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Old 10-02-2007, 11:31 AM   #1
Shanna Duvall
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Balancing carbs, protein, fats at meals...why??

The Meal Plans article from issue 21 does an excellent job of simplifying how to follow the zone, but what is the explanation for why we need to eat in such ratios? I feel as though I read something a couple of months ago when I was first looking into the zone, but I have been unable to figure out what it was or where.
I recently started training a couple of my friends and while they eat quite healthy in comparison to the average individual, I know they still need to increase their protein intake and eat more balanced meals. I gave them the Meal Plans article, but they are not currently interested in dealing with the counting of blocks and what not. (I completely understand, as I am currently not a true zoner myself. I guess I would say that I am a 50% zoner and just attempt to eat a fair balance when I'm not counting. That's a whole other story.) Anyhow, I have at least encouraged them to try to incorporate protein and fats along with the carbs at each meal. They want to know why...and I stumble over my basic understanding of the glycemic values of carbs, which release insulin and how protein has less of a hormonal response and fats have no hormonal response. From there, I have recently read about lipoprotein lipase which allows fat to be removed from fat tissue and how when insulin levels are increased LPL is inhibited and fat loss decreases or rather is ceased. I can only imagine the confusion at this point...please help!
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Old 10-02-2007, 11:58 AM   #2
George Mounce
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Re: Balancing carbs, protein, fats at meals...why??

Nutrient absorption from all things is better when meals are balanced.

Eating low or no GI items (protein, fat) brings down the glycemic load of the meal.

I'm sure Dr. G has plenty he can tell you.
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Old 10-02-2007, 12:52 PM   #3
Garrett Smith
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Re: Balancing carbs, protein, fats at meals...why??

Shanna,
That's a huge biochemical can of worms, one that I think people waste too much of their lives thinking about.

Humans NEED fats and protein. Carbs are optional, often required for long & hard efforts.

I would say the best approach to convert your friends would be for you to follow the diet approach first, letting your actions speak louder than your words. If they see the results, they will either join in and be interested or they won't. Simple and saves all of us a lot of time.

It sounds like your friends don't want to keep track of how they eat (at all) and that they eat too many carbs in general. Heck, they sound like 99% of Americans at this point. Converting that mentality is something that is not easy or quick.
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:25 PM   #4
Scott Clark
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Re: Balancing carbs, protein, fats at meals...why??

Dr.G it's so good to have you back posting here!
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:46 PM   #5
Corey Duvall
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Re: Balancing carbs, protein, fats at meals...why??

Carbs are not optional. They are a necessary supply of energy. At the very least, the brain cannot use fats as a source of energy and rely solely upon carbohydrates. If we do not get them in our diet then the body will break down muscle tissue and create them through gluconeogenesis (million $$ word for new sugar formation). Now, a balance of nutrients is certainly necessary, and the american diet often utilizes far too much carbohydrate in this balance, but by no means should we see carbs as optional.
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:10 PM   #6
David Wood
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Re: Balancing carbs, protein, fats at meals...why??

Before the flaming starts . . . the mods are watching.
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:27 PM   #7
Brandon Oto
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Re: Balancing carbs, protein, fats at meals...why??

I cannot seem to get a straight answer on this. Half of the people say that the brain cannot run without glucose and the other half say that it does just great on ketones.
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Old 10-02-2007, 05:02 PM   #8
Scott Clark
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Re: Balancing carbs, protein, fats at meals...why??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey Duvall View Post
Carbs are not optional. They are a necessary supply of energy. At the very least, the brain cannot use fats as a source of energy and rely solely upon carbohydrates. If we do not get them in our diet then the body will break down muscle tissue and create them through gluconeogenesis (million $$ word for new sugar formation). Now, a balance of nutrients is certainly necessary, and the american diet often utilizes far too much carbohydrate in this balance, but by no means should we see carbs as optional.
Actually, carbs are optional. The brain can utilize protein and fats and function just fine.
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Old 10-02-2007, 05:34 PM   #9
Robert Basile
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Re: Balancing carbs, protein, fats at meals...why??

I have nothing to contribute except a request that people post some sort of proof or evidence for their statements. It's nice to read a page of "the brain can't operate without carbs" and "yes the brain can," but for those of us who don't have all the answers, something to support your post would be helpful.
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Old 10-02-2007, 06:29 PM   #10
Jeff Evans
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Re: Balancing carbs, protein, fats at meals...why??

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Originally Posted by Robert Basile View Post
I have nothing to contribute except a request that people post some sort of proof or evidence for their statements. It's nice to read a page of "the brain can't operate without carbs" and "yes the brain can," but for those of us who don't have all the answers, something to support your post would be helpful.
I don't have a position at all, but some quick googling yields Glucose as an energy source. From Wikipedia: "Glucose is a primary source of energy for the brain, and hence its availability influences psychological processes. When glucose is low, effortful psychological processes (e.g., self-control) are impaired." The article cites a few sources.
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