One of the things that people tend to do when delving into the Paleo diet is to overcomplicate/overthink things. I am all for you making more conscientious decisions about your dining choices, but don’t let it overwhelm you to the point of having paralysis by analysis. Scott wrote me with some good questions, but he’s making his life more difficult than it needs to be:
As a part of my 30 day personal Paleo challenge, I’m logging all of my food… One thing I’ve noticed is I’m getting 50-55% of my calories from fat, 30-35% from protein, and 10-15% from carbs. Obviously all the carbs are from vegetables and a few fruits. Does that sound right? I guess I expected my protein percentages to be higher and my fat percentages to be a bit lower. But it seems like eggs, bacon, guacamole, and nuts (1/4 cup of either almonds, macadamias, or cashews) are all skewing the fat high.
I’m feeling great, even after only a couple of days. I am just a little surprised by the percentages. I think I’m going to try to increase my vegetable intake and maybe also increase my fruit intake slightly (I currently having less than 1 piece of fruit per day).
As I told Scott — don’t obsess over the numbers. He’s actually right on track. A Paleo diet should be that high in fats by calories and that low in carbs. Doing a check to see where you’re at is fine, but those numbers sound solid. Anyone who knows me is well aware that I’m pretty OCD and will obsess over minor details as well. I’m guilty of religiously logging my food in an online tracker, but now I only may do it on occasion to see where I’m standing.
If fat loss is your goal, you will keep the fruit intake low. Then see how you recover and perform and tinker from there but as you can see from his sentence I bolded — he’s feeling great. Keep in mind, the Paleo diet is typically 1:1 in grams of protein vs fats. Since fats have twice the caloric value as protein, it makes sense you have 30% protein and about 55% fat (or 2x as much — in calories). Onto his next question:
[I have] a recipe from Bobby Flay’s Cooking for Life. It comes out GREAT!! My question is….is it Paleo? [My] only concern is the lemon juice, but it’s juice from only 1 lemon for the entire dish and most of the marinade ends up sitting in the bottom of the serving dish. That’s cool, right???
Have you ever stared at a word so long that the spelling seems incorrect? In a nutshell, that’s what Scott is doing here. He knows that lemons are very low in sugar and the juice of one lemon is not going to make the recipe non-Paleo, but he’s stared at that word so long it looks wrong somehow. Nutrition-wise, take orange juice… which the sugars make up 75% of the caloric value. In contrast, sugars only make up 39% of the caloric value in lemon juice — or about half as much. Most importantly, lemons and limes are so acidic it’s highly unlikely you would ever overindulge. Just don’t confuse the issue and think lemonade is the same thing. Lemonade has added sugar to offset that acidity and in doing so, makes it completely non-Paleo. Thanks Scott for the questions this week!
Make Up Day