Healthy Meal Tips – How to Create a Healthy Meal

Healthy Meal Tips

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Keeping in mind that what we eat should be nutrient-dense, toxin-free and high-quality is what this video is about. Gain beneficial information regarding the three macronutrients which are proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Know more about the different types of carbohydrates that we need depending on our activity level. Learn how to set up your own quality, nutrient-dense and toxin-free meal with the variety of foods discussed here.


Macronutrients

macronutrients

Every single meal should have a combination of three macronutrients –  proteins, fats and carbohydrates. We are just taking  fully into account that quality is really important.  A lot of people just talk about macronutrients like proteins, fats and carbs and do not emphasize the quality of nutrients that are very important. So, obviously organic, chemical-free pesticide-free, free-range, GMO-free. All these things are really important present in macronutrients.

The big thing is I’m going to emphasize macronutrients that also don’t have a lot of toxins in them. A lot of toxins are just phytates, oxalates, various fibrin compounds. Things that trip an inhibitor. Our enzyme-blocking inhibitor compounds can also affect digestion and your ability to breakdown and utilize B proteins and nutrients for food. And next is we also want to make sure that food are anti-inflammatory.

Three Prostaglandin / Eicosanoid Pathway

  1. Prostaglandin 1 (anti-inflammatory)
  2. Prostaglandin 2/ Arachidonic Acid (pro-inflammatory)
  3. Prostaglandin 3 (anti-inflammatory)

I’m going to be talking about various proteins and fats that are going to stimulate the anti-inflammatory 1 and 3 pathways vs. the refined vegetable oils, GMO vegetable oils to stimulate the prostaglandin 2 pathway.

PROTEINS AND FATS

Proteins and Fats

We’re going to have protein, fats typically come together when you eat at lunch or eating protein powders or once you’re eating rabbit protein. They have rabbit starvation up in the  in the wintery areas because the rabbits are so lean. They develop rabbit starvation of this protein hydro excess with no fats, and you actually need fatty acid to be able to help absorb proteins and amino acids so you can develop rabbit starvation without enough fat. But typically, in mother nature, you’re going to have protein, fat together. I’m a big fan of at least making half your meal, put half your plate with protein and fat.

If you are very active or if you’re a wall closer to the equator, you may be able to use more carbohydrate for fuel. So you actually see yourself in 3 quarters to 16% carbohydrates. But if you’re relatively leaner, you’re not exercising too much, and you’re living a pretty good lifestyle, typically about half protein, half fat. And that can change based on your activity levels, your kinetics, whether you have an autoimmune condition or not.

CARBOHYDRATES

Carbohydrates

We have a couple of different kinds of carbohydrates. We actually have starchy carbohydrates. This would come in the form of white potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, tubers, bananas, etc. We also have non-starchy carbohydrate.

I’m a big fan of non-starchy varieties because it tend to be higher in nutrition. But they don’t have all the sugar that you may get with the starchy carbohydrate. This tend to be a really good place to get all the nutrients, all these anti-cancer compounds in the non-starchy variety.

Now again, if you’re more active, you may need some of the starchy carbohydrates. So this is kind of dependent upon your activity level, as well as your genetic predispositions and also you know, assuming that you are healthy. If you’re diabetic, you have metabolic syndrome, if your waist is greater than 40 inches for male or greater than 35 inches for female, you may want to think about really keeping those starchy carbohydrates down, if not out of your diet completely.

High Glycemic

This can be pineapple, this can be banana, papayas, dates, mangoes, maybe more of your tropical fruits. Now people- but, of all the more tropical environment, they may have the genetic ethnic and biochemical individuality to process those carbohydrates at a higher level. Now if you got more wintery environment, you haven’t had those type of fruits. So you maybe a little bit more sensitive to it, you may not be able to eat as much.

Low Glycemic

Low glycemic may be your berries, maybe your apples, like your green apple. Things like that, usually below above 40 glycemic index are going to be your berries or apples, maybe more of your Granny’s Smith apples and such. It kind of gives you a good idea of what your low glycemic fruit maybe.

So myself, I typically try to consume more non-starchy and more low glycemic fruit. If I’m more active, then I will do a little bit more starch, at least more of these sweet potatoes. And again, out of the starchy ones, the sweet potatoes are actually lower on glycemic index than your white potatoes.

So just kind of keep that in mind. And typically all of my carbohydrates are still gluten-free. So I typically try to consume gluten-free carbohydrates just because we’re trying to keep up with the fact that our goal’s anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, low in toxins, and gluten-free. These are all gluten-free here.

Know more about gluten-free carbohydrates by CLICKING HERE

WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR HEALTHY MEAL

Healthy Meal

So proteins, fats, carbohydrates- from there, you can create your meal.

Proteins

If you’re looking at proteins, it could be fish, it could be turkey, it could be grass-fed meat, it could be lamb, a good quality steak or beef. When we look at our fats, typically protein and fats are connected. So we’re looking at beef, and maybe a 76% grass-fed beef and maybe a dark turkey leg or chicken thigh, or the chicken breast- we’ll leave the skin on. If it is a leaner meat like a chicken breast, maybe we put a scoop of coconut oil in there; or we cut out the half to a whole avocado and put it on there. We can also have a handful of nuts or almond to get that extra fat. And again, we can obviously cook with fat, too.

Fats

Good healthy fats, maybe coconut oil or ghee. If you’re autoimmune, you may want to avoid the grass-fed butter or use something like ghee without the P casein protein in there. Also nuts, it could be good quality bacon fat and duck towel,  macadamia nut oil, avocado oil which are pretty good fats. It could be olive oil. Using olive oil as the salad dressing. That kind of gives you an idea of proteins and fats.

Carbohydrates

Our starchy carbs are going to be our sweet potato, our yams, berries, tubers,  squashes, white potato.

Non-starchy ones are going to be our spinach, its’ going to be our salad mix, our broccoli, our kale, our asparagus, our cauliflower, and spinach, etc.

Our high glycemic fruits of foods are going to be obviously, our white potatoes are going to be our high glycemic index. Obviously, sugar in general. We are keeping this list gluten-free here, just in case.

Low glycemic are going to be our berries, our passion fruit and our Granny’s Smith apples, our grapefruit, as well as our lemons and limes.


So I hope this video is really helpful. From here, you should be able to create an anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense, low toxin meal. Start pushing your body into anti-inflammatory state, which is essentially your body building up faster than you’re breaking down.

So if you’ve hormonal issue, or digestive problem, if you’re in chronic pain, if you have fatigue, or depression or a mood issue, this is going to be the kind of diet template-wise, maybe a couple of tweaks regarding macronutrients. This is the kind of diet you want to be on health, bring yourself back out well.

For more information about myself, feel free to visit the information bar below. If you need a consultation regarding what tweaks you can make to your diet or what lab test, feel free to reach out and I will be able to help you out.

CLICK HERE and ask an expert about tweaking your diet to fit your needs

Recommended Carbohydrate Intake For Optimal Health

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Do You Know What Your Recommended Carbohydrate Intake Is?

Based on my clinical experience as a functional-medicine doctor, carbohydrate recommendations can be different for each person. If you are a healthy, insulin-sensitive CrossFitter, your body may be better adapt at utilizing glucose for fuel without any negative effects. Some individuals may fall into the category of being insulin resistant or having metabolic syndrome. These individuals have a very difficult time utilizing sugar for fuel and need to utilize a lower carbohydrate plan that allows them to burn ketones/fat for fuel. There are also many people in between on the carbohydrate spectrum! There are exceptions to every rule mentioned.

carbohydrates

Did You Know That Carbohydrates Are Not Essential Nutrients?

Your body has no nutritional requirement for carbohydrates. It can actually make its own carbohydrates through a process known as gluconeogenesis, where your liver converts amino acids into glucose. Your body can also convert fat for energy through a process known as ketosis.

There are essential fatty acids and amino acids; these are nutrients our body cannot make and needs to take in through outside food sources. Just because your body has no essential requirement for carbohydrates doesn’t mean you should avoid carbohydrates.

When you look at the Food Guide Pyramid, you’ll see that over 60% of the recommended macronutrients come from carbohydrate sources. This begs the question, if carbohydrates are not essential, then why are such a large percent of them recommended on the Food Guide Pyramid? Food recommendations are typically made for political reasons, not necessarily scientific reasons. It’s a sad state of affairs that the lobbying efforts from massive food corporations tend to dictate what shows up on the Food Pyramid.

carb recommendations

Carbohydrate Consumption and Reactive Hypoglycemia

When you eat carbohydrates, your pancreas responds by squirting out some insulin so your body can pull the newly broken down glucose into your cells so it can be utilized for energy. If you consume an excessive amount of carbohydrates, or consume carbohydrates that have a higher glycemic load, your pancreas will squirt out an exaggerated amount of insulin to ensure it will be taken up by the cells efficiently. In your body’s desire to utilize the glucose, it has actually dropped your blood glucose into a hypoglycemic state.

Most people live their life on these blood sugar swings from high to low. These swings put a tremendous amount of stress on your adrenal and thyroid glands. Hypothyroidism and thyroid imbalances are strongly connected with dysglycemia (swings in your blood sugar).

These ups and downs in blood sugar (dysglycemia) are a hallmark of metabolic syndrome. These swings also create extra sweet cravings—your body is hardwired to crave sweets when your blood glucose drops past a certain point. If you are always triggering your body’s fight-or-flight response with low blood sugar stress, you are telling your genes you are starving and you feel you need food in your mouth as fast as possible. This usually translates to eating some refined sugar and junk food, which sends you back on the same viscous cycle you were just on. Most people live their life this very way!

With habits like this, you will be putting significant stress on your thyroid and adrenal glands as they are required to rev up and down to buffer the hormonal roller coaster!

Subclinical hypothyroidism is significantly associated with metabolic syndrome.

How Many Carbohydrates Can Your Body Hold?

Your body can roughly hold about 300 to 350 g of carbohydrates in your muscles. One of the best recommendations for health is to add muscle to your body. Muscle provides structural integrity, enhances performance when moving, and also provides an additional reservoir for carbohydrates. When your carbohydrate levels are tapped off in your muscles, the next place carbohydrates are stored is in your liver. Your liver can only hold about 60 to 80 g more carbohydrates than your muscles, and it can become saturated much quicker.

After the 350 g of carbohydrates your body can hold in your muscles and liver, the remaining carbohydrates are converted to fat. Your body is very efficient at turning carbohydrates into fat and will do so if there are too many carbohydrates coming into your diet.

Click here to help get your blood sugar back in balance now!

How Many Carbohydrates Do You Need on a Daily Basis?

Ketosis and Fat Burning (0 to 50 g per Day)

When you keep your carbohydrate intake near 50 g per day, you’re going to enter a physiological state known as ketosis lipolysis. Most people get scared when they hear the word ketosis, confusing it for ketoacidosis, a state that type I diabetics and alcoholics with liver damage may go into.

Ketosis lipolysis is a normal state of physiology that involves primarily using fat for energy (this happens in fasting too). Fatty acids are broken down into ketones. These ketones are then used for fuel by the body and brain. Ketones also have an appetite-suppressing effect, and after a few weeks in ketosis, you will tend to lose your sweet cravings, too.

 The Sweet Spot! (50 to 100 g per Day)

This is a spot I typically like to keep my carbohydrate range within; it allows me to not rely on exercise to stay lean and fit. If you have a damaged metabolism, a 0 to 50 g per day range may be where you need to live for a while. Some people also do well cycling in and out of ketosis: three or four days in a row in ketosis and one day in the sweet-spot range or higher.

Carbohydrates are primarily used for instant energy, so if you’re doing lots of exercise or you’re under higher amounts of stress, getting a little bit of extra carbohydrates from healthy sources may be beneficial.

Maintenance (100 to 150 g per Day)

Most people do well in maintaining their weight when their carbohydrates are within this range. Everyone is different, so depending on how damaged your metabolism is, this range may be too high for you. If you’re relatively lean, exercise three to four times a week, and engage in activities like CrossFit, this will be a great place for you to be. I recommend timing a good chunk of your carbohydrate intake post workout as a means to help improve recovery.

The Steady Track to Weight Gain (150 to 300 g per Day)

When your carbohydrate levels are this high on a continuous basis, especially when there is no energy output to back it up, you are starting to push your body into an insulin-resistant state. The hormone that is secreted when you eat carbohydrates is insulin, and it primarily works by pulling carbohydrates and amino acids into your muscles. Like we talked about above, when your muscles and liver are saturated with carbohydrates, the rest of those carbohydrates will be stored as fat. When your carbohydrate intake is within the 150 to 300 g per day range, it’s highly likely it will be stored as fat.

Danger, Will Robinson! (300 g per Day of Carbohydrates or More)

If you’re eating based on the Food Guide Pyramid, it’s more than likely your carbohydrate intake will be in or around this range. All you have to do is eat your bagel every morning along with your orange juice or cereal, have a sandwich for lunch with your Gatorade, and eat a nice plate of pasta for dinner, and you’ll be on your way. Most people that are eating carbohydrates at this high level tend to have insulin resistance as well as increased risk markers for inflammation and metabolic syndrome.

What Types of Carbohydrates Should I Eat?

Starchy versus Non-starchy

Starchy carbohydrates: White potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, beats, yams, carrots (if cooked), butternut squash, rutabaga, spaghetti squash, turnips, pumpkin, plantains, and bananas. These carbohydrates can have higher levels of sugar along with higher levels of nutrients.

Non-starchy carbohydrates: Broccoli, spinach, kale, celery, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, zucchini, Swiss chard, spinach, asparagus, peppers, onions. These carbohydrates have the lowest level of sugar along with the highest level of nutrients.

High-Glycemic versus Low-Glycemic Carbohydrates

High glycemic: Grains, chips, candies, breads, refined sugars, cereals, junk foods, and tropical fruits (bananas, watermelons, pineapples, papaya, mangoes, and all fruit juices). Outside of the whole food fruit sources, higher glycemic carbohydrates tend to have the lowest amount of nutrients with the highest amount of sugar.

Low glycemic:  Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, huckleberries, apples, oranges. these carbohydrates, as a fruit, tend to have the lowest amount of sugar with a higher amount of nutrition.

The carbohydrates that you eat on a daily basis should be of the non-starchy variety, which are all the vegetables your mom tried to get you to eat when you were little.

There are some benefits to the intake of some of the starchy carbohydrates, but you have to make sure they are dosed according to your metabolic constitution and activity level.

When we’re looking at the glycemic index, this refers to how fast the sugar in the carbohydrates breaks down and absorbs into your bloodstream. Carbohydrates that have a higher glycemic index get absorbed and impact your blood sugar faster.

The faster the carbohydrates impact your blood sugar, the faster your insulin spikes. When you have pronounced insulin spikes, this drives down your blood sugar, creating sweet cravings just a few hours later. This is a vicious cycle that I see most people live in their entire life. Break the blood-sugar roller coaster by eating healthy proteins, fats, and the right carbohydrates for your metabolic type with each meal.

If you need help getting your blood sugar balanced, click here for more information!


References:

  1. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-primal-carbohydrate-continuum/

 


The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Justin Marchegiani unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Justin and his community. Dr. Justin encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Marchegiani’s products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using any products.