Which type of food (protein, carbs, fat) is best for which meal?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 13, 2012 at 4:11 AM

I thought I had this one figured out but now am hopelessly confused. If we divide the types of food into protein, carbs (low carb of course), and fat, which meals should focus on which of these three? I've read not to have carbs for dinner but I've also read that carbs for dinner can help you sleep. I've read to load up on protein in the morning, but I've also read to concentrate on protein in the evening.

I'd love to hear people's take on this question. Help! (And thanks.)



on March 12, 2012
at 09:44 AM

I agree that carbs for dinner can help you sleep. I sleep better now that I've added more carb to my diet in general, and out of all the other meals of the day, i eat more carbs at dinner



on February 13, 2012
at 05:12 AM

To get healthy. I've been chronically ill with an immune system dysfunction for ten years.



on February 13, 2012
at 04:20 AM

What are your goals?

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4 Answers



on February 13, 2012
at 06:07 AM

For weight lifters there are various things that folks like to do to maintain muscle mass. For those that are trying to lose weight there are other considerations. For folks with GERD there are timing considerations.

Some folks will like to eat protein right before bed (cottage cheese or pastured meat) to maintain muscle mass during the fast that occurs while sleeping.

Others need to eat a long time before they go to bed.

Some like to wake and eat protein aka the leptin Rx http://jackkruse.com/my-leptin-prescription/. This can really help. The article explains under which conditions you would want to consider that.

Some like to wake and eat honey and rice cakes to lower early morning cortisol.

Some like to skip breakfast. Some like to eat in an eight hour feeding window aka lean gaines.

Some eat only fat for breakfast extending their protein and carb fast until lunch as mentioned as an option in the Perfect Health Diet (Which is also Paleo).


on February 13, 2012
at 05:18 AM

Truthfully, I've yet to find any research that supports food timing/food combining. You could come up with biochemical/physiological pros and cons for eating almost any food at almost any given point in the day.

For an immune system dysfunction, I doubt timing of nutrients will have any appreciable effect.


on May 17, 2012
at 10:03 AM

Trying to make your diet healthy. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet. Water is very effective for us, water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins. If we take vegetable salad in breakfast and after that maintain our balanced diet is the best meal for us.



on March 26, 2012
at 03:34 PM

There's lots of lively debate on this question, so don't apologize for your confusion. My take is that different people react differently. Heck, I react differently from one month to another.

You indicated you're looking to build better health. That's been my journey too, so I'll start by saying there's no "of course" about low carb. Most people eating whole foods are eating "relatively low carb" compared to SAD (standard American diet) but there's a fairly wide range. Some folks are eating virtually no plant-based foods at all and others are eating mostly plant-based plus small amounts of protein/fat. The challenge is to find what works best for you.

I'm currently eating a mix--by food volume--of 75% plants and 25% meat, with nutrients/energy/calories closer to 50/50. Through experimentation I discovered I do best with an emphasis on protein/fat earlier in the day, with my carb selections later and usually as part of my main meal. Others may report the opposite and that's just fine. Try both ways and see what works for you.

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