You hear nutrition experts, or those who tout their nutrition bonafides, set forth a wide range of rules on THE WAY to succeed at weight loss. You’ll hear: eat no more than 40% of calories as carbohydrate, eat plenty of protein or get at least 50% of your calories as carbohydrate and limit fat to under 25% of calories, etc., or should I say ad nauseam.
Research and reality show there’s no ONE RIGHT formula for EVERYONE. Plus, in reality, the debate about the ideal mix of macronutrients (that’s carbohydrate, protein and fat) to eat comes down to a debate about where should 5 to 10% of your calories come from – carbohydrate, protein or fat?
On June 2, 2011 the food pyramid was put to rest and the simple, straightforward plate was introduced as the new icon for healthy eating. While I'm pleased with this new colorful, simplified food icon, I by no means think it will put a halt to nutrition debates, including these two questions:
- What percent of calories from carbohydrate, protein and/or fat should we eat?
- Is it healthier or better for managing blood glucose or fat levels to eat more or less: carbohydrate, protein or fat?
These questions, in my humble opinion, have and continue to receive too many research dollars and too much media (and thus, consumer) attention.
Please hear me out...
We seem fixated on the quantity questions regarding our, so-called macronutrients – our main sources of calories (that’s carbohydrate, protein and fat). Yet the research to date as well as the recommendations from respected bodies, such as Institute of Medicine and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committee Report, proves out a few stark realities. I’ll delve into these here and detail why our focus should be squarely on the quality of carbohydrate, protein and fat we eat, not the quantity.
Myfoodadvisor tm (www.diabetes.org/myfoodadvisor.html), just released by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), offers people with diabetes, and those looking to eat healthier, a comprehensive and easy-to-navigate nutrient database with a bundle of tools. At its core, it's a nutrient database for 5,000 commonly eaten basic ingredients, fresh and frozen foods, packaged foods and restaurant foods from a few large chains.