When we dissect “macronutrients” discussing diet, we are primarily talking about protein, carbohydrate and fat.
In regards to these macronutrients, there is much debate on what the balance of these should be for optimal health. Obviously the type of diet that you follow will drastically change the amount of these macronutrients that you are eating and therefore providing for your body to maintain health.
The body needs fuel to operate on a day to day basis and to heal and repair over time. We understand eating is important, and deciding what to eat is the true debate. Lately I have been trending towards a more “Palaeolithic” or “Ketogenic” diet as learning about the harmful effects of sugar has pushed me in that direction.
I don’t know the answer, but I can tell you that I’m experimenting daily to find what works for me, and therefore choosing what to focus on when it comes to food.
One of the basics that I do believe is true, is that protein is understood. You can get protein from meat products (relatively easy) and for those that are vegetarian, it’s one of the more important macronutrients to consider because you are focused on eating particular plant-based proteins to satisfy what your body needs.
Carbohydrates, although maybe a little misunderstood, are typically not an issue on the question of “Am I getting enough?” The average diet or even the diet promoted as the “ideal” such as the Canada Food Pyramid has a strong emphasis on grains and therefore, most people that just eat whatever they want, will be getting ample carbohydrates on a day to day basis.
The macronutrient known as fat, is often the most misunderstood. Fat has been vilified over the past 40 years, because the medical community made a decision that fat was the problem in diet that was leading to cholesterol issues, heart disease and other commonly known health concerns. This therefore created a low fat diet, which when we look deeper into low fat products, have often been supplemented (for flavour) with sugar to make sure that these products were palatable to the average consumer.
In this day and age with all of the content and information out there, we’re seeing a huge push from scientists and doctors coming out of the shadows and bringing back the truth about fat, which is: it’s not bad and that they’ve had the science wrong all these years and that sugar in fact is the problem.
Using quality oils when cooking is a great way to make sure that you are getting enough healthy fats in your diet. A few of my favourites are:
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cooking with an abundance of oil in your pan is a good idea. Not only does it make clean up easier, but it allows you to consume the oil and therefore get the fat content present in these oils.
Generally speaking, whatever diet you follow, most people are likely too high in carbohydrate consumption, and too low in fat content. If you are still purchasing your groceries with a deep, ingrained thought that you are trying to eat in a low fat manner, I would suggest that you look into this. Low sugar should be a decision maker for you, and if you look at the ingredients list of a product that is low in fat, you may be surprised to learn that sugar content (carbohydrate) is high.
Fat consumed does not equate to fat stored.
If you wish to lose weight/fat it does not mean you need to remove fat from what you eat. Stored body fat is a result of excess sugar in the body that is being stored as fat. The body has the ability to make these conversions with ease between macronutrients and it’s just a bit more complex than the food industry has lead on.
Have a great day, and please don’t hesitate to follow up with any questions or comments.
Dr. Matthew Kittleson
UC Life Chiropractic Centre
1-1113 Langley St. Victoria