Chapter 3: Understanding Macro Nutrient Ratios
Macronutrient ratios are the percentage of protein, fats, and carbohydrates in a diet. Let’s look below for a break down of each food group to understand which macronutrient category they fall into. This section can be used as a guide for long term health and can be referred to repeatedly.
Despite what we often think, vegetables and fruits are technically carbohydrates. They are generally less dense in their overall carbohydrate load and packed with nutrients thus making them better for us than the foods we typically think of as “carbs” such as breads or pasta. Below, I have listed the various types of carbohydrates.
The first and most important type of carbohydrate is vegetables. In the BoingVERT Diet, you can eat as many vegetables as you like. Most vegetables have a very low carbohydrate load. This means that they have little effect on blood sugar or insulin exposure. Vegetables are packed with nutrients and are disease fighting powerhouses. With this nutrition plan, I encourage you to load your plate with veggies first and make each meal as colorful as possible with a variety of seasonal vegetables. You can not overeat vegetables. Aim for 7 to 11 servings or handfuls of vegetables every day from the Preferred Food list.
Fruits are a great snack and should be treated as such. Sure they are nutrient dense but many of them are also very high in fructose; the sugar found in fruits. This is particularly true with modern day fruits as they have been selectively farmed over generations to produce the sweetest varieties. This means that the fruits we eat today are higher in fructose than those that were eaten 100 years ago. Wild varieties of fruits are generally less sweet because they have not been manipulated through modern farming. Keep this in mind and eat only 2 servings of fruit per day. Also, note that higher fructose fruits such as mangos, grapes, and pineapple, can be eaten in a healthy diet but should be eaten sparingly (no more than one handful per day). During the BoingVERT diet we will eliminate these high fructose fruits. Refer to the fruit list in the Preferred Food List hand out. This does not mean that you shouldn’t enjoy higher fructose fruits in the future. It simply means that during this program, in order to jump start your weight loss, we will eliminate them. As a general rule, berries are the lowest fructose fruits and are packed with antioxidants and other valuable nutrients.
3. Potatoes and Winter Squash
Potatoes, roots, tubers, and winter squash are an excellent high density carbohydrate. Generally speaking, they are higher in nutrients and thus, better for you than grains and beans. Strictly follow the serving guidelines.
4. Grains/ Beans
In this diet, grains and beans are to be treated with care. They ARE good for us in small doses. However, grains break down in our bodies like sugar regardless of their whole grain form. Over exposure to grains will spike blood sugar and insulin which then drives fat into our fat cells. Additionally, increased long term exposure to insulin has been associated with diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimers, wrinkles, pot bellies, and increased risk for some cancers. Science is now indicating that long term reduced insulin exposure has been associated with many benefits such as prolonged life according to Dr. Tyler Parr as published by Karger Medical and Scientific Publishers. Reduced insulin exposure has also been associated with maintenance of a healthy body weight and increased immune function. Eat quality carbohydrates post workout. Two handfuls of gluten free, minimally processed grains or potatoes can be eaten everyday; preferably post workout.
Lastly, lectins, a protein, found in grains and beans are believed to cause intestinal damage when they are over eaten. Lectins attach themselves to the villi of the gut wall within the small intestines. This causes the gut to have reduced ability to absorb nutrients including minerals and protein. Lectins have also been attributed to causing leaky gut and of being the instigator of numerous autoimmune diseases such as IBS, Crohn’s, colitis, thyroiditis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and arthritis. No need to sound the alarm! Grains and beans are healthy for us in small doses. Try not to eat more than 1 serving per day of grains or beans.
Protein is the building block of life. For hundreds and thousands of years, we have eaten protein as our primary energy source. The benefits of protein are numerous. Protein stabilizes our blood sugar, reduces the impact of insulin, and increases our ability to recover from injury or fatigue. It is the base of all cells including muscles, hair, and cartilage. The body and brain would not be able to function properly without protein.
1. Animal Protein
Animal protein is considered a complete protein because it has a complete amino acid profile which is essential for optimal metabolic functions as well as to our bodies ability to assimilate nutrients from our food. Eat your protein in order to properly recover and get completely shredded while doing the BoingVERT workouts!
2. Plant Based Protein
Plant proteins are an incomplete amino acid source with the exception of quinoa. This means that getting proper amounts of protein from plant based protein is challenging at best and can often lead to nutrient deficiencies due to an absence of B vitamins, healthy cholesterol, omega fatty acids, saturated fat, and amino acids. Nuts and veggies, such as broccoli, do contain some protein and are an excellent source of nutrients but these should not be considered a primary source for protein.
Also, soy is not an adequate source of protein and should be completely eliminated from a healthy diet. it is highly estrogenic. This means that it mimics estrogen in the body and can cause hormone disruptions that can lead to weight gain, man breasts, and even fertility challenges. Additionally, soy is high in lectin causing potential gut damage. It is also a difficult protein source for the body to assimilate. Soy is a highly genetically modified crop (GMO) and is full of anti-nutrients that can destroy your health. Don’t eat soy! To learn more about soy, continue reading in Chapter 4.
1. Healthy Fats
Fat does not make you fat!!! The combination of a high fat diet and a high carbohydrate diet (like the standard American diet) on the other hand, will make us fat. This is critical to understand. The BoingVERT Diet includes healthy fats, particularly after the first four week jump start. Fats are delicious and super duber good for you.
Unsaturated fat - Unsaturated fats are broken down into 2 categories. Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated. Monounsaturated fats are found in avocados, nuts, and olive oil. Polyunsaturated fats are where we get our Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids. These are found in foods like oily fishes and walnuts. We hear a lot about the benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. These are found in salmon, sardines, and grass fed beef. Adequate amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet can promote brain health, healthy skin, lower blood pressure, and reduce triglycerides. The Omega 3,6,9 group is imperative to our body functioning properly.
Saturated Fat - Despite popular belief, saturated fat does not cause heart disease. Our bodies actually need some saturated fat which is easily found in animal protein. In fact a recent study by the Oakland research Institute and posted by the National Center for Biotechnology, failed to find any compelling connection between heart disease and saturated fat.
2. Unhealthy Fats
Trans-fats are unhealthy fats. They clog arteries and increase our risk of most chronic diseases including heart disease and diabetes. Trans-fats are found in processed vegetable oils such as Crisco or Wesson Vegetable Oils or in pure forms of canola and soybean oil. These oils are used regularly in most processed foods and are commonly used in restaurant foods. Avoid destructive trans-fats by avoiding packaged foods such as cookies, cakes, muffins, crackers, margarin, snack foods, candies, chips, and pretzels.