Metabolic Typing Diet
Metabolic Typing Diet
Written by William Wolcott and Trish Fahey, this approach to eating and weight reduction is based on the premise that people have differing types of metabolism and should therefore follow a diet which is most appropriate for their unique body chemistry.
Science Behind Metabolic Typing Diet
This diet method proposes that our unique body types stem from variations in our ancestors' eating habits, which were originally determined by diverse environmental circumstances. For example, people from tropical origins have differing metabolic and nutritional needs from those who came from temperate zones. Two main factors supposedly contribute to these metabolic differences. (1) Whether you have a dominant sympathetic nervous system (energy burning mechanism), or a dominant parasympathetic nervous system (digestion and energy conservation mechanism). (2) The speed of your cellular oxidation, meaning the rate at which cells convert food into energy. Fast oxidizers should eat heavier proteins and fats while slow oxidizers need to eat mainly carbohydrates rather than protein and fat.
Three Basic Body Types Need Three Differing Diets
The authors of the Metabolic Typing Diet have identified certain basic individual biochemical profiles and nutritional needs to help us customize our diet according to our unique body chemistry. These dietary profiles are: "Protein Type", "Carbohydrate Type" or "Mixed Type".
For these people the Metabolic Typing Diet advises the consumption of meat, seafood or dairy at every meal. Organ meats (eg. beef or chicken liver) sardines, and whole milk dairy foods are especially recommended. Nuts and oils are allowed, as are unripe apples and pears in moderation. The only bread permitted is sprouted-grain breads. Alcohol, caffeine and fruit juice is banned.
The Metabolic Typing Diet recommends carb-type people to base their meals on high starch vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes and whole grains. Only light meats and fish (eg. chicken/turkey fillets, white fish) should be consumed, while nuts and oils should be eaten sparingly. Dairy foods should be low-fat or fat-free. Curiously, all legumes (beans, lentils) should be avoided. Alcohol and caffeine is permitted, though on a restricted basis.
According to the Metabolic Typing Diet, mixed types should include ample foods from both the Protein-Type and Carbohydrate-Type diets.
Metabolic Origins Versus Current Medical Science
The Metabolic Typing Diet is a very stimulating book, and its main thesis that there is no such thing as a "universal diet" is no doubt correct. However, to imply that ancestral dietary habits may override established medical facts is more controversial. For example, the heavier cholesterol and fat content of the "Protein-Type" diet regimen, might have suited some of our ancestors, but current medical research indicates that such a dietary approach raises the risk of athersclerosis and similar cardiovascular disease. Likewise, the health benefits of monounsaturated fats in nuts are only beginning to be fully appreciated.
Metabolic Typing Diet: Our Opinion
For a stimulating view of how metabolism and food intake are closely related, we recommend this book. However, for optimum health and weight control, we suggest you follow current dietary and calorie-needs guidelines, whatever metabolic "type" you belong to.
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