Eat What’s Right for Your Body Type

Although there are government guidelines regarding the recommended quantity of macronutrients that we all should be eating, there are actually three different macronutrient recommendations one could choose to follow, depending on how your body burns.

If your body tends to store fat easily, you will need to eat a different amount of carbs, protein and fat to someone else who burns their food slowly and rarely stores fat.

During the process when food is broken down, oxidation occurs, converting carbs into glucose. This is released in the blood, stimulating the pancreas to release the hormone insulin to mop up the glucose(sugar) from the blood. This sugar is not being utilised by the body for energy and it needs to be stored in the cells as fat.

Depending on our body types, we oxidise foods in different ways. This can explain why certain diets work on celebs or our friends but not on us.

To eat correctly for your body type, it is important to understand which type you are. This can help you consume the optimum nutrients to achieve maximum results.

Fast oxidisers store fat easily. This is because the nutrients in their food are broken down very so rapidly that the carb content is broken down to glucose and released into the blood almost at once. This sudden increase in blood sugar quickly causes vast amounts of insulin to be released to mop up the extra glucose, which the body then stores as fat in the cells.

The more carb content in a fast oxidiser’s food, the more energy will be available to the body right away, and so more fat is stored.

The hormone insulin works quickly to remove the glucose from the blood, causing a dramatic rise and inevitable fall in blood sugar levels that result from fast oxidation. This is called a sugar crash. For a fast oxidiser, foods with high carb ratios will therefore cause fatigue, carb cravings and fat storage.

Fast oxidisers would benefit from consuming meals with more proteins and fats in order to slow down their rate of oxidation and insulin release, and to better promote stable blood sugar and sustained energy levels.

On the other end of the scale, slow oxidisers burn through the nutrients in their food slowly and do not release the glucose from carbohydrates into the blood quickly enough, which means that they do not get converted into glucose, and energy production and availability are delayed. They will be less likely to store fat.

The presence of protein and fat in the meal will slow down the rate of oxidisation even further, so a slow oxidiser should eat a higher ratio of carbs in order to gain an increase in energy as storing fat is far less of an issue.

As you have probably guessed, balanced oxidisers fall right in between the two. Ideally meals should contain equal quantities of protein, fat, and carbs in order to obtain the maximum amount of nutrients and energy from the foods.

The three main body types are shown below with the ideal macronutrient percentage of your total daily food intake, and per meal.

1. Fast oxidisers: 20%carbs, 50% protein, 30%fat.
2. Slow oxidizers: 60%carbs, 25%protein, and 15%fat.
3. Balanced oxidizers: 40%carbs, 30%protein, and 30%fat

Blood Acidity – Keep It in Check

“You are what you eat”

This is such a true statement, and with the increase of variety in today’s supermarkets, it is more important than ever to understand what certain foods are and what they can do to your body. This week, I would like to discuss a phenomenon called blood acidity level, which is a very important indicator of your health and it also indicates whether some foods may be good or  bad for you.

In a healthy adult person, the pH of the blood ranges between 7.35-7.45. It is very important for the body to keep this pH constant, i.e. keep the hydrogen ion level balanced, because otherwise cell damage can occur. Blood is a buffer solution and thus it contains substances that help keep the pH constant. If your body digests and absorbs food, it will absorb nutrients, minerals, vitamins and so forth and depending on the composition of the food, this will have an alkalising (making basic) or acidifying effect on the blood.

The body will of course compensate as it is crucial to keep the pH at a certain range. However, this will starve your body of certain minerals and can have detrimental effects on your health. Thus, it is important to keep in mind if the food is acid-or base-forming, and not if it is acidic (i.e. sour) as such. A lemon for instance actually belongs to the group of alkalising foods.

Neither acidic nor basic is bad as such

Often acidic foods are quoted to be bad for you. This can be true, as a lot of junk food is high in processed fats and is acidifying. However, one should aim to have a balanced diet in order to help the blood maintain its natural pH. This includes ingesting the right ratio of alkalising and acidifying foods. If you ingest too much of either, you may encounter problems.

Symptoms of an unbalanced blood pH

Common symptoms of an unbalanced pH include heartburn, belching, bloating and feeling full after eating small amounts of food. Long-term symptoms can include insomnia, water retention, migraines, constipation or diarrhoea, fatigue and bad breath. As a rule of thumb, it is recommended to consume a diet of two to four parts alkalising foods to one part of acidifying foods. The more exercise one does (in particular aerobic exercise), the more alkalising foods should be consumed. Exercise creates more acid (in particular lactic acid) which lowers the pH of the blood.

Alkalising foods

Some alkalising foods are: citrus fruits, most vegetables (except beans), common fruits such as apples and pears, almonds, spices such as cinnamon and chilli. For a comprehensive list, you can click here. Most teas are also alkalising and green tea is a fantastic way to keep your blood acidity levels in check (for a review, click on the previous article on green tea).

Acidifying foods

Some acidifying foods are: cheese and other processed dairy products, most grain products including pasta, bread and flour, beans, red meats and other animal proteins, plant oils, most alcoholic drinks, coffee and some drugs, like aspirin. Again, you can find comprehensive lists online.


Prolonged consumption of acidic foods can trigger early onsets of osteoporosis. Calcium is a major component of bones and the body uses Calcium ions to compensate for too acidic blood levels.

Can I test blood acidity levels?

You can of course see your doctor to get a blood test done. During blood tests, one of the things s/he will look at will be the acidity of your blood. Also, you can get strips to measure the acidity of your blood. Simply get a finger pricker and you can measure the acidity of your blood very easily. There are also electronic measuring devices on the market. Ideally, you should monitor the acidity before and after meals and draw a chart to see how it develops. Your body will always try to compensate, thus keeping an eye on it is a better option than a single test.

How should I go about this?

There is no need to panic and suddenly look at each ingredient in your diet. I would suggest to assess the main components of your diet and put them in a table. In the Western world we usually consume too much acidifying food but that does not hold for everyone. If you find your diet to be unbalanced in these terms, simply consume a little less acidifying food (such as bread and oils) and more alkalising foods (such as citrus fruits and vegetables). Also, try to avoid acidifying foods in the evening, as it will help your sleep and may prevent insomnia. If you have trouble sleeping, read the advice on insomnia in a related article from our health correspondent Bailey Bradmore.

I hope this information will help you with your diet. If you have severe problems with your digestion, you might also find our reviews in IBS useful: Coping with IBS – Visceral Osteopathy and Coping with IBS.

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