Recently, I had to take doctor Mercola’s nutritional type test and assess the results for one of my nutrition classes. There are three categories one may fall into:
- High protein: high density, high fat, high protein diet.
- High carb: high carb, low fat, low protein diet.
- Mixed: both high fat and high carb foods.
If you haven’t had a chance to take it, I recommend it. You can take it online here. You have to sign up to get his newsletter in order to take it, but the test is free of charge. I am not recommending it because I am a follower of this sort of nutritional typing. But I have found that having to take a test about my eating habits has made me think more thoroughly about what I eat on a daily basis.
What I Learned
All my life I have struggled with hypoglycemia. Recently I have found that good sources of protein offer longer lasting energy than simple or complex carbohydrates. Doctor Mercola explains that people who test as a protein-type have cells that burn carbohydrates too fast. So instead, they have to choose protein over carbohydrates in order to slow down the oxidation rate of their food. Protein types respond well to meals containing high-fat proteins like: red meat, fish, cheese, eggs, raw dairy, avocados, coconuts, dark meats, etc. They also need to limit their carbohydrates on a regular basis.
The test results put me in the high-protein category. These are the following indicators that your body might need a piece of a steak as fuel instead of some veggies or a piece of toast.
In the past I noticed that if I don’t eat protein high in fats for dinner, I wake up at 5 a.m. starving. Protein types get hungry very quickly on a low fat diet. In fact, for a long time, I kept a piece of chocolate or a cookie next to my night stand calm my system when I would wake up hungry Crazy right! I am amazed I didn’t become diabetic with such habits!
Even when I eat deserts I prefer creamy rich deserts to lighter ones. This is another indicator you might be a protein type. My favorite deserts are things like cheesecake, coconut cake, or chocolate tortes Not a fan of sorbet or popsicles.
A protein type supposedly thinks about food more often than the mixed or carbohydrate types. In my case, I start planning the next meal while I am still eating. My husband always jokes that I plan our vacations around mealtimes and places to eat. He is right. Nothing gives me more pleasure than planning the next meal.
Protein types seem to be able to digest meats better than other types. I have no visible problems with digesting meat. I do have to be careful with wheat and starches though, or I will have a less than optimal transition time. Still, I do try to use digestive enzymes when I eat both protein and carbohydrates in order to ensure an optimal digestion.
|Avocado and Brewer’s Yeast is a great high fat, high protein snack|
According to doctor Mercola, protein types have a hard time assimilating juice on an empty stomach. A glass of juice is no breakfast for me. I can drink it on an empty stomach as long as it is followed twenty minutes later by a piece of bacon and some eggs. If I don’t eat anything else, I get jittery and am unable to focus.
Protein types have a hard time fasting. I have never done a juice fast before so I’m not sure how my body would react. I have noticed that if I skip a meal I get very irritable, jittery, and sometimes, if I haven’t eaten a good source of fats all day, I will have a total melt down right before dinner. It is not pretty.
Protein types prefer dark meat. I have never been a fan of white meat. I will always pick up the fattiest part of a roasted chicken and I will eat the chunks of fat on a steak, sometimes even before I even start on the meat. Growing up on a farm, chicken breast would be the last part of a whole chicken that we ate. I always complained about it so my mother had to cook it in pork fat to make it juicier.
Protein types tend to gain weight when eating diets high in simple and complex carbohydrates. In college I used to weigh more than I do now. Since I couldn’t afford eating good protein, I ate lots of bagels, pastas, pizzas, and croissants, etc. Now, I eat meat and lots of other high density proteins at least three times a day, yet I weigh fifteen pounds less than in college.
So, doctor Mercola’s testing was pretty accurate for me. I wonder if I would test differently in the summertime when my body does not need as many calories to stay warm and fight colds and other infections. While I fit the mold for being a protein type now, I could see myself answering the questions differently in six months, when my body will be craving more veggies and fruit to keep my body temperature down.
Doctor Mercola recommends eating the food groups on your plate one at a time: for protein types, protein first, then vegetables. This is an impossible task unless you want to take all the joy out of eating! Sometimes my body craves that first bite of steak and sometimes it craves a bite of the delicious roasted brussle sprouts. I tried to pay attention for a week to see whether I go for the meat first on a regular basis. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I crave a bite of salad first, and sometimes I like to save the best till last. I tried to consistently eat my meat first and I didn’t like how I felt. It became a chore. I even started getting stressed out, which does not support one’s digestive system.
Some of the other advice doctor Mercola had for this nutritional type is very helpful, but some seems a bit excessive.
- Eating consciously and chewing your food. I agree, very important. Read here to see why.
- Eating good quality, organic food. Absolutely. Read here.
- Preparing foods at 225 degrees Fahrenheit – No higher. New idea to me but it makes sense, since food loses so much of its enzymes and nutrients when cooked at high heats.
- Choose all foods from the protein guidelines. I have not done that before. I looked at the charts that Doctor Mercola has listed on his website and I got completely overwhelmed. Following the chart of what carbs pair with what protein on a daily basis would again take the joy out of cooking and eating. Instead, I choose to avoid gluten, and limit the starchy vegetables and fruit in my meals.
- Choose high protein snacks before bed so one can sleep better. I love this piece of advice. Eating a dense snack like half an avocado or some raw Greek yogurt before I go to bed has beeen very helpful.
- Choose high protein snacks between meals; Good to know. I am paying more attention to the kind of snacks I am eating and I definitely work better with high protein snacks.
I enjoyed taking the nutritional typing test and now have some confirmation that I work well with a protein-based diet. Since this is already my diet, for the past week I tried to pair my food according to the protein-type principles and changed some of my snack choices from veggies to high-protein foods. I also tried to eat two full vegetarian meals and I was rather overwhelmed by how negatively my body responded. While I am not sure I could implement doctor Mercola’s guidelines fully, they are great guidelines. I appreciate that he does believe different people respond better to different diets. I absolutely agree. There can’t be one mold for everyone, but there also can’t be three molds for everyone… I believe there are about as many nutritional types on the planet as there are people. Everyone will respond differently to their food based on their genes, environment, stress, exercise levels, health, or environmental toxins.
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Mercola J. ( 2002, December 18th). Nutritional Typing, Mercola.com. Retrieved January 20th