In self-selection feeding paradigms, rats display differential patterns of nutrient (protein, carbohydrate or fat) intake. Factors known to influence this selection include brain peptides as well as circadian parameters. In this series of experiments we investigated the role of PVN galanin in nutrient intake during the early and late dark periods in the rat. Rats were allowed to select between three isocaloric diets enriched in protein, carbohydrate or fat. Following a 2-week adaptation period, the animals' 24-h intake was monitored for 4 weeks. Galanin was injected into the PVN and food intake was measured 1, 2 and 24 h post-injection. Galanin significantly increased the 1 h total food intake but it failed to increase the intake of any particular nutrient. Galanin had no effect 2 or 24 h post-injection. Analysis of the data grouped by preference based on the rats 24 h baseline selection patterns over the 4-week period revealed that galanin seem to increase the preferred nutrient. That is, galanin preferentially increased the intake of the carbohydrate- or fat-rich diet in animals with high (over 40% of the total food intake) 24-h baselines in this particular nutrient. Finally, analysis of the plasma hormone levels after paraventricular galanin administration revealed a significant increase in noradrenaline levels, a small reduction in plasma insulin with no effects on adrenaline, glucose or corticosterone. The data revealed that galanin in the PVN influences both food intake and metabolic functioning. PVN galanin significantly increases sympathetic outflow and seems to stimulate the intake of the individual rat's preferred macronutrient.