So if you’ve already read my blog about macros and micros, then you’re ready to learn what “Combo Foods” are. Just to recap, macros are the carbohydrate, protein, and fat food groups that our bodies require large amounts of on a daily basis. So making sure we provide our bodies with these every day is a great way to ensure you’re eating healthy, balanced meals. In the last blog entry, I did break down what foods are in which groups. I want to review that in further detail, though.
Carbohydrates should make up at least half of your diet, yes, HALF. The reason behind this being many fruits and vegetables also provide carbohydrates; not only bread, pasta and rice. You see, glucose is what our body uses as an immediate energy source. We burn it up as quickly as we can eat it, so it’s important to consistently replenish your glucose stores throughout the day. Any foods that contain and provide our body with glucose can be considered a carbohydrate. These foods include rice, pasta, whole grains, pretzels, popcorn, vegetables, and fruit.
Similar to glucose, proteins are constantly being broken down in the body as well. This being said, we need to make sure we replenishing our stores. Of course the best way to do that is to eat protein on the reg. Proteins start metabolizing in the stomach, which contrary to carbs, start metabolizing in the mouth. Due to this, proteins take longer to break down and help keep us fuller for a longer period of time. Protein foods include things like dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds, and meat. All of these foods also contain fat which is why many protein foods can be considered a combo food.
Speaking of fat, it’s SO important that we get fat in our diet. As I mentioned in the Macro/Micro blog, fat in our diet provides for insulation of our organs, brain fuel, lowers cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, the list goes on. Healthy sources of fat include foods like eggs, nuts, oils, fish, seeds, and beans. Many of these foods fall into the protein category as well.
When I talk to my clients at work, I always tell them when they eat something make sure to eat both a carbohydrate and a protein EVERY TIME. Reason being that carbohydrates will give us our energy, and protein will provide us with satiety as well as the healthy fat we need in our diets. An example of a great snack includes celery and peanut butter; it provides all three macros! Here are some combo foods you want to take advantage of and amounts of the macros they provide:
Beans: 1 cup provides 15g of protein, 0.5g of fat, and 41g of carbohydrate
Nuts: ¼ cup provides 6g of protein, 14g of fat, and 5g of carbohydrate
-1 ounce (2tbsp) Chia seeds provide 4g protein, 7g fat, and 12g carbohydrate (11g being fiber)
-1 ounce (2tbsp) Sesame seeds provide 5g protein, 12g fat, and 7g carbohydrate
Eggs: 1 large egg provides 7g protein, 4g fat, and 1g carbohydrate
-6oz Salmon provides 44g protein, 10g fat, and 0g carbohydrate
-6oz Chicken provides 48g protein, 12g fat, and 0g carbohydrate
-6oz Steak provides 52g protein, 12g fat, and 0g carbohydrate
Consider yourself educated! You can see that most of these foods provide a bit of every macronutrient our body needs. This is just scratching the surface, but you get the idea behind what I’m trying to say. Want a snack? A yogurt would be a great food to have if you only have time for one food and don’t know what to eat. Yogurt provides you with all three macronutrients as long as you follow one rule: DON’T GET 0% FAT YOGURT. If you want a combo food to work, make sure you’re taking advantage of all it has to offer. The same goes for cheese and eggs. Eat those yolks people!
Nuts are another great snack food, as they provide all three macronutrients in one shot. Again, these are a great snack to always have on hand since they’re so low maintenance. No refrigeration necessary, long shelf-life, and they taste good!
I hope this blog entry helped clear up some questions or thoughts on combo foods and what they really are. Take advantage of these foods when you want to keep costs low, need something quick, and want to make sure you won’t be ravenous an hour after eating. Enjoy those combo foods and always keep those macronutrients in mind!