup 60.3 0.12 5.0 good
After being a white-food, junk-food "vegetarian" for 10 years, I thought it was the lack of meat causing our health problems. The truth was we only eliminated meat without increasing our intake of vegetables. We ate fruit and beans but not whole grains and only canned ice berg lettuce salad, green beans, and corn. Yup! Pretty silly.

Anyway we began following Nourishing Traditions and got quite fat but not so happy. For the first time in my life I indulged in bacon, eggs, butter, cream, whole milk, and numerous other high fat animal products. Also for the first time, my weight became a problem. Other members of my family became obese through my indulgent gourmet cooking, delicious though it was. Now I can see that although the research of Weston Price and Sally Fallon were well meant, they were misguided. This research on Leptin is fascinating. Where can I read more of the actual scientific data? I’m a nutrition science junky.

Please, keep this fantastic information coming and thank you.
Begin by googling Leptin research; you may have to wade through advertisements and such that generally crops up anytime something of this nature is discovered. However, you will know when you get to the meat of things and will begin to see who did the science, where, and what the outcomes were. Jim

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