It’s important to maintain a healthy balance of macronutrients in order to achieve optimal health. After all, the food we consume is more than just a source of energy, it also becomes a part of us; from the proteins that compose our muscle fibers and constantly-replenishing skin cells to the fats that make up the hydrophobic cell membranes that protect every cell in our bodies, the food we eat is broken down into the building blocks of our bodies. To keep everything functioning properly we need to provide our patients with a healthy mix of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates (the three macronutrients) as well as micronutrients like vitamins & minerals, all of which our bodies utilize in the many processes that keep us alive and thriving.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misleading information out there encouraging people to cut out fat or carbohydrates from their diet to spur body fat loss, even though the body relies heavily on both. Dietary fat consumption is not correlated with an increase in body fat retention¹, and vegetables are widely known to have enormous nutritional benefits despite being composed mainly of carbohydrates. The key, then, is a good balance of all three macronutrients, with an emphasis on the quality of food consumed. 100 g of carbs from sugary soda isn’t equal to 100 g of carbs from fibrous, nutrient-filled vegetables, and they don’t affect the body the same way.
Fats Are Brain Fuel
The composition of the brain is more than 60% fat, and it thrives when some of its energy comes from dietary fats in the form of ketones produced by the liver.² However, that is not always an option with the Standard American Diet because it includes a sustained intake of sugar while encouraging low-fat and fat-free options. When eating this way, the brain learns to run off of sugar as fuel, but too much sugar can cause inflammation in the brain,³ which is a factor in depression, anxiety, and mental stress.4 It’s no wonder, then, that depression and anxiety have surged along with the popularity of this diet.5
These effects can be put on the path to reversal with the addition of healthy fats like the monounsaturated fats that compose avocado and olive oil as well as the Omega-3-rich polyunsaturated fats found in fish like salmon and tuna as well as most seeds and nuts (flax seeds are especially high in Omega-3s). Most people over-consume Omega-6 fatty acids compared to Omega-3s, so it’s important to ensure we introduce plenty of Omega-3 rich foods to our patients’ eating plans to get them a healthy balance of Omegas.6
Fats can also function as an effective energy source after the mitochondria in cells convert fat to adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the other main energy source the body relies on (besides glucose) and is utilized in muscle contraction, nerve function, and more. Because the body is so good at adapting to its environment, when fat intake increases (especially Omega-3 fatty acids), the body begins creating more mitochondria to process fat into energy as well as making those mitochondria more efficient at the process.7
Fat is often demonized because it’s the most calorie-dense of the three macros, and certain types are decidedly unhealthy. However, when a focus is put on quality fats, they become instrumental to a healthy diet and can actually aid in weight loss. The body stores excess glucose as fat cells, but when someone continues to overindulge in carbs, their body never has a need to burn its stored energy because it is getting a consistent supply of fresh glucose. By reducing refined carbohydrate & sugar intake to a more reasonable level while improving the body’s ability to turn fat into energy through fat consumption, patients set their body up to be much more efficient at using stored body fat as fuel in a process called “fat oxidation.”8 For many people, increasing fat consumption from their currently low levels can actually lead to decreased fat storage; it’s ironic that many have been convinced of the opposite for decades.
Carbohydrates Provide Energy for Now and Later
Carbohydrates’ main function is as an energy source. They are quickly made bioavailable to the muscles and organs in the form of glucose for immediate use or stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen for later use, making them valuable for refueling after an exertion like strenuous exercise or an active workday. When someone ingests more carbs than their body can utilize immediately (especially sugars and refined carbs that cause a quick and extreme blood sugar spike), insulin helps the body convert excess glucose into a fatty acid for storage. That way energy won’t go to waste and blood sugar levels can go back down, with that extra fuel now waiting until the day it’s needed for conversion into ATP for energy. This process shows that the overconsumption of simple sugars leads to increased body fat storage, and therefore increased risk for metabolic diseases like diabetes.
Carbohydrates also include dietary fiber, which is vital for proper digestion and waste removal as well as the health of the gut microbiome. The microbiome is composed of billions of bacteria that range from being vital for our survival to inflammatory and detrimental to our health. Eating more fiber and less sugar is one of the most effective ways to reduce the presence of the bad bacteria while feeding the growth of the helpful ones we want more of.9,10
Carbohydrates are the main macronutrient found in most vegetables. Compared to the grain- based carbs found in processed foods like breads and pastas, vegetables are much higher in nutrients while being less calorie-dense, and as a result are more filling than the same number of calories of processed carbs. To reach 100 calories of lettuce, patients would need to eat a ridiculous 20 cups, which would also provide 10 grams of fiber. In contrast, 100 calories of the average whole wheat bread is only about 1 slice (not very satiating for the average person), featuring just 1 gram of fiber with plenty of refined carbohydrates.
Proteins Are the Building Blocks of Our Tissues
Protein is a major component of our skin and joints as well as all of our body organs. Our skin cells are constantly being shed and replaced; in fact, we create an entirely new set of skin cells each month, so we currently have none of the same skin cells that we started the year with.11 Protein is also the main building block of muscles, hair, and nails; any tissue in or on the body is likely composed of protein and needs a consistent supply to replace older cells with new healthy ones.
Increasing protein intake is also associated with reduced body fat retention for a few reasons. First of all, protein is the most satiating macronutrient. It fills people up faster, triggering the body to signal a sensation of fullness and stop them from overeating.12 Additionally, while each gram of protein provides about 4 calories of energy, the body must expend 1 calorie of energy to digest it, making each gram of protein only 3 net calories, very low for how filling it is.13 Protein intake is also vital to muscle repair and growth. Having more muscle mass raises the basal metabolic rate, meaning the body will burn more calories each day even at rest.
Vitamins and Minerals Are Key to Body Processes
Known as micronutrients, vitamins and minerals are a vital component of the food we eat and are an important factor in why food quality matters just as much as macronutrient balance.
They’re largely found in unrefined and unprocessed foods like meat and vegetables and play a vital role in just about everything the body does.
Potassium and Sodium form the basis for how nerves function. Iron is responsible for effective oxygen transfer between blood cells and muscles, which allows for movement and survival. Each B Vitamin is necessary for different functions, like Biotin (B7), which aids in the creation of hair, nails, and skin cells, or Riboflavin (B2), which helps the body break down all three macronutrients to produce energy. Vitamin E is a key component in all cell membranes. Vitamin D is vital to the proper function of the immune system. The list goes on and on, with each vitamin and mineral we ingest serving multiple unique functions.14
Greens First® Boost Provides the Ideal Balance of Macronutrients
Balancing their intake of the different macronutrients, with a focus on food quality, can be a very effective way to reduce inflammation and improve patient outcomes. Greens First® Boost is a comprehensive nutritional supplement designed to provide the optimal balance of healthy fats, fibrous carbs, and vegan protein.
Greens First® Boost has been formulated with an Essential Fatty Acid Blend of oils with a healthy ratio of Omega 3s and 6s from olive oil, safflower oil, and flaxseed oil. It also contains a Complex Carbohydrate Blend of organic cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and other fruits and vegetables that all provide much needed energy but at a slower, more sustained rate without dangerous blood sugar spikes. It’s also packed with protein, containing a Non-GMO vegan blend of plant proteins from brown rice and green peas. With 5 grams of protein per scoop, protein accounts for nearly half of the calories in Greens First Boost!
Combine it with Greens First® PRO Phytonutrient Powder to create The Wellness Shake, the ultimate blend of macronutrients that fuel your body and the vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables that help keep everything running optimally. It adds over 15 servings of fruit and vegetable superfoods with every scoop, meaning plenty of vitamins and minerals, plus probiotics and digestive enzymes that aid digestion. Greens First® PRO comes in three delicious flavors: Original, Chocolate, and Berry; they all taste great mixed with either Vanilla or Chocolate Greens First® Boost.
The addition of Greens First® PRO to The Wellness Shake helps alkalize the body’s pH balance to assist in the reduction of the inflammatory process.* And since most patients are dealing with inflammatory issues, this is a great way to help support their treatment outcomes.
All ingredients in the Greens First® Wellness Shake are derived from nutrient-dense whole foods that have been processed at low temperatures to leave the nutrients and enzymes intact. Plus it’s “body ready” for quick absorption and assimilation because all nutrients are provided in a pre-digested powdered form. Both products are 100% natural, sweetened with stevia, contain organic fruits and vegetables, and are manufactured using the highest standards in the industry.
Eating right just got easier for patients. The Greens First® Wellness Shake provides the nutrition patients need to promote overall wellness, increase energy and metabolism, calm food cravings, and get a boost of healthy nutrition.*
Offer your patients a healthy and fast “superfood” solution that includes a balance of all three macronutrients, providing comprehensive and balanced nutrition for an instant breakfast or as a natural energy boost any time!
Dr. Don Hayes
Create an account with MeyerPT today or contact your personal account manager at 1.866.528.2144 for more information.
*These products and statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
(1) Dietary Fat Is Not a Major Determinant of Body Fat; Willett & Leibel; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12566139/
(2) Ketones Suppress Brain Glucose Consumption; LaManna et al; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2874681/
(3) Effects of Sucrose and High Fructose Corn Syrup Consumption on Spatial Memory Function and Hippocampal Neuroinflammation in Adolescent Rats; Hsu et al.; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25242636/
(4) Imaging the Role of Inflammation in Mood and Anxiety-related Disorders; Felger; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5997866/
(5) Evidence of the Importance of Dietary Habits Regarding Depressive Symptoms and Depression; Ljungberg et al.; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7084175/
(6) Health Implications of High Dietary Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids; Patterson et al.; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3335257/
(7) Diet Impact on Mitochondrial Bioenergetics and Dynamics; Putti et al.; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4389347/
(8) High Dietary Fat Intake Increases Fat Oxidation and Reduces Skeletal Muscle Mitochondrial Respiration in Trained Humans; Leckey et al; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29401600/
(9) High Intake of Sugar and the Balance between Pro- and Anti-Inflammatory Gut Bacteria; Satokari; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7284805/
(10) Dietary Fiber and Prebiotics and the Gastrointestinal Microbiota; Holscher; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5390821/
(11) Molecular Biology of the Cell: Epidermis and Its Renewal by Stem Cells; Alberts et al.; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK26865/
(12) Macronutrient Profile Affects Diet-Induced Thermogenesis and Energy Intake; Hermsdorff et al.; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17824197/
(13) Reducing Calorie Intake May Not Help You Lose Body Weight; Benton & Young; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5639963/
(14) Addressing Nutritional Gaps with Multivitamin and Mineral Supplements; Ward; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4109789/