Thirty years after Dr. Weston Price realized that there was no ideal diet Dr. William Kelley built on this idea and concluded that a person’s metabolism was influenced by two genetic components. The first is what is referred to as ‘Autonomic Nervous System Dominance’. Essentially, the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) helps you burn energy and the parasympathetic nervous system helps you conserve energy. Depending which one is dominant will help determine your metabolic type.
The second component is ‘Cellular Oxidation’. This is the rate that you convert what you eat into fuel. If you are a fast ‘burner’ or oxidizer you need to eat a high protein/high fat diet because they burn slower. If you are a slow oxidizer you need to eat mainly carbs (not breads, cakes and potatoes carbs—vegetable carbs!) and you need to eat less protein and fat because you convert what you eat into energy slowly.
The metabolic typing diet has three ‘metabolic types’: Protein Type, Carbohydrate Type and Mixed Type. To determine which type you are I would highly suggest reading the above mentioned book. There is also an array of quizzes online as well as information to help you determine which metabolic type you are. ‘Typing’ yourself has now evolved into assessing cravings, energy levels and symptoms that can be seen in the eyes, skin, tongue and other parts of the body to assess what diet a person should follow.
I am a Protein Type which means I do best on a high protein/high fat diet (good fats like advocado, butters, coconut butters and seeds and nuts) and some carbs. I likely pulled my Native American ancestry when it comes to genetics as the ‘Protein Type’ diet is similar to the ratios of traditional Native American groups (mostly fat, protein combined with some vegetables and next to no whole grains). It is interesting that Protein Types who are not eating properly suffer anxiety and fatigue. Who knows how much of my ‘anxiety disorder’ as a teen could be attributed to my low fat, vegetarian diet that I followed for most of my adolescence and into my twenties? Since I switched to a high fat/ high protein diet, I have never felt more mentally stable!
Below is a quick overview of the three ‘Types’. Please do not use this as your only tool to assess what ‘Type’ you are. I will provide links to a few great websites that might better assist you.
Protein Types utilize fats and protein quickly. They tend to be an energetic bunch, who can be talkative and outgoing and they may be prone to anxiety, nervousness, and fatigue. They might have an overtired energy that they don’t recognize as fatigue. They usually struggle with low-calorie, low fat diets and may suffer related health problems as a result. Protein types are hungry more often and do better to eat several small meals a day. They also usually crave salty, fatty foods like French fries, chips etc.
What should Protein Types Eat?
Meals should be 50% protein, 30% fats and 20% carbohydrates (non-starchy veggies). Starchy vegetables have too much sugar for Protein Types and may add to anxiety or restlessness. Eat oatmeal or quinoa instead of your whites (rice, potatoes, pasta) to balance your blood sugar.
Carbohydrate Types require a healthy variety of carbohydrates. Personality wise they can be sometimes considered perfectionist and organized, yet sensitive. They tend to crave sweets over salty food, but don’t give in! Your craving means you need healthy carbs like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Carbohydrate Types have weaker appetites and often have a caffeine dependency. They are more likely to struggle with their weight and part of their weight might be emotional overeating due to their sensitivity. Their weight acts like an emotional buffer from the rest of the world. These individuals often have a caffeine dependency in order to keep their energy levels up. They might do best on three meals a day because they are slow burners.
What Should Carbohydrate Types Eat?
Carbohydrate Types should eat meals that are comprised of mostly veggies, fruits and whole grains (70% carbs) and only 10% fat and 20% protein. Protein and fats can come in the form of lentils, beans and nuts. Carbohydrate Types do best on low-purine meats such as light meat. Substitute coffee and colas for green teas or matcha tea.
Mixed Types are right in the middle in terms of being oxidizers and they usually have a moderate appetite and cravings for both sugar and salt. These Types usually do not struggle with their weight, but like Protein Types they can be prone to anxiety, nervousness and fatigue.
What Should Mixed Types Eat?
Mixed Types do best on equal amounts of protein, fats and carbs—that means 33% of each for a meal. Mixed Types should eat a combination of low and full fats as well as high and low purine (dark meat and white meat) proteins. Basically Mixed Types do fine as long as they vary their diet and follow the 33% rule for fats, protein and carbs.
Links – The Metabolic Typing Diet
The Book – The Metabolic Typing Diet