Health resolutions:What is your metabolic type: protein, carbohydrate, or mixed?

Although metabolic typing is complicated and best left to a Trained Metabolic Typing Advisor (see below), the following simplified list provides some idea of the optimal macronutrient ratio you should be eating. Read both lists to determine which best describes you. If you find you are circling both groups, you are most likely a mixed type, and need to divide your protein and carbohydrate intake more or less equally at each meal. Although many people need to veer toward either protein or carbohydrate, study your reactions and fine-tune your meal options, based on your reactions to food (see box, page 3).

Protein types
* Strong appetites, tend to ‘live to eat’
* Crave fatty, salty foods
* Need higher requirements for salt (unprocessed sea salt)
* Feel best on a snack of protein
* Feel best on a meal that is higher in fat and protein closer to bedtime
* Digest food well, have a high appetite for proteins and feel good when eating fats or fatty foods
* Instinctively prefer dark or red meat over white meat
* Burn carbohydrates too quickly if consumed without proteins and fats at the same time
* Do better on full-fat dairy products
* Need higher doses of purines (amino acids prevalent in dark meats such as chicken legs and thighs, red meat, fish roe, sardines and anchovies)
* Should be wary of performance bars and drinks, which are high in sugar
* Sleep best
when dinner is composed mainly of meat with fewer vegetables or other carbohydrates
when they don’t eat sweet desserts like cakes, candy or cookies (but they can sleep well on a dessert that is not overly sweet such as high-quality full-fat ice cream)
when they eat a snack high in protein and fat, one or two hours before going to bed
* Feel best after vigorous exercise when consuming food or drinks with a higher protein or fat content, such as a high-protein shake
* Maintain mental clarity and a sense of wellbeing for up to four hours after a meal when eating meat-based meals with heavier meats or salmon, and a smaller proportion of carbohydrates
* When tired and consume sugar or sweet foods without fat and protein, tend to get a rush of energy, then crash and feel sluggish
* Of fish, prefer shellfish, caviar, fatty fish like herring and salmon, and dark tuna to white fish
* Tend to do better when snacking between meals or with smaller meals throughout the day
* Start the day best with a large breakfast with protein and fat, such as eggs with sausage or bacon.

Carbohydrate types
* Are not fussed over food and tend to ‘eat to live’
* Don’t metabolise fats and proteins when eaten alone
* Need to eat proportionately larger amounts of carbohydrates compared with fats and proteins
* Tend to be more lithe of build, prefer light meats and lower-fat foods, and are more inclined towards endurance athletics
* Do well on only two meals a day
* Must avoid junk carbohydrates
* Don’t need too much salt, often finding food too salty for their liking
* Instinctively prefer light meats such as chicken or turkey breast over the dark leg and thigh meat
* Although can eat up to 70 per cent of their meal as carbohydrates, need to remember to include fats and proteins with each meal
* Feel dull eating full-fat dairy products or fatty meats, and do better/prefer low-fat dairy, and lighter yoghurts and cheeses
* Do best eating light meats such as chicken breast, leaner cuts of meat and white fish
* Need to avoid foods high in purines (which tend to oxidise too slowly)
* Sleep best
when dinner is mainly of vegetables or other carbohydrates and a comparatively small serving of meat
after eating a snack higher in carbohydrates, three to four hours before going to bed
if occasionally eat a sweet dessert before going to bed
* Feel best after vigorous exercise when consuming foods or drinks higher in carbohydrates (sweeter), such as Gatorade
* Maintain mental clarity and a sense of wellbeing for up to four hours after a meal when eating a carbohydrate-based meal containing vegetables, bread or rice, and a small portion of a lighter meat such as chicken breast or white fish
* When tired, feel better and restore energy levels until the next meal when consuming sugar or sweet foods such as doughnuts, sweets or sweetened drinks without significant amounts of fat or protein
* Of fish, prefer white fish, catfish, cod, flounder, haddock, perch, scrod, sole, trout, tuna (white) and turbot
* Tend to last between meals without snacking
* Start the day best with a light breakfast such as cereal, fruit, yoghurt, bread and possibly eggs.

If many of both descriptions apply to you, you are a mixed type and need to apply some of both. For a professional assessment of metabolic typing, see,, or

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

Explore Wellness in 2021