Hormone Balance and Food Combining: How Proteins, Carbs and Fats Affect the Body’s Behavior

by drpaul

Balance your hormones by balancing the things you put in your mouth.  I don’t mean weighing your food or putting them on the scales of justice (although you should justify what you do eat based on how you will feel, both physically and mentally, POST consumption, NOT pre-consumption).  This is more about balancing the types of foods you eat.  That’s right:  the foods that you do or don’t eat and the combinations of them play a major role in the types of hormones that are released in your body.

The western (modern) diet basically tells our bodies one thing hormonally…GROW.  Yep, if you eat like the average American, you are eating a diet that gives you no chance at being healthy or having a “magazine-like” body.  And we’re not talking Cosmo, People or Muscle Media, we’re talking Shape or Women’s/Men’s Health, or any other magazine that depicts people who at least appear healthful.  You see, the average American eats roughly 50% of their calories from carbohydrates, and most of them come in the form of processed grains, sugar and corn syrup.

If you compare this to our ancestors’ diets, you will see a large difference in both the amount and the type.  About 25-40% of our ancestors’ diet was comprised of carbs, and those were pretty much exclusively vegetables with some fruit (not a lot).  This plays a huge role in our hormones and in our size.  Now, it is safe to say that nobody wants to be fat, but from a physiological perspective on the way that we eat in this country, it sure seems like that is the goal.  Not only are we eating tons of these processed carbs, but it is also the way that we eat them.  You see, different hormones are released, based on the food combinations that we choose.

Food Choices and Hormonal Response
What is a typical breakfast in the States (if it is even eaten)?  Cereal comes to mind, along with pastries, pop tarts, packaged waffles, bagels or toast right?  We’re not sure how mainstream media switched the good ol’ fashion steak and eggs to a sugar slap first thing in the morning, but it has happened.  Eating like this is just like a slap or a punch to the pancreas, telling insulin to be released and telling the body to grow, grow, grow.  We would have never eaten that high a sugar content or anything remotely like these foods in our hunter-gather days.  And remember, we are the same – our genes haven’t changed much, if at all, in the last 40,000 years.

You may be wondering what you should eat for breakfast; we have some ideas.

Carbs are going to spike our insulin, no matter what; however, we can curb that spike to some degree if we eat some protein and fat along with the carbs.  We are in no way recommending a high carb, high processed food diet.  It’s important to take it one step further when eating fruits and veggies.  It is best when we eat a balanced diet by consuming protein, fat and healthful carbs together at every meal.  This is the basis for The Zone Diet prescribed by Dr. Barry Sears.  Where we at Bonfire Health differs from Dr. Sears is when it comes to quality of food.  He goes into this somewhat, but we want you to focus on eating natural foods (from the earth, not processed), as well as balancing the macronutrient content (protein, carbs and fats).

By eating healthful carbohydrates (fruits and veggies), you will dramatically decrease the insulin released, which will decrease your body’s message to grow and store fat.  By going a step further, eating a small portion of lean protein (grass-fed beef, turkey, chicken, etc.) and fats (avocados, nuts, seeds) along with those carbs, you will in fact be balancing your hormones, which will keep you healthy or move you toward health!

For more info on balancing hormones through foods, as well as other great nutritional info, visit:

What is The Zone Diet

Crossfit Nutrition

The Paleo Diet

Robb Wolf

Wiki on Hormones

Micronutrients vs. Macronutrients: The Secret to Understanding Food Breakdown

by admin

Grandma was right:  you are what you eat.  Literally.  Your body has the amazing ability to take the foods you eat and turn them into you.  How incredible is that?  Whether you eat an apple, a steak or a kale salad, your amazing body is able to break that food down into its chemical parts and reassemble those parts into your cells and the energy you use all day.  That is miraculous.  Outside the plant and animal kingdom, there is nothing else that can do that!

Here is the catch:  your body is only as amazing as the material it has to work with.  The quality of the food you put into your amazing body has a huge impact on your health.  An apple is not just an apple, nor is a steak just a steak.  As stated above, your body is able to break those foods down into their chemical parts, like macronutrients and micronutrients.

Macronutrients are the structural and energy-giving caloric components of our foods that most of us are familiar with.  They include carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Micronutrients are the vitamins, minerals, trace elements, phytochemicals, and antioxidants that are essential for good health.

The quantity and quality of these nutrients vary greatly, depending on not only what types of food you eat, but also the quality of those foods.  Processed foods tend to have more macronutrients than natural foods at the expense of micronutrients.  This is because processing food strips the foods of many of the vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals and gives the food a longer shelf life.  So cereal grains, breads, candy and sweets, dairy products, much of fast foods and other processed foods give you tons of calories without much micronutrient content – and that type of eating is responsible for many of the lifestyle diseases that are killing 75% of Americans.  At Bonfire Health, we recommend eating a natural diet, packed with micronutrients similar to our hunter gatherer ancestors.  So, switch to eating high-quality, natural foods from the earth.  Skip the stuff that comes in packages that can sit in your pantry for months and not spoil.  Eat lots of fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and meat.

It is important to keep in mind that there is a difference in the quality of those foods as well.  Earlier it was stated that an apple is not just an apple and a steak is not just a steak.  Depending on where your food was grown, or how your meat was raised, the quality of its macro and micro nutrients can be incredibly different.  Focusing on local foods ensures that you will get the most bang for your buck in terms of fruits and veggies loaded with micronutrients.  Focusing on eating healthfully-raised animals like grass-fed cows and free range chickens will ensure that the meat you feed your family was ethically raised. It will have fewer antibiotics and hormones, it is better for the planet, and it ensures that you and your family are building your bodies with the best possible components.  If you are interested in thriving and not simply surviving, the types and amounts of these nutrients are critical.