Don’t Worry About Minutia

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Minutia: small or trivial details.

Setting diets up based on percentages just doesn’t make sense (think The Zone Diet). When someone places protein, carbohydrate, or fat requirements in terms of percentages for a diet, it doesn’t necessarily have any relevance to what that person actually needs. A diet consisting of 30% protein may be too little for one person (ingesting only 1000 kcals per day) and too high for someone else (ingesting 5000 kcals per day). Two extremes I know, but I’m just trying to make a point.

Using the above example, someone who “needs” 150 grams of protein would only be ingesting 75 grams of protein per day on a 1000 kcal per day diet (half of what he actually needs), and 375 grams of protein per day (more than double what he needs) on a 5000 kcal per day diet (again, assuming 30% protein).

Additionally, many diets are often labeled “high carbohydrate or high fat” when a specific macronutrient is over a certain percentage. Most dieticians would be quick to label a diet consisting of 35% fat as “high fat.” However, if we were to take a 2000 kcal diet (with 35% of calories coming from fat) and add 200 grams (800 kcals) of carbohydrate to it without changing anything else (total calories are now 2800), a “high-fat” diet all of a sudden becomes a “low-fat” diet because the percentage of fat dropped from 35% to 25%, even though total grams of fat stayed the same.

No need to worry about trivial minutia such as macronutrient percentages.

Tony Gentilcore

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