Nutrition Tip: Do Not Mix Carbs With Fat

DoughnutSo many of us are currently, or have tried to lose weight. There are so many fad diets out there, that no one really knows exactly what to do to lose weight. Fortunately there are some basic rules that we can follow to put together a great diet plan. Let me share some of them with you.

I have repeatedly found dieters who are unfamiliar with a basic nutrition rule that I learned long ago. It basically goes like this: do not eat any meals that are high in carbs and high in fat at the same time.

Essentially, you can eat meals that are high in protein and carbs, and you can eat meals that are high in protein and fat. Eating protein is what helps you build muscle and recover from strenuous workouts; it is also good for a decent thermic (calorie burning) effect during digestion. Mixing carbs and fat is what makes the lard stick to your thighs and/or abdomen.

Why Is It Bad to Eat Carbs and Fats Together?

When you eat carbohydrates you end up with lots of sugar in your blood. When there is alot of sugar in your blood, your body releases insulin. Insulin tells your body to store those sugars away in muscle tissue in order to generate lots of energy later. Unfortunately, insulin also tells your body to store fat molecules in the nearest possible adipose tissue.

Therefore, we can theorize a possible strategy: eat high protein meals to burn fat and build muscle, and avoid mixing carbs and fat in order to minimize potential fat storage from excess calories.

Here are some common examples of mixing carbs with fat:

  • Eggs and toast
  • Pancakes and sausage
  • Peanut butter and jelly or fluff
  • Steak and potatoes
  • Candy bars, cake, cookies, pie
  • Pasta and meatballs or sausage
  • Nachos

Learn it. Live it. Love it.

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22 Responses to “Nutrition Tip: Do Not Mix Carbs With Fat”

  1. What about mixing low-glycemic carbs with fat? For instance, should I avoid mixing walnuts and almonds with a sweet potato? What percentage of fat or low-glycemic carbs constitutes a bad mixture for a meal? What about unsweetened oats? 1 serving contains 5g protein (13%), 3g fat (17%), and 27g (4g fiber) carb (70%). Is this a bad food to eat?

  2. You got it all wrong man. Its simply impossible not to mix carbs with fat. EVERY SINGLE food has proteins, carbs and fat. EVEN A LETTUCE (no joke). Just avoid eating high glycemic carbs and saturated/trans fat and you’re good to go. There’s NOTHING wrong with mixing low glycemic carbs with unsaturated fats and regular protein.

    • renzo has it right. As always, moderation figures into this discussion. Should you eat carbs with fats? No. Can you? Yes. Does it matter which carbs and fats you mix? Yes.

      As renzo says, high glycemic carbs must never be mixed with saturated or trans fats. Can you mix healthy fats with low G.I. carbs like fiber? Oh yes you can.

  3. this is the stupidest argument i ever heard of. it is blatantly false. it doesnt matter WHAT YOU MIX FAT WITH OR WITHOUT – ALL THAT FAT IS GETTING ABSORBED REGARDLESS. JUST DONT EAT LOADS OF FAT EVER!

    • Mrfixit:
      1) Complex carbs are OK to eat with fat, but don’t go crazy. I am mostly referring to carbs like bread and white pasta, which cause insulin spikes immediately, which in turn cause free fatty acids to be sucked up into adipose tissue. Too many complex carbs at one time will still cause insulin to rise, which we want to avoid at all costs when there is a high level of free fatty acids in the body. And no, all complex carbs don’t always specifically “take 8 hours to break down”.

      2) Protein is not converted to sugar at all, actually protein is broken down into amino acids, which are carried throughout the body to repair broken protein structures as needed. Excess amino acids and undigested proteins are usually putrefied by bacteria in the intestines. You actually have no idea what you are talking about.

      3) And finally, I wrote this post after years of reading research and experiments conducted by nutritionists and biologists. Some of them have PhDs, while others have 100s of successful clients following their nutrition plans.

      You just supplied this post with 3 of the most ignorant comments I have ever read on this blog. Better luck next time.

  4. WOULD MIXING THE FOLLOWING FATS AND CARBS BE ACCEPTABLE?
    EGGS AND WHOLE WHEAT OR SPROUTED GRAIN TOAST
    STEAK AND BROWN RICE

    I’M WANTING TO DO LOW CARB AND WGHT LIFT & CARDIO, BUT EVERYTIME I TRY ATKINS I FEEL SO DRAINED AND TIRED ALL THE TIME. THEN I DON’T FEEL LIKE WORKING OUT. SO I’D LIKE TO HAVE A PROTEIN AND A LOW GI CARB WITH ALMOST ALL MY MEALS, MAINLY USING FRUIT AND VEGGIES AS MY CARB BUT ALSO WHOLE WHEAT BREAD OR SPROUTED GRAIN BREAD AND WHOLE WHEAT PASTA, AND BROWN RICE ON OCCASION.
    I’M LOOKING TO LOSE FAT AND TONE UP, CAN YOU GIVE ME SOME GOOD PROTEIN/ CARB COMBOS?

    • Eggs and steak are OK to eat with whole grains, but keep the portions small. Focus more on eating fish, chicken, turkey, lean beef, and lean trimmed pork if you are going to be eating your meat with carbs. Whole grains are acceptable; potatoes, white bread, white rice, french fries, and white pasta are not.

  5. Actually Carbs and fats together are not a problem. Carbs themselves would cause an insulin spike as you say but when fiber or fat is added, the the time needed for digestion is increased and the insulin spike is decreased.

    Yes a large insulin spike would store fat but the fat also decreases the insulin spike and so does not affect the fat storage.

  6. For people who understand Berardi’s 10 habits, its simple. Theres different degrees as to how much seperation you might accomplish. The most basic would be peanut butter on wonder bread is bad. Chick peas and avacados would not give the same result. You are only trying to manage insulin levels. I have used PN for over 5 years and have no trouble staying sub 10% BF.

  7. As far as proteins turning to sugar, this only happens when you ingest slim to none amounts of carbs. The process is known as glucogenesis. Your body is fueled off of glucose and your body will manufacture its own sugar from proteins if need be. That is what he was referring to, but even after this process, it should only effect insulin levels minimally. Insulin, both effects levels of fat storage and amino/carb storage in muscle tissue. By eating slow digesting, low glycemic carbs, you do not have to worry about you coinciding fat intake.

  8. Folks, this is why he said it’s a good idea to just follow the rule of “don’t mix fats with carbs”. Because otherwise you end up with this “but what about low-glycemic beans with egg whites?” etc, etc, crap. Look, if you want to go into detail about it, then go read tons of scientific articles that detail that each person has a unique insulin profile; some folks are hyper-insulenimic, which means they will get an insulin spike even with just beans. Others are hypo-insulinemic, which means they could eat donuts with their protein and still not worry about porking up. But if you’re a plumper and gain weight easy, then stop splitting hairs and follow a simple rule of thumb…don’t mix fats and carbs together. If you’re a hard gainer, then mix them. In nature, fats & carbs are almost always partitioned away from each other. Fruit, grains, vegetables are mostly carb. Advocado, nuts, etc are mostly fat. Meats can be lean protein or fat + protein. Seasonally speaking, some humans (mostly those evolving in colder climates) evolved to go into storage mode when their bodies got carbs. Animals would pork up and get protein + fat in their bodies. Humans would eat fruit, nuts, carbs & fatty meat during the spring. This would pork them up for the coming winter when it was very low carb. In tropical climates, humans evolved to handle year-round carbs (and sugars, like fruit) better, and elicit a lower insulin response. So really it’s a matter of your genetic profile. But if you gain easy, then just follow the rule, and don’t get anal about it. The author has tried to simplify some very complex nutritional science into a very easy-to-follow rule, and folks are posting ignorant comments and splitting hairs on BS. Something that works for you may not work for others, but this golden rule is a very good main-stay for hard-losers.

  9. if you do a search on google’s scholar, for studies on the effect of foods on insulin response, you will find that protein is actually what you should not mix with carbs–fat is ok. protein can multiply insulin response to carbs.

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