Nutrition and Labeling - Carb/fat/protein ratios

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Sanna Maria
01-21-2010, 02:58 AM
Hi everyone :)

I have been wondering about macronutrient ratios lately and would welcome some advice on the matter :)

So, I'm a caloriecounter and I track my calories on sparkpeople. The website says that I should eat 1,200-1,550 calories per day (I tend to go over a bit), and then specifies that I should aim to eat as follows: carbohydrates 135-252 grams, fats 27-60 grams and proteins 60-136 grams. There is the option to customize those goals, so I'm wondering whether I should or not. I found information on the internet that these recommendations are based on the USDA food pyramid.

The reason I'm wondering is because I've been told by a doctor that I need to see a nutritionist as my protein intake is too low apparently, so I've been paying extra attention to the protein counts. But I also wonder if the doctor just said so because I don't eat any other meat than fish, and she doesn't believe in cutting out red meat from your diet.

I know there isn't a one size fits all answer but I would still like to ask if you pay attention to how many carbs, fats and proteins you are eating, and if so where have you found the information that you based your goals on?

01-21-2010, 07:23 AM
To begin with, the USDA food pyramid is pretty much crapola - it was based on the best guess work from expert panels, and even the updated 2005 version is slammed by the Harvard School of Public Health (among others).

Here is a link to a couple of pages from Harvard's site to get you started. They have a caveat that "one size does not fit all" and that their recommendations will change as better scientific evidence becomes available. (Their pyramid includes exercise and weight control as the base!)

I focus on the quality of carbs, proteins and fats and pretty much go for a balance between them. Although looking at my food diary from the past week it's been about 40% carbs, 35% protein, 25% fat.

01-21-2010, 10:52 AM
So you are getting at least 60 grams of protein per day and your doctor says that is too low? The RDA is something like 50 grams per day.

For me, I eat about 70% carbs, 15% fat and 15% protein. Days vary and sometimes my carb percentage is more on the 60% range. I really don't worry about it as long as I get a well balanced diet.

Sanna Maria
01-22-2010, 03:48 AM
Sskar, thank you for those links, very useful for information! Really like the bottom tier of the Harvard pyramid :) This one definitely makes a lot more sense! When I went to school I was taught to eat according the old style pyramid (or die pretty much) and that I needed to drink something like 6 glasses of milk per day or my bones would start to crumble. :eek:

Nelie, she just asked a few questions about my diet and gave the verdict. There are long waiting lists for nutritionists, so I doubt I'll get an appointment anytime soon to find out whether there really is cause for concern. I don't always get to 60 grams, but you're right the RDA is lower than that so there shouldn't be a problem.

I think what I'll do is just carry on with the wholefoods and try not to worry too much and keep an eye on the protein so it doesn't go too much under 60.