Generally speaking, eating a meal that is right for your nutritional type should produce marked and lasting improvement in your energy, your mental capacities, your emotional well-being, and leave you feeling well-satisfied for several hours. If you haven't yet read the book, The nutritional typing Diet, I would strongly encourage you to do so as it reviews these topics extensively (it is definitely a book that belongs on the shelf of anyone with any interest in nutrition).
If you are already feeling good, eating should, at the very least, help to maintain your energy level. But if you feel worse in some way an hour or so after eating, such as:
- You still feel hungry even though you are physically full
- You develop a sweet craving
- Your energy level drops
- You feel hyper, nervous, angry or irritable
- You feel depressed
... then it might be due to an improper combination of proteins, fats and carbohydrates at your last meal. You might be eating the perfect foods for your metabolism, but having too much of one type of food in place of another can easily produce the symptoms listed above.
Everyone Has Their Own Unique nutritional type
Many people come to my office eating very high-quality nutritious foods and are still quite sick. They haven't touched sugar or junk food in ages and still suffer with many health problems. There are a number of reasons for this, but one of the major physical ones is related to the fact that they are not eating appropriate foods for their nutritional type.
Simple Fuel Analogy
Just as food is fuel for our bodies, gas is food for our cars. Imagine for a moment that you have pulled into an exclusive gas station that has secured the highest quality gasoline from one of the world's leading refineries ... gas that has been screened carefully and shown to be free of anything that would possibly harm your car's engine.
It would seem reasonable to believe that your car is going to thrive on that high-quality gas once you put it in your tank. But what if you were driving a diesel-powered vehicle? If that were the case, in a few minutes your car would stop running, and you would have a very expensive repair job ahead of you.
The fact that the car stopped running does not imply that the gas wasn't any good or that your car was defective. It was simply the wrong type of fuel for your car.
Like your car, your body was designed for a certain correct type of fuel ... that is, a certain correct blend of the right food types. The further you deviate from this ideal, the more health problems are likely. That is why some of the sickest people I see in my practice are those who are "designed" to be eating high-proteins foods but have decided to be vegetarians. Conversely, carb types who choose to eat high amounts of meats also don't do very well.
Different nutritional types
Once you review The nutritional typing Diet you will learn that you belong to one of three general types:
How to Determine Your nutritional type
The nutritional typing Diet has a basic test for you in the book. It is generally helpful but not as accurate as the Intermediate test that is available through certified nutritional typing clinicians.
The Intermediate test is administered online and is evaluated by a sophisticated computer program that generates a 25-page comprehensive report. The program is based on over 25 years of clinical experience. Prior to the program it took someone nearly eight hours to make these calculations by hand.
We currently use the Intermediate nutritional typing test on nearly all of our patients here at The Optimal Wellness Center. Our nutritionists take about one hour to review the results with our patients to help them understand and carefully apply it. The Intermediate test has been one of the most profoundly effective tools I have ever encountered at helping us accurately establish the optimal foods people were designed to improve their health with.
Until now we have only offered this test to our patients. However, since it has been so successful in my practice, I am in the process of training more than 10 additional staff members so we will be able to provide this service as a very cost-effective solution to people who are not our patients. I am hoping this service will be up before the summer of 2003. As soon as we have the service up and running it will be announced in the newsletter.
Again, though, I definitely recommend reading the nutritional typing Book as it will provide you with a full understanding of this essential tool for eating properly.
Different nutritional types
Protein types do better on low-carbohydrate, high-protein and high-fat diets. A typical ratio might be 40 percent protein and 30 percent each of fats and carbohydrates, but the amounts could easily shift to 50 percent fats and as little as 10 percent carbohydrates depending on individual genetic requirements.
Carb types normally feel best when the majority of their food is carbohydrate. However, just as we only have one word for snow while the Eskimos have many more, we only have one word for carbs while there are actually different types. There is a major difference between vegetables and grains and yet they are both referenced as "carbs."
Not All Carbs are Created Equal
While this is technically correct, if one doesn't understand the practical distinction between grains and vegetables, one is likely headed for a health disaster. It is important to remember that over two-thirds of Americans are either obese or overweight, and nearly every one of these individuals needs to lower their insulin levels.
Additionally, most people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes also struggle with elevated insulin levels that respond quite well to grain restriction.
So what nearly all of these people benefit from is not a low-carb diet (the Atkins Diet), but a no-grain diet. Since this is likely to be over 85 percent of the U.S. population there is a major need to clear up this confusion, which is why I have written a book, The No-Grain Diet, to help. This book will be available at the end of April.
So if you are a Carb nutritional type you will require about 60 percent of your food as carbs, 25 percent protein and 15 percent fat, but this type may need as little as 10 percent fat and as high as 80 percent carbs in exceptional times. If you followed an Atkins Diet you might improve initially but eventually your system would break down because it required far more carbohydrate.
Once a person attains a normal weight and does not struggle with other insulin related disorders, it is actually possible to consume some grains and remain perfectly healthy. Carb types actually can do quite well with grains, but remember this is likely to only be about 15 percent of the population at best.
If you nutritional type is mixed, your requirements are between the carb and protein types. This is actually the most challenging type to have as ultimately you will have to rely quite heavily on developing your own feedback by answering the questions after every meal.
Don't stress out about the percentages; they are only rough guidelines. Even if they needed to be precise, you wouldn't take the time or make the effort to eat exact percentages of foods every single time you ate, especially for the rest of your life.
Additionally, your activity and stress levels will affect and alter the quantity of food, as well as the ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, you need to feel your best.
Last, there is also a circadian rhythm to account for. Your biochemistry moves through various phases throughout the day. These rhythms involve your hormonal output, your acid/alkaline shifts, your waking/sleeping times and many other time-based variables. While some people will have a need for the same ratios of protein, fat and carbs at each meal, others will discover that they need very different ratios at the different meals in order to derive optimum energy, well being and performance.
What is the Solution?
Well, it is quite simple. First, start by eating the proportions of proteins, fats and carbs according to your taste and appetite.
Next, analyze (see table below) your reactions to your meal and discover how well you did in selecting the right ratios for yourself.
Finally, if you did not react optimally to your meal, change the ratios the next time you eat that meal and again analyze your reactions. In this way you can fine-tune each meal to the ratios of proteins, fats and carbs that are just right for you.
As an example of how the ratios can make a difference, I used to have a salad with some meat in it for lunch. However, several hours later I would feel absolutely famished, and I could not make it through the afternoon without strong food cravings. Then I realized I needed far more fat in my diet, in my case about 40 percent. Once I increased my fat intake my cravings disappeared.
Remember that you should feel terrific one hour after you eat. If you are still having food cravings or your energy level is lower, these are giant clues that you are likely not eating appropriately for your nutritional type.
You Can Fine-Tune the Diet For You
Even without the more advanced Intermediate program you can start the process of improving your health by carefully analyzing your responses to different foods. After all, your body is the best instrument available to make this analysis.
You can start by printing the Fine-Tuning table below (derived from "The nutritional typing Diet") and using it to help guide you in balancing your ideal ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Fill it out one to two hours after each meal. When you eat the right ratios, you'll only check the "positive" responses. Any "negative" responses will mean that you need to adjust the ratios.
For example, suppose an hour after lunch you felt sleepy, hungry and wanted some caffeine or something sweet. These are clear indications that the ratios at lunch were far from what they should have been for your metabolism. So the next day, eat the same foods for lunch but dramatically change the ratios.
As a result of this change, you will feel noticeably better... or worse. Either way you win. Either you'll know you are on the right track or you will have learned that you need to go in the opposite direction with your ratios. In other words, if you dramatically increased your protein and lowered your carbs and your symptoms worsened, you'll know that what you needed to do at that meal was actually lower your protein and increase your carbs.
Your body knows best--far more than any diet expert ever will. It will always tell you in no uncertain terms exactly how well you did in giving it what it needs, once you learn how to interpret your own "body language." Have fun discovering your own unique needs. You'll be amazed at the results.
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