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Macronutrients: Ratios and Best Sources

BY NICOLE SYMONS, NTP


Macronutrients are categories of foods that we as humans need in large amounts. The core three are protein, carbohydrate and fat.


The amounts you need of each macronutrient will depend on your unique nutrient needs and lifestyle. Everyone has different activity levels, goals, digestive function, weight and genetics that will determine the appropriate macronutrient ratio for them.



A good starting place is to consume 30% of calories from protein, 30% from fat, and 40% from carbohydrate. This ratio can and should be adjusted to fit your specific needs.


If your ratios are in tune, after each meal you should feel full and satisfied, have no sweet cravings, have restored energy, a sense of wellbeing and improved clarity of mind. If you feel like something was missing from your meal, have strong cravings for sweets or more food (even though you feel full), feel tired or sluggish, or cannot think clearly, you may need to adjust your ratios.


Healthy Sources of Protein


Seafood: Wild caught fish and seafood.

Meat: Organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised beef, lamb, bison, buffalo, elk, goat, etc. (Includes bone broth)

Poultry and Eggs: Organic and pasture-raised

Dairy*: Organic, whole, raw dairy, includes cultured dairy products (*if well tolerated)

Nuts, Seeds, and Legumes: Soaked and sprouted nuts, seeds and legumes


Healthy Sources of Carbohydrates


Vegetables: Low sugar vegetables, raw or lightly cooked; variety of in-season, organic vegetables in a large range of colors

Fruit: Fresh, whole fruits (not juice); preferably in-season and organic

Starchy Root Vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, cassava and other tubers

Grains and Legumes: Properly prepared (soaked, sprouted or fermented) and only if well tolerated


Healthy Sources of Fat


Omega 3: Wild-caught seafood (salmon, mackerel, halibut, tuna, anchovies, herring etc.), walnuts, flaxseed, chia seeds, pasture-raised egg yolks

Omega 6: Blackcurrant seed oil, evening primrose oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, flaxseed oil, pistachios, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds

Omega 9: Olives and avocados. Oil from almonds, hazelnuts and macadamias.

Saturated: Fats from pasture-raised or wild animals, organic coconut oil and organic palm oil


Note: Buying wild-caught, grass-fed or organic products is not always an option. However, it is important to include high quality foods into the diet whenever possible. For some that means buying organic and for others that means beginning to buy fresh vegetables in general. Start with where you are, but remember that quality matters and the goal is to include higher quality products over time.