T Nation

Optimal Diet


Hoping to get input or thoughts on what the most optimal might be.

This is in regard to macro ratios, essential foods, and even if certain foods should be bought organic or grass fed/free range. Are there food that should be avoided or kept to a minimum? i.e. wheat and/or starches in general.


Well, my answer will omit specific numbers or ratios which I think you were asking for but…

Two specific macronutrients, I’m strongly convinced, are at least half the dietary cause, and quite possibly far more, of the historically-recent absolute epidemic in this country of metabolic syndrome, adiposopathy, Type II diabetes, and obesity. They are excess linoleic acid, a fat touted as “healthy” for being polyunsaturated, and excess fructose, which also makes up 50% of sucrose, a sugar touted as being healthy or even superior to glucose.

Neither is harmful in small quantity. Linoleic acid is in fact necessary. Fructose in amounts such as up to 25 g/day can be useful. But both cah have quite harmful effects (changes in gene expression) in quantities such as commonly consumed now.

So keep those to a reasonable minimum.

Relatively high protein intake is good.

Ample intake of good fats, widely discussed here and giving low total linoleic acid intake, is healthful. How much might be appropriate depends on caloric needs, how much of that is taken up by protein intake, and what amount of carbs is personally suitable, which might be a wide range depending on the individual.

Carbs can be thought of as the balance, or if you prefer, you can do the reverse and figure fats based on what’s left over after protein and your chosen carbs.

I don’t really believe in specific exact numbers or ratios being required. They can be helpful for an individual wanting to plan and wanting a template to stay within their plan, but Og the Caveman and his buds were doing just fine without exact numbers and I think that’s true for everyone actually. So while there are many plans with precise numbers which are excellent plans, I don’t think it’s ever necessary to be on any particular exact numbers.

There’s info available on which fruits are more likely to have pesticide residues: that would be a good reason to prefer organic. In the case of meats or eggs, organic doesn’t rule out being corn and/or soy-fed, unfortunately, so organic doesn’t mean much.


[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:

Carbs can be thought of as the balance, or if you prefer, you can do the reverse and figure fats based on what’s left over after protein and your chosen carbs.


Thanks for the response.

I know you mentioned amounts would be individual and do not like to use ratios but, would you keep carbs on the lower end? Do you see any issues with high carbs?


If someone does a great deal of physical work then often a lot of carbs can be consumed with no problem.

But on the other hand, if for example maintenance is just say 2500, and protein is 250 g/day (1000 cal) and fats are 40% of diet (1000 cal) then that naturally would leave only 500 cal for carbs (125 g.)

Could it still be good in this example for the protein to drop to 200 and the carbs to go up to 175? Quite possibly.

Could it still be good for the protein to stay where it is, the fat to drop to 30% of diet (750 cal), and carbs to go to 188 g? Quite possibly.

If following good principles, it all tends to work out.