Macronutrients: "Oh, I don't eat carbs..."
Today I want to talk largely about the macronutrients of food, as I’m hearing and reading too many mixed ideas about what people actually think they are.
In foods we have three “macronutrients” and many “micronutrients”. We are going to focus on the Macros so we can all get on the same page.
Macronutrient #1: Carbohydrates
I can’t even count how many people I’ve come across that tell me they don’t eat carbs, and when I ask them if they are on Atkins or the Ketogenic diet, they tell me that they actually do eat different fruits, nuts, berries, vegetables, etc. These are all carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates pertain to foods that have a specific make-up of the elements of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in a ratio of 1:2:1. Basically carbon and water = carbo-hydrate! How fun. This is a macronutrient group itself and can form a multitude of different foods available to us. They can come in simple carbohydrates (foods that convert to sugar easily), complex carbohydrates (foods that take longer to convert to sugars). There are some that don’t even have a “net” carb count, meaning they don’t convert to sugar at all.
Having carbohydrates that carry a low glycemic index or load, is the crux of the Metabolic Balance® program as this helps reset your metabolism and helps to rebalance your hormones. Too much high sugar foods can create unwanted weight gain and stop our cells from taking in the glucose/sugar that it needs to convert to energy. See, we need sugars, just not the amount that our society indulges on.
Carbohydrates also can have a variance of fibres in them. Some fibre is soluble and others are insoluble, meaning some can be broken down and absorbed into our system and others help brush our system free of toxins and debris.
Carbohydrates also carry a plethora of micronutrients that can help the bodily functions in a multitude of ways. Immune issues, hormonal functions, adrenals, thyroid, gonads are just a few bodily systems that can benefit with the right carbohydrates chosen for you in the great Metabolic Balance® program.
Macronutrient #2: Proteins
Here is another issue I have found that the majority of people say that a certain food contains proteins in it that rival or are better than other foods. What they are mistaking is the word “protein” for “amino acids”. Just because a certain food is high in an amino acid, doesn’t make it have more protein than another food.
Proteins are a combination of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen AND nitrogen. A different conglomeration than carbohydrates. Proteins are referring to a mixture of different amino acids (22 in total). There are some amino acids that we don’t make in our own bodies: Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan and Valine. These specific amino acids come in different combinations within all carbohydrates and protein macronutrients. Putting them together (together is the key word), in the right combinations create different proteins.
The mistake is thinking that just because a vegetable is high in one amino acid, that that equals protein. It does not. In fact, an imbalance in the amino acid ratio that we eat daily can cause issues in the body when having to clear up that imbalance. Unlike sugars, which get attached to fat cells or converted to high liver enzymes/cholesterol, the body has to clean up this imbalance daily and excrete it from the body which can cause issues with our elimination systems.
Also, for a vegetable to equal the amount of amino acids in a meat portion, the ratio is extremely off, depending on the amino acid profile. All vegetables and proteins (including meat, fish, poultry, beans and legumes, seeds and nuts) have different amino acids in different mixes. Have a good balance of all the different protein food groups can have a fantastic benefit on getting what you need daily, without overdoing it. Variety is the spice of life. Amino acids
Protein has a variety of uses in the body. It is known as the building nutrients and can help with muscle tissue growth, immune function, emotional and mental fatigue, endocrine system, adrenal and thyroid health, to name a few.
(As an aside, all carbohydrates contain some amino acids; all proteins contain some carbohydrates. They like each other).
Macronutrient #3: Fats
For the past few decades someone, somewhere decided that fats were bad for us because they were higher in their caloric count than vegetables or proteins. Oh that didn’t help our health system at all.
Fats or oils, are made up of chains of carbon molecules linked together. They are considered short chains, medium chains or long chains depending on how many carbon molecules are together.
Fats are mandatory for every cell in the body. They are required to create permeability and structure to every cell, help with the creation of hormones and brain function. Did you also know that the heart uses fat for its energy and not glucose? Never heard of heart cancer have you.
I think one of the big things that are confusing for learning about fat is that we feel our fat storage, or excess weight, is the same as the fat that we consume. The fat we consume is burned different inside our body and also contribute to the hormones that signal our stomachs to be fuller faster. They are not stored as fat. Too much of the wrong kinds of fat can lead to obesity, meaning transfats or fried foods. However, there is no link between healthy fats making you fat.
Fats do not contain carbohydrates or proteins, even though proteins and carbohydrates can contain fats.
One of the most interesting conversations I had was with someone who believed that fats contain sugar and I was perplexed as to where they got this idea. Upon massive research, there are a huge number of protein bars that contain glycerine as it tastes sweet. Glycerine is an alcohol that is derived from fats and oils and because it tastes sweet, it is used a lot as a low calorie sweetener. The reviews of how many calories range all the way from 0 up to 6 calories. I’m thinking the calorie count and the net carb count are getting mixed up for these numbers so its hard to say in which food group it belongs. But I’ll keep you posted as the science keeps looking into it.
There are 3 main macronutrient groups: Carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Cutting out starchy foods and refined sugars does not mean you are cutting out carbs. Proteins are conglomerations of specific amino acids together. Best sources of proteins are meats, poultry, fish, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds. Healthy fats are good for your body and have different uses than fat storage. Carbohydrates and proteins contain some fats, but fats do not contain protein or carbohydrates.
Staying Healthy with Nutrition
Metabolic Balance, Your Personalized Nutrition Roadmap, Dr. Med. Wolf Funfack, M.D
Metabolic Balance and Michelle Post, C.H.N.C., is not a medical doctor and do not provide medical diagnosis or treatment procedures. The services provided herein
are at all times restricted to consultation on the subject of nutritional matters intended for general well-being and do not involve the diagnosing, prognosticating, or prescribing of remedies for any disease, or any licensed or controlled act which may constitute the practice of medicine in this province.
Recipe: MB Huevos Rancheros
I made this delicious dinner recipe using all the amazing macronutrients the other night and it has honestly become my favorite.
Makes 1 serving
70 grams of grated potato with skin
diced green, red or yellow peppers
green or black olives
parsley and fresh basil
Mexican (chili, garlic, onion, cumin)
salt and pepper to taste
coconut oil or ghee for pan frying
Heat oil on your pan and fry up your grated potato until crisp and add Mexican flavoured spices. Meanwhile mush your avocado with a pinch of salt, onion and garlic powder. When your potato is crisped, put on your plate and flatten so its a larger flatter round. Smother with your avocado mash. Fry up your wonderful eggs in the pan and you can add whatever spices you like. Here I just like salt and pepper as there is luscious flavour in the entire dish. Add your portion of peppers and olives overtop of the avocado and then your eggs on top of that.
This is a wonderful multilayered flavour sensation that you'll want to gorge on, but don't. Put your fork and knife down and savour each and every bite. Its worth it.
Tip 1: Add some of your favourite hot sauce on top of this and your mouth will be alive with sensation!
Tip 2: This can be eaten for Relaxed Phase 2, 3 and 4.
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Michelle Post is a C.H.N.C. Holistic Nutrition Consultant and a graduate of the Metabolic Balance® Program (2016), Business Wellness Systems (2015) the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition 2015, and graduate of the Coaches Training Institute (2009).
"Since graduating from the Metabolic Balance Program I have successfully released over 35 lbs of weight and my energy has increased immensely. It is the best program I have worked with to reset my metabolism and rebalance my hormones. I've never felt better in my life.”
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