Macronutrient balance is fundamental to a healthy diet. All food we eat can be categorized into one of 3 macronutrients – protein, fat or carb. Honoring and adhering to a correct macronutrient ratio based on your individual biochemistry is the key to a healthy weight, and the prevention of metabolic diseases. A correct macronutrient ratio for most people is about 40-50% carb, 25% protein and the rest fat. Most people in the US eat way too much carb and/or protein which can lead to insulin resistance which is the foundation of all of the metabolic diseases.
A simple way to measure whether you are getting close to this balance -is to first fill half your plate with vegetables – this will assure you are getting all the necessary enzymes and fiber to break down the denser macronutrients. Then take a look at your fist – that is all the protein you need 2-4 ounces for most people, and you can do the same for your carb/starch portion of the plate. Then as long as healthy fats have been used to prepare the foods or used as finishing oil your fat needs will be met. Practicing this visual technique will help you to honor a correct macronutrient balance.
This becomes a little more challenging is eating out – where we are notoriously served way too much protein and carb and not enough vegetables. A way to manage this is upon being served is to cut a portion of your protein correctly and place the rest on a side plate to be served to your dog, or shared with someone else at the table, or saved for later. If you have not been served enough vegetables – ask for a side of veggies or a side salad. Do the same with the carb portion and see how much better you feel at the end of the meal.
- Clams – protein portion – keep it fist sized, or apx 25% of your plate. Visualize with the shells off.
- Beans – part of your carb portion this should also be fist sized or add up to about 25% of your plate
- Cabbage – a low glycemic vegetable that is not considered a starchy carb – this will included with other vegetables to make up 50% of your plate.
- Corn salad – corn is a starchy vegetable and is considered a carb – combined with the beans to make a fist sized portion or 25% of your plate.
- Healthy fats – plenty of EVOO on the salad, and veggies dishes – this helps keep us satiated and satisfied in the event that this way of eating is a shift from our norm of too much protein and carbs.