Characteristics of Your Metabolic Type
Mixed types fall somewhere on the metabolic type scale between the Protein Types and Carbo Types. In this sense, they're a blend or mixture of the two.
There are two categories of Mixed Types-which one you fall into has a lot to do with the kinds of characteristics you manifest. The first category of Mixed Type can be referred to as the A-Mixed Type. The A stands for Actual. This means that most of your characteristics do not display either a Protein Type or Carbo Type predominance, but are truly in the middle.
The second category of Mixed Type is the R-Mixed Type. Here the R stands for Relative. This signifies a relatively equal number of Protein Type traits and Carbo Type traits that offset each other-like a teeter-totter with an equal weight on either end. Instead of middle of-the-road traits predominating, the R-Mixed Type has strong traits from both sides of the metabolic fence, with neither side dominating the other.
Many Mixed Types share similar kinds of characteristics. However, if you're a Mixed Type, that doesn't mean you're just like everyone else in your metabolic category in the way you react to foods, your strengths and weaknesses, your energy level, the strength of your appetite, and so on. After all, you're unique on a metabolic level!
Nonetheless, here are some typical tendencies that you may have in: common with other Mixed Types:
Mixed Types tend to have average appetites. They tend to feel hungry at mealtimes but typically do not get hungry at other times.
R-Mixed Types tend to vacillate-sometimes feeling ravenous, while at other times they are not hungry to the point of skipping meals.
Typically Mixed Types don't get cravings. However, if they don't carefully manage their diet by making sure they get a good balance of foods, they could shift into a Protein Type or a Carbo Type pattern and develop sweet cravings-or any other kind of craving, for that matter.
Mixed types have the capacity to do well on the widest range of foods, and for this reason they're less likely to have a problem with weight. But the freedom to eat a wide range of foods is not the unrestricted free-for-all it may seem at first glance-it's also a requirement. When Mixed Types slip into eating a restricted, or one-sided, diet (metabolically speaking), they can develop weight problems.
In one sense, it's great to be a Mixed Type because Mixed Types tend to have access to all the good traits of both Protein Types and Carbo Types. However, this equal access also means that Mixed Types can develop problems from both sides as well. Depending on the type of imbalance that develops, Mixed Types can develop fatigue, lethargy, or depression just as readily as hyperactivity, nervousness, and anxiety. Although Mixed Types have the potential to develop more problems than other types, they're also less likely to do so.
In some ways, the diet for the Mixed Type is the most liberal of the three, since it's a mixture of the diets for Protein Types and for Carbo Types. This means that you need to get a good balance of high-purine, high-fat proteins and low-purine, low-fat proteins. Likewise, you need to make sure you get a good mix of vegetables and fruits that are good for both Protein Types and Carbo Types.
In other words, Mixed Types must take care not to get into the habit of eating too many Protein Type foods or too many Carbo Type foods on any given day. Each day your meals need to include foods from both groups. For this reason, you'll need to become familiar with the Allowable Foods Charts for both Protein Types (page 167) and Carbo Types (page 191).
The first thing to understand is that all proteins are not created equal. There are different kinds of proteins. There are those that are high in fat and high in purines. And there are those that are low in fat and low in purines.
More than any other kinds of foods, the high-fat, high-purine proteins provide the best fuel for Protein Types, but are inappropriate for Carbo Types. On the other hand, low-fat, low-purine proteins are perfect for Carbo Types but inadequate for Protein Types. So you must be sure to get a good balance of both types of proteins.
At the opposite end of the spectrum from proteins are carbohydrates. Because of their mineral balance, protein and fat content, and purine or non-purine status, certain vegetables contribute to balancing the body chemistry of Protein Types, while other vegetables do the same for Carbo Types. In addition, Carbo Types tend to handle starchy foods quite well, whereas starches can pose major problems for Protein Types. For these reasons, Mixed Types do best when they get a balance of both types of vegetables.
Overall, Protein Types need to focus on obtaining larger amounts of protein and fat in their diet, and minimizing their carbohydrate intake. As a rule, Carbo Types need to do just the opposite-eat less protein and fat and increase their intake of carbohydrates.
But, if you're a Mixed Type, you will do best on a good balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates-the typical "balanced meal." In the next few pages, I'll show you simple techniques for identifying the balance of macronutrients that is just right for your type.
Finding the right balance among protein, fat, and carbohydrate is your key to losing weight, feeling energized both physically and mentally, and staying on an even keel emotionally. Over the longer term, such a diet, if properly followed and tailored to your metabolic individuality, can prevent you from developing all kinds of serious degenerative diseases-cardiovascular problems, immune deficiency, blood sugar abnormalities, osteoporosis, arthritis, digestive disorders, and many other chronic illnesses-all of which are rooted in metabolic imbalance.
Eating sufficient protein at every meal will maximize your energy, trim your waistline, and assure peak performance. Failure to do this can lead to chronic fatigue, diminished well-being, and emotional imbalances such as depression, anxiety, and melancholy. Many people make the mistake of eating carbohydrate alone at a meal or snack. This is a mistake, as it can trigger excess insulin output from the pancreas, leading to food cravings, particularly for sugar or other sweets, blood sugar regulation problems, increased fat storage, and a whole host of degenerative processes. It can also potentially shift you into a new imbalance-a Protein Type metabolic pattern.
Purines are special protein substances derived from a class of proteins called nucleoproteins, which play an important part in your body's energy-producing processes. They have particular benefit for Protein Types and directly contribute to balancing their body chemistry.
Carbo Types fare better on the lower-fat, lower-purine proteins. As a Mixed Type, any protein is permissible in your diet. But because of the special needs of your metabolic type, you fare better on a daily mixture of high-fat, high-purine proteins and low-fat, low-purine proteins. Too much or not enough of one or the other will result in disturbances in your energy, mood, and well-being.
Typically, Mixed Types don't often feel the need for snacks. But if you eat snacks, it's okay to do so. Generally speaking, it's best to eat a little protein when you snack so as not to over-stimulate insulin production. However, eating just carbohydrate (like fruit) alone from time is okay as well. As a Mixed Type, any snack will work theoretically. But it's important to find what works best. Just keep in mind that whatever you eat should result in improved energy and well-being, should satisfy your appetite, and should not cause a desire for sweets. With these ideas as guidelines, learn to listen to your body.
Diary foods are optional for your type. As long as you don't react badly to dairy, it's fine for you. Generally speaking, dairy is not a good source of protein for Protein Types, but often works well for Carbo Types. So if your appetite is very strong, dairy is not likely to be the best protein choice. At such times, the heavier proteins are required to provide the right fuel for your metabolism. But when your appetite is less acute, dairy might be just the right protein for the occasion.
Any plant-based foods-grains, vegetables or fruits-are carbohydrates. But there are different kinds of carbohydrates and they don't all affect your metabolism the same way. For example, some carbohydrates are higher in starch and some carbohydrates are lower in starch. Starchy carbohydrates break down easily into sugar, which means they hit your bloodstream quickly. This can cause a strong insulin response from the pancreas, which typically leads to increased fat storage and blood sugar problems such as hypoglycemia. Over time, excess insulin secretion can contribute to more severe disorders such as allergies, asthma, alcoholism, atherosclerosis, cancer, carbohydrate addiction, heart disease, chronic fatigue, depression, diabetes, insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, hypertension, obesity, and peptic ulcers. Thus, grains, starchy vegetables, and starchy fruits are "caution carbs." For this reason, Protein Types need to emphasize non-starchy vegetables as their primary source of carbohydrates. Although Carbo Types handle starches better than Protein Types, they can still run into trouble by overeating starches. So as a Mixed Type, you need to get a good mixture of vegetables from the Protein Type group and the Carbo Type group.
Use only whole-grain products. Do not consume any refined grain products made with white flour or enriched flour. All baked foods should contain only whole-grain flours. If you are carbohydrate sensitive or have blood sugar problems, avoid wheat and wheat products as much as possible, since wheat breaks down into sugar faster than any other grain and, therefore, has a disruptive influence on insulin metabolism. Here's a tip: Try using spelt instead of wheat, since spelt shares many of wheat's desirable attributes for baking but not wheat's influences on insulin. Keep in mind, though, that all grains are starches, which means they readily break down into sugar, so they should be used sparingly. For this reason, cooked whole grains are preferable to products like breads and crackers. The worst offenders for your metabolism are refined grains of all kinds. If you start craving sweets after a meal with grains, you probably ate too many grains and need to increase your proportion of protein next time around.
Avoid white breads made with refined, enriched flours. Instead, opt for sprouted-grain breads such as Ezekiel or Manna brands. Unlike regular breads, sprouted-grain breads won't inhibit calcium absorption. In addition, sprouted bread has enhanced quantities of vitamins B and C and does not contain the enzyme inhibitors typically found in grains. When you do eat bread, always use butter, which will minimize any potential adverse blood sugar fluctuations. Note that the process of making bread refines grains to some degree, which only increases the starchlike qualities of the grains, further increasing the insulin response. So if you have problems with carbohydrates or blood sugar problems, minimize your intake of bread.
Because Protein Types tend to be fast oxidizers or parasympathetic dominants, they are predisposed to low blood sugar problems. Due to the high sugar and potassium content of fruit, Protein Types need to limit their fruit intake. On the other hand, Carbo Types, as slow oxidizers or sympathetic dominants, typically do well with a higher potassium intake, so they usually handle fruit just fine. Mixed Types fall somewhere in between these two extremes. Normally, fruit is not a problem, but overeating fruit can shift a Mixed Type's metabolism tosthat of a Protein Type, potentially causing insulin regulation problems, sweet cravings, or weight gain. When very hungry, Mixed Types would do well to eat some protein instead of fruit. If you develop a sweet craving after eating fruit, it's almost a certain indication that you've had too much carbohydrate and not enough protein.
Avoid canned juices of any kind. Vegetable juices, as long as they're freshly made, are allowed in moderation. It's best to use a combination of starchy and nonstarchy vegetables such as carrot, celery, and spinach, and not overdo juices made from purely starchy vegetables. However, it's best to avoid fruit juices completely. Fruit juices, or even excessive amounts of vegetable juice, can potentially imbalance your metabolic type and lead to weight gain, food cravings, blood sugar fluctuations, and a desire for sugar. Eating fruit is permissible, but fresh fruit juices should be used only periodically for therapeutic reasons and not as a matter of routine or for quenching thirst. In place of fruit juice, make smoothies by blending whole fruits. If you're thirsty, drink water-not juice, tea, or milk.
The subject of fats and oils and their effects on human metabolism has been extensively researched and documented. An in-depth discussion of them is beyond the scope of this book (for a complete discussion, see Fats and Oils, an excellent book by Udo Erasmus). In general, what you need to know is that fats and oils in their natural state are not bad for you and eating them will not produce high cholesterol or heart disease any more than eating any other natural food. Fats contain fatty acids that are essential for good health, efficient immune function, normal hormonal production, cellular respiration (energy production), proper cell membrane permeability -in short, for life itself. Whether a food is good or bad depends on the quality of the food and the metabolic type of the person consuming the food. Fats are no exception. Protein Types need to support their metabolisms by consuming liberal amounts of natural oils and fats. Carbo Types do best limiting fat intake. Mixed Types should neither eat excessive amounts of fat nor restrict fat unnecessarily. Simply by including the higher fat-containing proteins in your diet and by using butter and vegetable oils, particularly olive oil, where appropriate according to your taste, you'll easily obtain sufficient fatty acids to meet your requirement. But never consume margarine, hydrogenated oils, or fat substitutes, as research is uncovering the fact that these substances can have a serious negative impact on your health! If you must buy packaged foods, read the labels to make sure they do not contain these substances. Use only real butter (organic if possible) and natural cold-pressed oils that have been properly manufactured. Recommended brands are Omega, Flora, and Bio-San, widely available in health food stores.
All carbohydrates-fruits, vegetables, grains-are converted to glucose in the body. Carbohydrates are categorized according to the rate or speed at which they hit the bloodstream as glucose, and are ranked accordingly in what is known as the glycemic index (GI). Highglycemic foods, such as grains and starchy vegetables, hit your bloodstream much more rapidly than low-glycemic foods such as proteins and fats. Protein types need to carefully regulate high-glycemic foods. On the other hand, Carbo Types can handle high-glycemic foods fairly well, although they still must be careful not to overdo them. As a Mixed Type, it's a good idea for you to carefully regulate high-glycemic foods like grains and starchy vegetables and to place much more focus on those foods lower on the glycemic index. Here's a tip: By including some protein whenever you do eat high-glycemic foods, you'll help slow down the rate at which the high-glycemic foods are converted to sugar. (Note: Check Chapter 9 for the complete glycemic index. It's very important for all metabolic types to become familiar with the GI.)
Certain foods aggravate your metabolic imbalances and should therefore be avoided. You may have strong adverse reactions to these foods, or, if your metabolism is less sensitive, the reactions may be slight o even nonexistent. Or your reactions to these problem foods could vary from time to time. All these possibilities are common and reflect yet another facet of metabolic individuality.
Keep in mind that the effects of nutrition are cumulative. The more you ingest a food, the stronger the effect becomes. So even if you don't display any noticeable adverse reactions, it's still best to minimize your intake of the following foods whenever possible.
In short, stick to your allowable foods. But if you simply must eat something not on that list, be aware that the following foods are particularly undesirable for your metabolism.
Alcohol, plain and simple, is a poison to your body. Your body must detoxify it and neutralize its adverse effects. From this perspective, it isn't good for anyone. Being a simple sugar, it can wreak havoc with your metabolism. It triggers excessive insulin secretion, which leads to blood sugar imbalances, increased fat storage, and the development of chronic degenerative processes. Thus, moderation with alcohol is strongly recommended.
Your Allowable Foods Chart provides recommendations for foods that will specifically support your metabolic type. This means that they contain the right balance of nutrients. Whether or not you are currently reactive or allergic to any of these foods is a completely different issue. If you have known reactions to any recommended foods, leave them out of your diet temporarily, but try them from time to time. As your chemistry changes, so too may your food reactivities. This is the experience of many individuals who have properly customized their diet to match their metabolism.
Avoid caffeine products as much as possible, including coffee, black teas, caffeine-containing herbs, and soft drinks. If you do insist on drinking coffee, make sure it's organic and limit it to no more than one to two weak cups per day. Also, when drinking caffeinated beverages, it's a good idea to eat some protein, as protein will help combat to a degree caffeine's adverse effects on your type. Bottom line: Caffeine is counterproductive for all metabolic types. Although some of the specific reasons differ for each type, coffee has a universally stimulating effect on the body's energy-producing glands. Those people who feel they need coffee have weak or exhausted energy glands. The stimulation of those glands by coffee is akin to whipping a tired horse. Short-term, this stimulation is pleasurable, but long-term it only worsens the problem by further exhausting the energy glands.
Fruit juices are best avoided, as they are too high in sugar. Devoid of fiber, the concentrated fruit sugar has a particularly powerful negative impact on insulin and blood sugar control. Sugar flooding into your bloodstream causes a strong insulin surge that rapidly lowers blood sugar and increases fat storage.
In significant quantities, sugar is not good for anyone, so avoid or minimize it as much as you can. Be especially watchful for hidden sugars in processed packaged foods. Sugar is added to a great many commercial foods, and it can really add up if you're not careful, secretly sabotaging your best intentions to follow your dietary recommendations. By the way, by sugar I mean all forms of sugar - processed and natural - including beet sugar, cane sugar, brown sugar, molasses, honey, fructose, maltose, dextrose, corn syrup, maple syrup, etc.
Oxalic acid is a naturally occurring acid in some foods that interferes with the absorption of calcium. For this reason, Protein Types have to be especially careful to avoid or limit foods high in oxalic acid. Mixed types have more freedom with these foods, but you still must be careful not to overeat foods high in oxalic acid, such as apples, asparagus, black tea, blackberries, beets, beet greens, chard, chocolate, cocoa, cranberries, currants (red), endive, gooseberries, grapes, green peppers, plums, raspberries, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries, and tomatoes. The good news is that cooking destroys the oxalic acid, so items such as asparagus, beets, beet greens, chard, cranberries, green peppers, rhubarb, and spinach are all best eaten cooked.
As Sally Fallon, Pat Connolly, and Mary Enig point out in their wonderful book Nourishing Traditions, ProMotion Publishing, (800) 2311776, in every traditional culture in the world, for thousands of years, whole grains have been prepared by soaking or fermenting them prior to cooking. Modern science has revealed the wisdom of these traditions by discovering that all grains and legumes contain substances called phytates. Phytic acid is a chemical found in the bran portion of grains and the skins of legumes. It binds with calcium (and iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and zinc) in the intestinal tract, thereby preventing absorption. When consumed excessively, phytates can cause serious mineral deficiencies, allergies, intestinal distress, and bone loss. All grains contain phytates, but wheat, oats, soy, and soy milk have the highest concentration. What to do? Simply soak any grains (such as oats, millet, rye, barley, quinoa) overnight before you cook them. You can also liberally use miso, soy sauce, and tempeh, since these are fermented products, and fermentation destroys phytates. However, tofu, soy milk, and soy protein powders are not fermented and do contain phytates, so you should limit consumption of these food items. Sprouted-grain breads, and sourdough bread with its long fermentation process, are also almost entirely free of phytates. All other breads are full of phytates and should be limited or avoided.
Grains contain hard-to-digest proteins like gluten. Insufficient digestion of such proteins has been linked to problems such as allergies, celiac disease (sprue), mental illness, indigestion, and yeast overgrowth (candida albicans). But here again, soaking and fermentation renders such proteins more digestible and their nutrients more readily available. So, sourdough breads and sprouted breads are preferable to other varieties. Soybeans also contain potent enzyme inhibitors that need to be neutralized through fermentation or soaking.
Certain foods contain a chemical known as thiocyanate, which causes thyroid dysfunction. Thiocyanate belongs to a class of substances known as goitrogens. These substances block the production of thyroid hormone-a hormone that plays an integral role in the regulation of all your metabolic activities. Goitrogens are found in raw broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, mustard, rutabaga, and watercress. If you eat these foods frequently, it's a good idea to supplement your diet with extra iodine in the form of kelp, since goitrogens work by blocking iodine absorption by the thyroid gland. Kelp can be ground and used in a salt shaker as a condiment. Also note that cooking will partially inactivate the thyroid-suppressing chemical found in these foods. So if you want to use kelp, take care to cook these foods, and use them conservatively, especially if you've been diagnosed with hypothyroidism.
This diet is easy! There are only two things you need to remember:
If you think of your food as fuel, then the proportions of proteins carbohydrates, and fats can be viewed as your fuel mixture. If you get the right fuel for your type and the right fuel mixture, you'll have powerful force at work. Your food will be efficiently converted t energy, rather than stored as fat.
Stick to your 50 percent/50 percent food ratio whenever you eat, getting approximately 50 percent of your calories from carbohydrates, and 50 percent from proteins and fats. Note that more of your calories should come from protein than from fat. It's not necessary to be perfectly precise in terms of your percent ages. When combining your food, just try to approximate as bes you can.
It's unnecessary to measure out by weight everything you eat, o to calculate the number of calories in a meal. When you get the right balance for your metabolism, your appetite will naturally be satisfied, and the calorie issue will eventually take care of itself. So it doesn't matter whether you eat a small meal or a large meal or something in between. What is important is eating the right foods for your type and in the right proportions for your type, every time you eat.
If you happen to be especially concerned with weight loss, or you need to lose a significant amount of weight, I'll explain issues regarding calories and food quantities later on, in Chapter 10. However, it's very important to realize that:
Your weight will begin to normalize just by eating the right foods in the right combinations. When you balance your macronutrients properly, you'll lose weight if you're overweight and gain weight if you're underweight.
Try to eat at regular intervals and stick to the same mealtimes every day if at all possible. It's also important to eat when you're hungry, preferably before you get hungry, so snack if you need to. This will keep you from overeating and keep your blood sugar on an even keel.
A helpful way to think about your macronutrient percentages is in terms of a plate of food. Almost half the food on your plate should be carbohydrate (primarily nonstarchy) and the rest should be protein and fat-containing foods.
A lot of people are very confused about how to eat a meal comprised of twenty percent fat. But your requirement for fats can easily be met by just eating your protein foods that are also sources of natural fats and by making use of butter and oils on your foods according to your taste.
It's important to keep in mind that the fifty percent/fifty percent macronutrient ratio is a general guideline for Mixed Types. Think of it as a starting point or a first step. It provides you with the general parameters you need to follow in order to be at your best. Due to metabolic individuality, however, different people within the Mixed Type category have different macronutrient requirements.
As an example, some Mixed Types can get by on less protein and tolerate larger amounts of carbohydrates, even those with a higher sugar and starch content. Other people need more protein and are highly sensitive to even small amounts of carbohydrates-starchy or non-starchy.
Everyone is different, which means that the specific proportion of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats that might work well for you is not necessarily the same proportion of macronutrients that would work well for other people in your metabolic category.
Think of your Mixed Type category as a sliding scale, or a continuum, or a spectrum of variable macronutrient requirements.
What you need to do is pinpoint your own highly individualized macronutrient ratio. In other words, you need to refine or tailor the general macronutrient ratio for Mixed Types to your own particular needs. You need to identify what I call your personal fuel mix.
Once you discover your personal fuel mix, you'll know how to combine your foods-proteins, carbohydrates, and fats-in proportions that are just right for you. This will make a huge difference in the way you feel following meals and snacks.
You'll know when you've hit your personal fuel mix because you will immediately have strong and lasting physical energy and mental clarity, a solid sense of well being, and a sense of fullness and satisfaction-as opposed to persistent hunger and sweet cravings.
Remember, as a Mixed Type, excess amounts of carbohydrates (especially the starchy, sugary kind) or excess proteins are your downfall, and an imbalance between the two can produce decreased energy, mood swings, blood sugar problems, and food cravings.
How do you find your personal fuel mix? It's really very simple.
What you need to do is experiment a little by consuming varying amounts of carbohydrates.
As a first step, you'll need to restrict your carbohydrate intake for a few days. Once you know what it feels like to be almost entirely off carbohydrates, you can start adding them in again, a little at a time, until you hit your personal fuel mix.
If you go beyond your personal fuel mix by eating excessive carbohydrates, you'll know it. Why? Because you'll lose your energy, sense of well being, and feelings of satisfaction very quickly after eating. On the other hand, if you fail to reach your personal fuel mix by eating too few carbohydrates, you'll experience the very same kind of negative symptoms.
Remember, too many or too few carbohydrates in relation to protein will produce similar symptoms.
Once you've come this far, you'll know how to manage your meals with great precision. But there are more techniques you can use to customize and fine-tune your diet even further.
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