Carbs, fats, and proteins... finding the right balance
Thursday, July 04, 2013
Over time, we receive lots of information on what's good for your diet. You need fiber, people say, and fiber adds carbs... but we're not supposed to eat too many carbs, so we cut back on other carbs, like sugars and white flower.
We're supposed to eat low-fat foods... but many good sources of proteins are also sources of fats, so cutting back on fats cuts back on proteins, which means a higher percentage of carbs... again.
The solution, we're told, is to eat WHOLE grains, nuts, and beans. I like that, I'm comfortable with that... but that adds fat to the diet (yes, there is fat in beans, and a lot in nuts). Back to too much fat again.
This time I'm trying to cut carbs, stay away from fatty meats (no red meat, limited poultry, eat more fish), which boosts my proteins without grossly increasing my fats. It looks good on paper. Over the last few days my diet breaks down to 40% carbs, 36% fats, 24% proteins (compare to SparkPeople's recommended 50/30/20), which isn't bad.
There is something to say about these fats... they are "good fats", ALA, DHA, EPA (the Omega-3 family), so far from being worried about this, I am pleased. Omega-3s increase good cholesterol (HDL), reduce bad cholesterol (LDL), and increase the particle size of the LDL I do have (which is also a good thing).
A great aspect of this: while I had to change my diet considerably, they are changes I can live with. I still have a cookie or two, perhaps a small amount of ice cream... but this new diet is something I can easily live with, cook for the family, and they eat it, too. And that's what it's all about. I'm not starving, I enjoy what I eat, I eat less of it, and don't feel any pressure to "change something"... a win all around.
The best part: I feel better and have lost 4 pounds in the last week. I am quite pleased. Now I need to step up the exercise. One last step on the entrance ramp to a better lifestyle.