Macronutrients are the main nutrients that make up the foods we eat. There are three, and you’ve probably heard of them before: carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
What if I told you the macronutrient guidelines have been wrong and built on bad nutrition science?
Since 1980 you’ve been exposed to the government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans and various versions of the food pyramid. In doing so, you’ve eaten the prescribed diet and followed the instructions.
Since 1980, you have lived your life, you grew older, you grew wiser, and many of us got fatter and sicker. In fact, according to the Centers For Disease Control, 75% of Americans are suffering. It’s true, 75% of American adults and children are overweight, obese, pre-diabetic, diabetic, or have a chronic disease brought on by nutrition and lifestyle.
The way I see it, you did what YOU WERE TOLD TO DO, but the prescription was WRONG! The evolution of our dietary guidelines introduced Americans to the high carbohydrate, low-fat way of eating and brought with it, diabetes, obesity, and chronic disease epidemics.
THIS is an undeniable fact!
So today let’s begin to demystify, simplify, and understand the TRUTH about nutrition.
Macronutrients – Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are found in both healthy and unhealthy foods. Large quantities of carbohydrates exist in foods we all know and love like breads, pastas, fruits, rice, potatoes, grains, sugars and other starches.
Did you know that carbohydrates are NOT essential for life?
That’s right…if you never ate another carbohydrate again, you would survive…interesting, right?
When you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks them down and they become blood sugar, also known as blood glucose.
Blood sugar has 3 functions.
- It can be used as fuel for cells and tissues
- Stored as glycogen (storage form of blood sugar)
- And, if you are eating carbohydrates in amounts prescribed by the Standard American Diet (SAD), it’s safe to say that you are storing tons of blood sugar as the dreaded and deadly body fat.
The body needs fuel to carry out all necessary functions to sustain life. However, if you are eating significant amounts (normal amounts included in the SAD) of carbohydrates, your body will up-regulate usage of blood sugar for fuel and down-regulate usage of body fat for fuel.
This dependence on carbohydrates is metabolically unhealthy, prevents you from using body-fat for fuel, and promotes body-fat accumulation.
Macronutrients – Protein
Protein is a key player for your body. Protein is used to create and repair elements that are essential for life! Unlike carbohydrates, protein is an essential nutrient…meaning, protein is a nutrient required for normal body functioning that can not be created by the body.
Protein is found all over the body – in bone, muscle, hair, skin, and almost every other tissue and body part.
Proteins are long chains of amino acids that form the foundation of all living things. They are like machines that make all living things, whether viruses, bacteria, plants, animals, or humans function. The human body has around 100 trillion cells and each cell has thousands of different proteins. Together, these proteins make the cell do its job.
Protein also comes in handy when it comes to increasing satiety or the feeling of fullness after you eat.
Macronutrients – Fat
Now let’s move on…to everyone’s worst enemy…Dietary FAT.
Believe it or not, fat is going to become your new favorite food group, the one you will learn to love! Plus, did you know that dietary fat is not only delicious but an essential nutrient for life?
Dietary fats have unfortunately been avoided in the American diet for decades.
Most of us make every effort to eat low-fat and nonfat foods. But, did you know we had it all wrong? I was taught this and believed it too…but now I know this is wrong and dangerous to our health.
Starting in the late 1950s, the thought was that dietary fat…especially saturated fats cause heart disease. That idea expanded over the following decades. We were told to avoid dietary fat and we all listened to this flawed information.
Research is now clear that healthy dietary fat does not cause heart disease.
The largest-ever clinical trial in the history of nutrition science was on the low-fat diet.
The study was called the Women’s Health Initiative, and it tracked 50,000 women. It showed that following a low-fat diet is NOT effective for fighting obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. These facts were also confirmed in smaller clinical trials.
The most obvious example of low-fat diets not working is on average Americans. They have cut dietary fat intake by over 10% and as an unfortunate result, increased carbohydrate intake by 25%. But, clearly, we have not become healthier. Our health is actually far worse.
Basically, avoiding dietary fat and replacing it w/carbohydrates became the ‘Gold Standard’ of dietary advice. And this flawed advice was adopted before the evidence was even remotely solid. The American Heart Association adopted it in 1961, followed by the National Institute of Health, and the USDA. Then the entire federal government adopted it. At this point, it’s very hard to reverse these macronutrient recommendations.
As a result, we have been advised to limit the amount of fat in our diets and instead, eat carbohydrates…remember the food pyramid…it said, stay away from fat and eat 6-11 servings per day of carbohydrates…and what happened?
We ended up with diabetes and obesity epidemics.
Think about this…a hundred years ago, everyone cooked with animal fats like lard and butter …and guess what? Heart attacks were unheard of in people under 70 years old …and obesity, cancer, dementia, and diabetes …all rare.
Look, over the past 50 years we were told if we listened to their macronutrient advice it would help us lose weight and make us healthy…well, look around you…
Do we look healthy? Do YOU feel healthy?
It is time to challenge this macronutrient advice and follow a new, improved path of nutrition.
YOUR NUTRITION MISSION…should you choose to accept it: Lets rebel together, challenge the status quo, and feel unstoppable!
Valerie Grosso RDN
The Rebel Dietitian With A Mission
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