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Get the ratios right

When you have selected the right foods and stocked your larder, all you need to know is in what proportion these foods should be eaten. It is determined, like everything else, by our evolution and our body's needs. For the best of health and for weight maintenance, research has shown that you should try for the following ratios of the three macronutrients:

  • Carbs - 10-15% of calories

  • Protein - 15-25% of calories

  • Fat - 60-70% of calories

Carbs. The ideal figure for carbohydrates has been found to be about 50-75 grams. That amount avoids the problems caused by a too drastic change of energy source during the few weeks after the changeover period. It is also the maximum amount that a diabetic should eat. After your body has become accustomed to not getting the level of carbs it had previously, you can eat more or less as you like.

Protein and fat. To maintain your body and provide it with the amino acids it needs for cell regeneration and repair, plus the enzymes that control almost all body functions, your consumption should be at least 1 to 1.5 grams of good quality protein for each kilogram of lean body weight. This means in practice eating some 50 to 100 grams of protein. You then need to ingest sufficient fat for its essential role in body maintenance as well as to supply the energy your body needs to function. As only some 23% of lean meat is protein, whereas fat is practically all fat, this equates to eating meat which is about 4-6 parts lean to one part fat.

You should also include variety or organ meats like liver and kidneys as these contain the widest range of the vitamins, minerals and trace elements your body needs.

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Last updated 23 January 2009

Disclaimer: The Diabetes Diet website should be used to support rather than replace medical advice advocated by physicians.

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