Wild salmon has a good omega-3/omega-6 ratio. (Photo by woodleywonderworks)
I wrote a short while ago about my typical day of intermittent fasting. I also mentioned I'd share the details of my diet in later posts. Analyzing it with the help of CRON-o-Meter has led me to categorize my typical warm meal as a high-fat, medium-protein, low-carb meal with a paleolithic twist.
While I don't subscribe the paleolithic way of eating in its entirety, I think we can learn a lot of useful things by studying how and what our ancestors ate. I see our evolutionary history as a useful starting point for drawing up healthy diet plans, which can then be further improved upon through modern science.
Olive oil is one example of a food item regularly consumed by paleo dieters, even though cavemen didn't actually pour cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil on their buffalo meat. In my opinion, it's more about learning the basics by studying the past and then tweaking the discoveries to make them suitable for the modern world. Whether or not a diet with olive oil, butter and spices can be called a true paleo diet is questionable, but in many ways, they're still closer to a stone age diet than for example processed grains are.
I haven't really measured my calorie and especially fat intake after my caloric restriction experiment, so the amount of fat in my diet surprised even me a little. Apparently my high-fat diet is still going on, even though I haven't purposedly chosen to consume ridiculous amounts of fat like I used to during the experiment; it's just that by cutting out grains (with the exception of oats) and starchy vegetables, fat intake almost inevitably goes up. Since a true high-protein is practically impossible, low-carb diets are usually synonymous with high-fat diets.
So what is the recipe, you ask? Here are the basic ingredients for a meal I consume 3-4 times a week with slight variations (replacing the salmon and shrimp with red meat, usually):
The high-fat, medium-protein, low-carb recipe
100 g wild salmon
100 g shrimp
400 g crushed tomatoes
150 g coconut milk
100 g zucchini
4 cloves garlic
1,5 tbsp red palm oil
1,5 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sesame seed oil
I'll spare you the details of preparation for now and concentrate on analyzing what's happening inside this beast of a meal, but if you have questions about the recipe, do leave a comment. While the fat content may not seem that big at first, here's what CRON-o-Meter has to say:
First of all, this baby packs a whopping 1,273 kcal, which is more than half my daily energy intake. If that seems like too much for one meal, trust me, eating it all at one sitting is not a problem after you've fasted for 24 hours.
Second, as you can see from the pie chart on the right, the fat/protein/carbohydrate percentages are 68/16/15, respectively. If we look only at the numbers, you could of course call this a high-fat, low-protein, low-carbohydrate meal, but in terms of daily recommendations, the protein content is medium or even high.
The distribution of different types of fat is: 48 g saturated, 32 g monounsaturated, 13 g polyunsaturated. The omega-3/omega-6 ratio is 1:5, which is pretty good compared to the average modern diet.
So there you have it, the macronutrient composition of the main element of my current diet. I don't, of course, eat the exact same things every day, but the distribution of fat, protein and carbs has remained pretty stable for the past two years or so. It may not be optimal, and I'm constantly seeking to improve it, but my arteries haven't clogged yet, my HDL/LDL ratio looks good, and I maintain a BMI of ~18 with less than 10% body fat, so it can't be all bad.
The other staple of my diet is my morning (or sometimes evening) smoothie, which is what I take all my supplements with. I'll post the details of that one later.
For more information on diet and health, see these posts:
A Typical Day of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting Improves Insulin Sensitivity Even without Weight Loss
Coconut Lowers LDL, VLDL and Triglycerides, Raises HDL
How to Get Natural Sun Protection by Eating the Right Foods