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Book Review #2, 2022: Eat Like The Animals: What Nature Teaches Us About the Science of Health Eating


Image by Andrea Bohl from Pixabay

Image by Andrea Bohl from Pixabay

Book Review

Title:    Eat like the Animals: What Nature Teaches Us About the Science of Healthy Eating 

Author: David Raubenheimer, PhD, Steven J. Simpson, PhD

Year:    2020

Pages: 242

This book in 4 sentences-

  1. A specific craving for protein is universal in all living things.
  2. The appetite for protein determines our overall eating patterns.
  3. If the foods we eat contain too little protein, we will overeat until we satisfy our protein appetite.
  4. Ultra processed “foods” contain so little protein that we tend to eat them endlessly trying to satisfy our protein requirements.

Who should read this book? Anyone who is interested in human nutrition, particularly protein requirements.

Overview: Two highly educated Australian biologists take what they have learned from studying bugs, like locusts, and continue to test an evolving hypothesis to include primates and humans. Why do animals seem to know intuitively how to eat a balanced diet and why have humans apparently lost this crucial skill? This skill includes knowing when to eat larger amounts of protein, for reproductive capacity, and when to eat larger amounts of carbohydrates, to promote longevity. These professors are pretty entertaining as they detail the journey that led them to their conclusion that an appetite for protein determines our overall eating patterns. This book reads fast and furious and has dashes of Indiana Jones mixed in. It is really a treat.


I have tried to read on human nutrition for many years and I have come to the conclusion that it is not as simple as I would like. I have always liked the higher protein type diet with a concomitant lower carbohydrate approach to eating. This high protein/lower carb approach just makes sense to me. And this generally, very generally, will help most people become a lot healthier. But alas there are some pitfalls surrounding this oversimplified approach and this book is good to delineate them. Apparently, it is possible to overeat protein as well, which has always seemed impossible to me. Protein drives the ship! And indeed, it does in nature. But we don’t really live in nature anymore and therein lies the problem. Our food environment has been tampered with so much that we as humans have lost the ability to eat intuitively. Accordingly, this has had global consequences for obesity. People globally are getting fatter.

Although I, like most people, usually look for something to read that I already agree with, known as a confirmation bias, I did not find that here. I found a challenge to my oversimplified view of human nutrition. But I can tell you for sure that the more processed a food is, think fast food, the farther away it is from being useful for human health. That is not to say we should look to complicate our eating either. There is certainly a balance. Finding a balance that allows one to have longevity and vigor is the art of this game.

If you would like to read this book my copy is in the office for checkout. (Not takeout… pun intended.)

Or you can find it here: Eat Like The Animals: What Nature Says About the Science of Healthy Eating

2 Join the Conversation

  1. Rebecca says
    Feb 26, 2022 at 1:26 AM

    Love your book reviews. Thank you for doing the hard work and sharing the information.

    • says
      Mar 01, 2022 at 5:20 PM

      So glad you enjoy and hopefully find younthem helpful. Cheers, ks

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