A lot of people know that they should consume a certain amount of macronutrients, also known as macros, on a daily basis. The problem is, there are still a lot of people that don’t understand what macros are. I thought that today I would elaborate on what these are. There`s 3 kinds of macros in the food we consume. That is not to be confused with micronutrients, which are the vitamins and minerals that your body requires in small quantities which you get by consuming your daily nutrients or with supplements.
The 3 macros we often refer to are: protein, carbohydrates and fats. I will go into each of them in detail here, so let`s dig in!
I think it`s a question that we`ve all had before. How much protein is too much protein? or do I need to eat a lot of protein on Keto? and they are all good questions. First off, what is protein? Protein is a nutrient found in food (as meat, milk, eggs and beans). They are complex, large molecules that play many critical roles in the body. They can be made up of up to 20 different types of amino acids joined together. They are required for the structure, function and regulation of the body`s organs, tissues and cells. Without getting too scientific on you, they help with your immune function, enzymes, hormone production, building muscles and tissues and for energy.
On a ketogenic diet, you should be consuming 20% of your daily macronutrients in protein. Being on a keto diet, it`s important not to consume too many proteins as this could make it more difficult to get and stay in ketosis.
Good lean proteins for keto consist of lean grass fed (preferably) chicken, beef, wild fish, pork loin, low fat dairy (greek yogurt is great!), nuts and seeds and eggs.
Carbohydrates now! Can you eat carbs on Keto?
A question that is very often asked when starting keto is whether or not you can eat carbs on a ketogenic diet. But before I answer that, let`s elaborate on what carbs are.
Carbs are molecules made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Your body converts the carbs into glucose which your body
uses right away for energy or stores as fat for energy at a later time. Carbs are found in sweets (sugars), starch (pasta, rice, potatoes, etc. Including fiber. This would include fruits (sugar), beans, lentils, and even some vegetables as well. Your body runs on glucose but on a ketogenic diet, your body breaks down and use fat for these needs.
On a ketogenic diet, you should be limiting your carb intake to 5% of you daily macros. You need to ensure that you don’t consume too many carbs so that your body uses what it contains to then turn over to using your fat (creating ketones) to provide you energy. We will get
into fats a bit lower, but for now it`s important to know what carbs are and that your body will adapt once you dramatically reduce your consumption of carbohydrates.
Good sources of carbs on a ketogenic diet would be berries as they have the less amount of carbs (in fruits). you can also consume leafy greens, green beans, mushrooms, cucumbers, spinach, kale, and any low carb vegetables.
Fats! How much fat is too much on Keto?
Fats!! You now you have to eat it but, how much fat should you eat on keto?
To start, you need to consume 75% of your daily macros in fat on a ketogenic diet. Yep! I said 75%. I mean, there are different variations of keto diets out there but let`s keep this as a general rule!
Before we go further however, what is fat? Fat are molecules consisting primarily of carbon and hydrogen. They keep the skin healthy and help the body use some vitamins. Fats can be consumed in different sources such as full fat dairy (butter, cheese, heavy cream, etc.), fatty cuts of meat and fish, chia seeds, nuts, oils, avocados, eggs and olives.
On a ketogenic diet, your body makes compounds called ketones which your body uses as your source of energy since you are limiting your carb intake. When you are in this state, it`s called ketosis. Although you need to consume a higher amount of fats that you are accustomed to, it`s also important to consume not just any fat, but good fats. You can get these good fats from good quality extra virgin olive oil, olives, avocados (and avocado oil), nuts, coconut oil (including xct or mct oil), eggs, ghee.
Macros on a keto diet!
I hope you`ve found this simple explanation of macros useful but further more, understand better what source to get your macros from. It could be easy for say to decide to go on a ketogenic diet and tell themselves, I`ll just cut the carbs and add some fat. Easy as pie!! well, not exactly. If you haven’t yet started the ketogenic diet or are just starting out, check out my post about how to start a keto diet. Although, as you get started, this is a great way to slowly adapt to the keto lifestyle, you will soon realize that not all carbs are created equal. Same goes for the fat and protein you consume. There are, as for everything in life better chooses. Although we are sometimes tempted by the easier choice, it`s not also the healthier one.
As for any lifestyle, it`s good to have a good balance. On a keto diet, it`s the same thing. I know that I would prefer having a good cut of meat that I will cook in avocado oil and will accompany it with some green vegetable topped with ghee or salad with a homemade dressing made from extra virgin olive oil. That way, you can control exactly what you’re eating and putting in your body and now how much protein vs fat you are truly consuming.
I hope you found this article helpful. I would love it if you can share below what is your go to Keto meal? Whether it`s your easy quick version or though trough meal. I mean, we ALL have days where we go for what`s available, quick and ready. I now I sometimes do!
Looking forward to reading your comments! 🙂