The "right" ratio of the three macro-nutrients - proteins, fats, and carbohydrates - is a hotly contested topic in the nutrition world. The "right" ratios are probably unique for each individual, however, these core principles can help you find the right balance for you.
THE ROLE OF PROTEINS: Proteins are the building blocks of the structural body tissues. They make up the tiny molecular machines that constantly work to generate our bodies. Proteins also perform all types of essential functions to enable us to stay alive such as (1) communication, (2) transportation, (3) breaking things apart (enzymes) (4) storage, and (5) defense.
HOW MUCH PROTEIN SHOULD I EAT?
Ancestral wisdom reveals 19-35% of our calories should come from protein.
THE ROLE OF FATS: Fats play a variety of important roles in the body including supporting our immunity, making up the membrane matrix of our cells, creating hormones that regulate our body systems as well as providing an important form of long-lasting fuel. The best sources of fats are from grass-fed animals as well as nuts, avocados, coconut, and olives.
HOW MUCH FAT SHOULD I EAT?
Ancestral wisdom reveals 28-58% of our calories should come from fats.
THE ROLE OF CARBS: Simple carbs (found in refined sugars and the natural sugars in fruits), as well as complex carbs (found in starches, grains, and legumes), can be a quick source of fuel for the brain and muscles and the fiber can feed our microbiome and help us poop.
HOW MUCH CARBOHYDRATE SHOULD I EAT?
Technically, there is no essential carbohydrate and there are people who eat effectively zero carbs. However, ancestral wisdom reveals 22-40% of our calories should come from carbs.
Finally, a quick plug for some REALLY important micro-nutrients:
ZINC, B12, AND IRON: While the temptation might be to get your "vitamins" from popping a pill, it is highly recommended that you get your vitamins from whole, nutrient-dense foods. B12 is vital to nervous system health and is found in meats, and is especially high in animal liver. Don't like liver? Here are my top 5 ways to eat it, without gagging. Zinc supports immunity and many other functions and is also high in meats and seafood, especially oysters. Heme iron is the most bioavailable form of iron. It is necessary for healthy blood and optimal energy levels and is found in dark meat poultry, red meats, organ meats as well as seafood, with clams being the best source in foods.
Veg has nutrients AND anti-nutrients. The plant world is like a landmine field that's dangerous to navigate. Explore the veg terrain, learn which veggies are the worst offenders, and decide whether you should rethink your green smoothies.
People often think of meat and seafood as a good source of protein. And then, in contrast, we tend to associate high vitamin content with fruits and veggies. Get ready to test your assumptions in this jam-packed feature.
If you tolerate nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and grains and want to keep them in your diet, you might still benefit from properly processing them. These protocols will make your foods more digestible, the nutrients more bioavailable, and reduce the anti-nutrient load.