Here’s a debate for the ages: What’s the optimal ratio of carbs to protein in order to reach a healthy weight? This question will likely be discussed until the proverbial cows come home, but here’s what matters most: the quality of the macronutrients (carbs, fats and protein) you eat. New research suggests that focusing on the quality of these nutrients will help you to maintain a healthy weight. In fact, the benefits go far beyond the number on the scale. “The minute you understand the difference and start adjusting your choices, your body begins to respond to the more nourishing care you have begun to provide,” says Roxanne B. Sukol, MD, medical director at Cleveland Clinic Wellness Enterprise. Shift your diet in the direction of intact carbs, such as fiber-rich vegetables, fruits and beans, as well as intact grains like brown rice, wheat berries and barley — and away from white rice, white bread, corn syrup, sweets, and other processed items that have been stripped of fiber and other nutrients. (That doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of every brownie that passes by; just aim for high quality the vast majority of the time.) As for protein, beans are excellent sources — and since they’re also intact carbs, you get a twofer. Remember that beans are the only food on the planet that’s rich in both protein and fiber at the same time. If you’re a meat eater, focus on fish and poultry that were sustainably raised and harvested.
“I like to have yogurt and granola. The combination of carbs and protein helps me recover form a long and tiring workout.” Troy Palamalu