Lesson 203 - The Calorie Nutrient Ratio
As discussed in the last lesson you need to get the right amount of calories for "you" based on a few factors revolving around your sex and your physical activity. But what kind of calories should you be consuming? Will any calorie work? As it turns out we were designed to have a very specific ratio of the type of calories we are to consume. This ratio is based on the three main elements of food, carbohydrate, protein and fat. So how do you know what ratio of these elements to have in your diet? Originally we would have stayed within this ratio instinctively but in modern times we have needed to re-learn this balance by experimentation. In other words we have developed what this ratio should be by trial and error. Although many people have worked on determining the appropriate ratio of foods, Dr. Douglas Graham (seen pictured above) has made it simple with his 80/10/10 diet. The 80/10/10 in the name of his diet program is actually the calorie nutrient ratio that works best for the human diet. Again this was determined by trial and error experiments performed until the most health and energy giving ratio was found. The 80/10/10 stands for 80% or more carbohydrate, 10% or less protein and 10% or less fat. Those of you who were followers of the Atkins diet probably just fell off your chair as this ratio would suggest far from a low carb diet. As will be discussed in later lessons the low-carb diet is far from healthy or sustainable. Also it should be noted that although this ratio is somewhat firm in that we do not want to be at 60% carb or 20% fat or protein, this ratio is slightly flexible based on your individual requirements. Often the carb ratio should be higher and the fat and protein lower for most people. Also some athletes may require a bit more protein as they will have more body damage to repair. Every person who has maintained a ratio close to this in their diet, has achieved vibrant health. We also have many examples of what happens when people are not following this ratio in their diet and have higher levels of fat and protein. In the next lesson I will go through how to determine the ratio of your foods and give some examples of common foods and their ratios. Go to 204 – Common Food Ratios.