The v8well Macro-Nutrient guide
A heatmap of my favorite foods
Here's a handy guide I created that classifies some of my favorite vegetarian whole foods into their primary macronutrients. Great one for your fridge!
As always, nutritional information is provided on a best efforts basis and intended to be a rough guide only. See our full disclaimer here.
Many foods occurring in nature are a combination of carbs and protein or protein and fat in varying proportions. For example, legumes are primarily a carb source, but also carry a significant protein boost which is great to be aware of while including in your meals. Full-fat Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are fabulous sources of protein, while also containing some fat. Similarly, nuts, cheese and eggs tend to be primarily sources of fat, but also provide non-trivial amounts of protein.
Primary sources of plant protein tend to be soy-based - such as tofu and edamame. It is often suggested that plant proteins are not as biologically available as animal proteins - i.e., only about 60-70% of the protein is absorbed - which is good to keep in mind if you are monitoring your protein intake.
I tend to prefer (grass-fed) full-fat dairy as it occurs in nature. However, if you wanted to isolate the protein, you could also use non-fat Greek yogurt (or egg whites, for instance). But be aware that many non-fat food products usually have additives and sweeteners added in to mask the loss of taste and texture that occurs with the removal of fat - always scan ingredient labels first. Also, recent research reveals weaker links between dairy fat and heart disease than previously thought, and in fact often to the contrary, they may actually be protective against heart disease and strokes.
Non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers and brussels sprouts are considered superfoods - they are technically carbs but have large amounts of fiber (and also some protein) that slows down absorption. They are rich sources of polyphenols which have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and experts recommend filling at least half your plate at every meal with these vibrant veggies in every color of the rainbow.
Avocados, olives, avocado oil and olive oil are wonderful plant-based sources of monounsaturated fat, which has been found to have many beneficial properties and is almost universally considered heart-healthy. Butter and ghee (always try to use grass-fed) are saturated animal fats and are also good for cooking at high-temperatures. I forgot to add coconut oil in this graphic - it is also a saturated fat that’s good for high-heat cooking, but with a different composition than animal fats. Avoid highly processed industrial seed oils like soybean, corn and canola that have been found highly inflammatory and linked to chronic disease.
What did I miss? :) Comment below and let me know, and also what else you would like to see.
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