Ratio of carb-protein-fat
There are a lot of different opinions out there about the recommended ratio of carbohydrates-protein-fat in a typical day's worth of calories (ie: 60/30/10; 50/30/20; 30/50/20). For the average adult client (non athlete) what do you recommend as the ratio between carbohydrates-protein-fat?
Beyond the ratio, my recommendations are to eat nutrient-rich foods with high fiber content, healthy fats and lean sources of protein. What I DO NOT recommend is a diet high in protein.
The typical American dinner plate was 1/2 plate of meat, 1/4 plate of starch, and 1/4 plate of vegetables.
The "New American Plate" includes 1/2 plate of vegetables, 1/4 plate of meat, and 1/4 plate of starch.
To estimate what your clients' daily portions should be, you and your clients go to the My Pyramid Web site ( www.mypyramid.gov). By entering their age, gender, height, weight,and activity level, the Web site can approximate how much they should eat for healthy weight loss.
There several Web sites that you and your clients can use to analyse their food and exercise log. Some Web sites charge a fee or give unhealthy weight loss recommendations A fre Web site with sound advice is My Pyramid Tracker ( www.mypyramidtracker.gov).
You always have to take in their weight, desired weight, and goals.
For clients, I suggest healthy ranges of 45-65% carbohydrates, 15-25% protein, and 20-35% from fat.
The latest research information shows that timing and ratio are very important for attaining the best results from exercise. The generalized recommendation is to eat as soon as possible after a workout. And that timing meals to coincide with workouts is best whenever possible. The timing that has been shown to significantly improve muscle recovery, muscle mass, and replenishment of energy storage is to eat immediately after the end of a workout or upto one hour after. Outside of this window it has been demonstrated to have very little difference to not eating at all after a workout. The ratio that was found to be most effective (also generalizing) was 1:3 or 1:4 protein:carbs. And the recommendation was to consume 20 grams of quality protein along with at least 40 grams of quality carbs (1:2 ratio, this was found to be more acceptable/had greater adherence with study participants). The 20 grams protein to 60 grams of carbs, yeilded better results/recovery, as did the 20 grams protein to 80 grams of carbs, but participants were found to be less likely to consume the higher amount of carbohydrate outside of a controlled environment/research study. The amount of fat consumed did not appear to be significant in recovery, but the overall summary of research still suggests keeping fat consumption to better fat sources (non-animal sources, mono unsaturated, and omegas) and around 20 percent of total calories consumed overall. There were some guidelines for extremely strenuous exercisers to increase protein to about 25/30 grams post exercise, but again this would not be needed for the vast majority of exercises. Non-post exercise meals are recommended to follow the current guidelines (which change every 5 years? or so) and to consume the total calories needed to maintain healthy weight/body composition (Which is an entire other topic.)
As an example, one can (16 oz.) of vegetarian refried beans meets these guidelines with 21 grams of protein,60 grams of carbohydrates, 20 grams of fiber, 7 grams of fat (0 grams saturated fat), a decent amount of iron/magnesium, and would unfortunately also nearly cover a days worth of sodium. But if you have ever attempted to eat an entire can of refried beans, it is not that easy to do for the average person. This is one of the reasons that protein supplements have become so popular. I would recommend trying to get most of your protein from whole food sources, but cannot argue with the convenience of supplements in a busy schedule.