How much carbs, protein and fat do foods have

Most people grew up with some rendition of the food guide, the one that grouped foods into dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream), meat (beef, fish, chicken, eggs, nuts), breads and cereals (bread, potatoes, muffins, cake, cookies), fruits and vegetables (all fruits and vegetables). Then there was the extra category of fats that contained oils, sauces, and all the extra things you could put on your food. It also outlined how many of each serving different age groups should consume each day.

While this was a good system, and still helps to outline which foods we should consume more of and less of, it doesn’t group foods into categories based on how they interact with our body and give us energy. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the macronutrients that make up our food and give our bodies energy. Grouping foods this way and outlining amounts to consume with these categories helps people get the biggest bang for their buck when it comes to the food they eat and the energy it gives our bodies.

Carbohydrates are foods in the breads and cereals group and the fruits and vegetables group. These are the biggest energy nutrients that most people eat every day. But how much should you actually have. Carbohydrates should make up 45-65% of your daily calories. That usually equates to 8-10grams of carbohydrate per kg of body weight. For example, if you weigh 100kg (not lbs) then you should consume 800-1000grams of carbohydrates each day. That would looks like a combination of the following foods

  • Bagel - 60g
  • 2 slices of bread - 15-30g
  • Pancake - 15g
  • Tortilla - 15g (corn or flour)
  • 1c of oatmeal - 30g
  • 1c of regular cereal - 30g
  • 1c of granola - 60g
  • 1 baked potato - 60g
  • 3 c of popcorn - 15g
  • 1 banana - 30g
  • Most medium fruits - 30g (apple, orange, pear)
  • 1 c milk - 15g
  • ½ c yogurt - 15g
  • 1c raw vegetables - 15g
  • 1 c ice cream - 30g
  • ¼ of 12” pizza - 15g
  • 1 chicken breast or 1c of cooked meat - 15g

Proteins are the foods that fall into the meat group and dairy group. These foods help build our muscles and repair our bodies when they are injured or damaged. People should have 10-15% of their foods and calories each day from proteins. Athletes who work out more should have more. Regular people should aim for 0.8g of protein per kg of body weight. For athletes, this should be 0.8-1.4g per kg of body weight. This would look like a combination of the foods below.

  • 1 c Meat or fish cooked - 40-45g
  • 1 c yogurt - 18g
  • 2 lg eggs - 12g
  • 1.5 oz cheese - 12g
  • 1 c milk - 9g

Fats are foods that most people believe they have to avoid. This is actually untrue. Fats provide important functions in our body including helping with temperature regulation, energy for activity when we need, and vital body functions. Each person should aim for 20-35% of their diet and calories from fat, with less than 10% from saturated sources. Saturated sources include animal fat (from off of your steak), and butter. Unsaturated sources include oils and margarine. This would look like a combination of foods below.

  • 20g of chocolate cookies - 25g
  • 60g of fruit cake - 13g
  • 150g of fruit pie - 15g
  • Fried egg - 20g
  • 10g butter - 80g
  • Beef burger patty - 16g
  • 1 c milk - trace fat

The internet can provide grams of nutrients (carbs, proteins, fats) found in different foods by searching fat/carb/protein in grams in foods.

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Thanks for reading!

THP The Healing Path