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Carbs, Fats and Proteins... Why the 40-30-30 Ratio is Important

Updated on January 8, 2012


As many of you may have read, statistics have shown that a healthy, everyday diet should consist of 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% healthy fats. Why is this? Well, the 40-30-30 ratio ensures a proper insulin-glucagon ratio, and also helps our body maintain a higher level of muscle mass with a trend toward more fat loss.

Carbohydrates provide our heart, kidneys and brain with the energy that they need in order to function, hence the reason many doctors disapprove of diets such as the Atkins, where carbs are eliminated completely. If you’re going to be exercising, you’re going to need those carbs, or else you don’t stand a chance of fulfilling a good workout. Without carbs, our body will attempt to take the carbs from our muscles, resulting in muscle loss. With that said, try consuming carbs that are not high in calories, such as foods that are high in fiber.

Carbs cannot, however, be converted into amino acids. Amino acids are supplied by protein, which is why protein should take up 30% of your diet. Protein aids in the building and repairing of muscle tissue. For best results, they should be consumed in smaller portions, about three times per day, to build muscle.

Fats are also a good source of energy, as well as an effective transporter of fat-soluble vitamins A,D, E and K. With that said, you should always try to consume healthy fats and steer clear of fats that are bad for your body. Healthy fats consist of high-density lipoprotein (as opposed to low-density) and can be found in foods such as nuts and avocados. Just make sure not to consume them in excessive amounts.

An example of a healthy carb-protein-fat diet would be:

- Carbs that take up a little less than one half of your meal (such as salads or vegetables)
- Proteins that take up a little more than one fourth of your meal (such as steak, fish or chicken)
- Healthy fats that also take up a little more than one fourth of your meal (such as starchy foods like bread, rice or potatoes)

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