I am often asked about what diet is best and what are my thoughts on the different types of diets, from Keto. Vegan, Paleo, Slow Carb etc. Is there such a thing as the right macronutrient ratio for everyone?
Well, that depends on the individual, how old they are, whether they are male or female, pregnant, type of physical activity and whether they suffer from any health challenges or not. If you want to skip ahead the scroll down : How to calculate the right Macronutrient Ratio that works for your health. If you need to learn more stay with us.
So what is a Macronutrient?
Macronutrients supply our bodies with energy and supply healthy growth and physiological function. There are three primary nutrients required in large (macro) amounts in our diet. Fat, Carbohydrates and Protein.
This discussion is about healthy Carbs, which most people can tolerate and are unprocessed and found in Nature. The top three are Vegetables, Fruit and Tubers. (if you tolerate grains and legumes consider adding small amounts )
Very Low Carb ( AKA Keto) is less than 10 percent of total calories: Best for folks with severe blood sugar challenges and neurological issues like epilepsy.
Low Carb is 10-15 percent. Ideal for weight loss, blood sugar regulation, digestive challenges and mood disorders like anxiety and depression
Moderate carb is 15-30 percent. Support general health and thyroid function
High Carb is more than 30 percent. Depending on your situation this could be for athletes, pregnant moms and moms who breast feed.
Non Starchy Veggies with lots of fiber that require a lot of cellular energy to consume are considered Zero net Carbs. They are Veggies like Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts and Cauliflower. So enjoy these as they are also full of nutrients.
There are four main groups: Saturated fats, which are found in Milk, Meat and Coconut, Monounsaturated Fats which are found in Olives, Avocados, Macadamia Nuts, etc. Polyunsaturated Fats which you might recognize as Omega 6 and Omega 3. Choose whole health versions like seafood, nuts and seeds. Beware of industrial oils, like canola, safflower etc… Lastly there is Trans Fats… just don’t consume man made versions of this group.
The quality of the Fat you consume is very important. For some with a genetic variation in the ApoE 4/4 gene or familial hypercholesterolemia saturated fats including Coconut are not beneficial.
Protein Complete vs. Incomplete
Foods that considered a complete protein contain the nine essential fatty acid need by the body for optimal function. They are animal products like fish, meat, eggs, poultry and dairy. Incomplete proteins like grains and legumes lack one or more of the essential amino acids.
The general guidelines are that 15-20 percent of your diet should be Protein, however if you are pregnant an athlete or have blood sugar challenges you might want to increase your intake to 30 percent. ( Note you need adequate HCL and enzymes n order to digest proteins)
How to calculate your Macronutrient Ratio
- Start with Carbs (the good kind) Based on your health status choose from the category we talked about above : Very Low – High Carb.
- Add in the amount of high quality protein that is best for you.
- Last fill in the gap with good Fats.
- Bonus: Cruciferous veggies are Zero net carbs and full of nutrients and fiber, so don’t forget to add them into your diet.
As a guide this is: General Health: 15-20% protein, 15-30% carbs, 50-70% fat
I hope this has been helpful for you and answered some of the questions you have about ” what should I eat? and what is best for me? ”
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Thanks so much and have a healthy week