The Differences Between Protein, Fat & Carbohydrates

Lately I have been experimenting a little bit with paleo and so far I have been really impressed by the results, not just in terms of weight loss or body composition, but in terms of how I feel and various other positive benefits.

In case you don't know, paleo is a diet based on what we as humans would have eaten on a daily basis whilst we were evolving.

If you believe in evolution, then it makes sense that our bodies should work best under those sorts of conditions, and the evidence is pretty compelling:

What We Ate In 100,000 BC

Our ancestors would have mostly eaten like this:

Meat - but only when they could catch it
Fruit - during summer months
Nuts - in small amounts from foraging
Vegetables - lots of
Eggs - raw of course
What do you get if you add all of this together?

Carbs

The only carbs in this diet are from veg and nuts. Veg is full of vitamins, which we like, but very low calorie. Nuts have some carbs in, but they are mostly fat and protein.

Fruit is of course mostly carbs, but this wouldn't have been a staple, it would only have been available for short periods of the year.

Fat

Well firstly, the meat would have been fatty (you think cave men would cut off the fat to avoid the caloroies?), nuts and eggs are full of fat too.

Protein

You guessed it, lots of protein here, meat, eggs and nuts are all full of it.

What This Means For You

Well you don't have to follow a completely paleo diet (although many people do), but you can still learn a lot here. Basically our bodies are just not designed to process large amounts of carbohydrates. That means things like:

Bread
Pasta
Sugar
Fizzy Drinks
Rice
Couscous
Should all be avoided. For many people, completely cutting out all of these foods would result in almost effortless weight loss (no calorie counting required!) Replace those foods with lots of veg, a bit of fruit and a potato or two (sweet potatoes are also fine).

I also find that having a protein shake a day helps me to get enough protein and it makes a handy meal replacement on busy days. Plus, whey protein is a lot cheaper than buying meat or soya mince, if you buy it in bulk it will save you money:

Other Perks

As you lower your carb intake and up your fat intake your body starts to burn fat instead of carbs. This means that your body suddenly has lots of available energy (we all have a lot of fat in our bodies, even skinny people do).

You will find that you can skip meals without getting hungry, and you will become less dependent on food.

Occasional fasting is actually an important part of a paleo diet. Our ancestors would not have had three meals a day, they would sometimes go without altogether.

Fasting has a few benefits:

Increases growth hormone
Increases insulin sensitivity
Allows your body to detox
Actually increases your metabolism!
Note from BusyHealthy:
This is something we'll be covering in more detail in a future blog post.

So as you can see, cutting those carbs opens the door to a whole different way of thinking about food. The diet takes some getting used to, and you do have to be strict, but if you gradually try to lower your intake of processed carbs, you should notice the difference.

Here's what your macro-nutrients should be doing for you:

Fat - Your main source of energy
Protein - To encourage muscle retention
Carbs - Only to be used for intense exercise
About The Author

This post was written by Ricky from Natures Best, who sell all sorts of health supplements (like this whey protein for instance). Thanks for reading!