This was one of the hardest things for me to understand in this diet. I kept visualizing filling a plate with fat and it just didn’t work for me until I went to a calorie counting site like Fitday.com. There, you can find the percent of fat, protein and carbohydrates of the calories you eat.
For instance, an egg has 77 calories. Of those calories, 63% are fat, 3% carbohydrates and 35% protein – you may notice that this adds up to 101% because the percentages are rounded up. Still, this gives you an idea of how to figure the percent of fat in the diet.
There is no need to make this difficult. We don’t chart all of our food, in fact , I won’t take the time to do it for all of the recipes on this site. But, by using a calorie counting site now and then, or at least for favorite foods, it helped me to get a handle on what I was trying to achieve.
To make it simple; by following the Foods to Avoid and Foods to Eat lists, and adding fats to everything I can, we come pretty close to the desired percents. We add butter to all of our vegetables and use lots of coconut oil, as well as animal fats like bacon fat, lard and tallow when we cook.
Here are a few examples to give you an idea of how to do this. Let’s say you decide to have a healthy salad for lunch. You have 1 cup of lettuce (1/2 romaine and 1/2 green leaf). You have 5 slices of cucumber, 4 strips of green pepper and a ring of red pepper. So far your lunch has the following breakdown:
Fat .2 Grams 11%
Carbohydrates 3.1 grams 73%
Protein .9 grams 16%
This is way too heavy on the carbohydrates. Who would think a salad would have 73% carbs? So, you add some protein and fat in the way of chicken and egg. You add 4 ounces of roasted chicken and 1 whole egg. Now you are getting closer, but have too much protein compared to fat.:
Fat 14.2 41%
Carbohydrates 3.7 4%
Protein 40.7 55%
OK, what about salad dressing? Two tablespoons of yogurt dressing doesn’t do much. It changes it to 44/ 4/52. Oil and vinegar? Two tablespoons of oil and vinegar dressing brings us to 50/6/43 – better. How about ½ an avocado? Now we have 561 calories and the percentages are 58/10/32. There is still not enough fat and too much protein. If we cut the chicken down to 2 ounces, it becomes 63/12/24. Now, we are almost there.. What if we cut the egg to ½ of an egg, and add a Tablespoon of coconut oil – we could drizzle it on the salad (but if the salad is too cold it will harden. Some people drink it in warm water or tea. Now it is probably close enough, though the protein is a bit high. A second tablespoon of coconut oil would cinch it, but with only one, here is the breakdown:
Fat 43.9 grams 72%
Carbohydrate 15.1 grams 10%
Protein 22.9 grams 18%
Let’s look at dinner. We’ll have roast beef, broccoli and a salad. First we’ll make it the way today’s diet gurus would tell you to make it. One thin slice of roast beef (4 ½ “ x 2 ½ “ x 1/8”), ½ cup broccoli, 1 cup salad, 1 tablespoon oil & vinegar dressing.
We are at 56/25/19 and 166 calories. We’d probably be starving 30 minutes after eating. Let’s see what we can do. We will take a thicker piece of beef (1/4’ thick), saute it in a tablespoon of oil, and add 1 tablespoon of butter to the broccoli, and now we are at the right percentage of fat, and we will be satiated after dinner. Add more fat with coconut oil or butter and you will be even more satiated. This is still pretty low-calorie. If you are a bigger eater, just keep the proportions the same. If you have a second helping of meat, have a second helping of buttered broccoli and maybe some more salad.
Fat 39.3 78%
Carbohydrate 11.1 9%
Protein 14.1 13%
While we are at it, let’s look at breakfast. Most days of the week are busy for us and we just have a kefir smoothie. Our fruit smoothie, with flax, is 744 calories and the percents are 75/11/15. But on Saturdays and other less busy days, we like to have eggs for breakfast.
OK, let’s have eggs and bacon. Two eggs (boiled or poached) come to 63/2/35. OK on carbs, but too high on protein. Add 2 pieces of bacon and we have 65/2/33. So, what if we fry them in 2 Tablespoons of bacon grease (and make sure you pour the grease on your egg – you can sop it up with some bread). Now we have 74/1/24. Not bad, but still too much protein. Something has to be added to make this work better. Dr. Cowan’s site suggests sauteing apple in the fat you use for frying the egg so that you really do get all of that fat. So, add a tablespoon of butter – oh, let’s make it two – to your fat in the pan and toss in ½ an apple, sliced. Cook it until it soaks up all of the fat. Now, here is what it looks like:
Fat 46.7 grams 79%
Carbohydrate 10.5 grams 7%
Protein 17.4 grams 14%
We would add sauerkraut to make it all more digestible. ¼ cup of sauerkraut would make it, according to Fitday.com, 76/11/13, but they only list cooked sauerkraut, and of course they don’t list lacto-fermented. I don’t think the carbohydrate would be as high in lacto-fermented sauerkraut.
Well, that is the problem with trying to spend too much time with a food calculator. They don’t have things like 24 hour yogurt (which will have less carbs than store-bought yogurt), yogurt cheese or kefir. If they do have kefir, they don’t account for the less sugar after culturing, so it is not accurate anyway.
Because of all of this, I don’t recommend spending a whole lot of time with a food counter, but spend enough to get an idea of how to increase fats. When I was spending time trying to figure out how to get enough fat, and measuring amounts etc, I mentioned to Dr. Cowan that it was frustrating when you can’t find things like kefir or yogurt cheese on the food calculators. Dr. Cowan said, “that sounds like too much micro-managing to me.” Well, OK. I’m happy to do less micro-managing.
So, add butter or other fats to everything you think you can add fat to. If you don’t think you had enough fat, have some coconut oil or butter. Eat butter on all of the breads listed here. By the way, my buttery flax bread comes out this way: 211 calories (if you get 16 slices to a loaf) 76 fat/10 carbs/14 protein, so having a slice with any meal will be pretty neutral, but if you add butter to it, you will be able to increase the fat in the meal (84/7/10 with 1 T – but who’s to limit you to only1 T?). Most of the breads on this site will come out to be very similar in fat percentages.
What would it look like if the meals I just listed were all eaten in one day? You would have had a reasonably low-calorie day, as long as you keep the proportions of meats and vegetables, you could have more food at each meal (or less). Most days Bryan would have trouble eating this whole menu. Truthfully, I have found that I am full and don’t need snacks with meals such as I listed. I just keep my fat percents where they need to be and don’t spend too much time worrying about the calories.
Fat 129.9 grams 76%
Carbohydrates 36.7 grams 10%
Proteins 54.4 grams 14%
The carbs for the day are well within the “no more than 60 carbs” Dr. Cowan would like to keep Bryan within, but if I went lower, I might lose weight a bit faster. Still, going too low on carbs can make you weak and it is just not as enjoyable. It is great to be able to have a bit of fruit each day. I think this is why I have never really felt hungry or cheated. I knew that if I kept the oil high in my proportions, I can have more to eat and most of these foods help me feel full. This is a diet I actually enjoy.