I’ve been a little out of pocket with Nate’s Raw Harvest but finally have some time to continue expanding on nutrition and my Philosophy of Health and Fitness. Today I’d like to talk about Metabolic Typing. As I mentioned in my previous article the two main points to success when it comes to eating is Food Quality and knowing your metabolic type. Metabolic Typing is a simple process of finding the basics of what kinds of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates work best for YOUR metabolism and in what ratios. It’s not a fool-proof system, but it’s a highly accurate start and when you couple it with high quality food and learning how to test yourself and use your intuition you will never have to wonder if your diet is right for your or not.
So let’s start with a little history. Metabolic Typing is actually a process that evolved from the works of Drs. Weston A. Price, William D. Kelley, Francis Pottenger, Royal Lee, Roger Williams, and a host of others. All of these doctors studied human nutrition and came upon many fascinating discoveries. The compilation of these discoveries lead to the development of the technique known as Metabolic Typing and was published in the book The Metabolic Typing Diet by William Wolcott and Trish Fahey. I highly recommend this book to anyone. If you choose to research a little on this please be aware that some highly inaccurate reviews, reports, and anecdotes have attempted to debunk metabolic typing, but in my opinion they are all propaganda.
So the main premise behind these doctors’ discoveries is that no two humans are alike at any physical level and neither are their nutritional needs. We all have unique biochemical individuality! Metabolic Typing is a tool to figure out what foods work best for you and will give you the most energy, ideal weight, and highest health.
Just think about it. We all have the same body parts but do any of us look the same? None of us look the same on the outside and none of us look the same on the inside either. My stomach is shaped differently than your stomach. My concentration of stomach acid is different than your stomach acid concentration. My ability to oxidize fats is different than your ability to oxidize fats. Get it? So how can any of us be told that a particular diet or exercise program is exactly what we all need? We can’t!
Even if you’re eating quality food you’re still only getting half of the nutritional picture until you know your body’s metabolic type. Remember it takes both quality of food AND metabolic typing.
OK, let’s get down to business. So in order to figure out your Metabolic Type you can either take the Metabolic Typing Questionnaire through a lifestyle coach such as myself or you can use the observational approach.
The observational approach is simply you becoming more self-aware of your body and it’s reaction to food. Your body will tell you whether or not a food is good or bad for it, but only if you’re paying attention.
By looking at physical signs on your body and becoming aware of how you feel or react when eating certain foods you can compile enough information to determine what type of metabolism you have. Aside from observation, I personally encourage people to simply test themselves with a food through a form of bio-feedback which I’ll cover in a future article.
So back to the observational technique. What I mean by becoming aware of how you feel or react when eating certain foods is by answering these questions: Do you naturally like or dislike that food? Does that food taste good or bad to you? (Brussel’s Sprouts anyone?) Did that food make you energetic or tired? Did that food make you bloated? Did that food change your mood in any positive or negative way? Did that food keep you from concentrating or did it give you more mental focus? Did that food help your sleep or made it hard to sleep? Start taking note of what kinds of foods (fatty foods, less fatty foods, leafy green vegetables, high protein/low protein meals, etc) give you positive answers to the above questions. Once you have those answers you’re ready to determine your type.
All right, so there are three types of metabolisms: Protein, Mixed, and Carbohydrate. I don’t like these names and think they are misleading and would prefer to call them High Fat, Mixed, and Low Fat, but that’s just me.
In a nut shell, Protein Types do well on plenty of quality fats, darker meats, full-fat dairy, some vegetables and NOT SO WELL on less fatty food, lighter meats, starchy vegetables, fruits, grains,sugars, and alcohols. Going back to the above observational questions a person with a Protein Type metabolism would naturally LIKE meals high in quality fats, darker meats, etc. These foods would taste good to them, give them physical and mental energy, not bloat them or give them weight gain, help them sleep, and keep their immune system and overall health strong. If they ate less fats, lighter meats, starchy vegetables, grains, etc. then they would probably experience just the opposite effects.
Carbohydrate Types are just the opposite from Protein Types. They do well on less fat, lighter meats, plenty of fruits, vegetables, and grains and not so well on full-fat dairy, fatty foods, darker meats, and little fruits and vegetables.
Mixed Types are a combination of Protein and Carbohydrate Types and should eat a combination of both ways. Mixed Types should never eat only one way.
** It’s very important to remember that Metabolic Typing is NOT the final say on your metabolism. It is simply a starting point. Our metabolisms will gravitate towards our Metabolic Type but keep in mind that our metabolisms change everyday and our genes, environment, and lifestyle are so diverse that we have to LISTEN to our bodies and realize that our nutritional needs can vary from moment to moment. **
So here’s the breakdown:
- Use metabolic typing as a starting point for your food choices.
- Make sure those food choices are of quality food.
- Listen to your body or test it and make adjustments.
Thanks for reading and listen to your body!
Nathan W Jackson