Ryan Kneessi Food, Get Your 50, Phytonutrients & Other Nutrients Leave a Comment

Macronutrients include carbohydrate, protein, fats.  It’s most important to focus on Quality of the macronutrient.  We also included how to calculate the quantity of each macronutrient.  I will need to edit this paragraph.


Carbohydrates play an important role in human biochemistry as they’re our main source of quick energy.  There are two basic kinds of Carbohydrates; Simple and Complex.

Simple: White sugar, white bread, baked goods, etc… which in high amounts have shown to causes inflammation, blood sugar dysfunction, cancer promotion, oxidative stress, and suppress immune function.

Complex: Whole grains, vegetables, legumes which have shown to help stabilize blood sugars and provide a wide range of micronutrients since they have not yet been stripped of their nutrition.

Fiber:  is a complex carbohydrate that takes longer to metabolize which results in better blood sugar control and a healthy and clean gastrointestinal tract.  Optimal fiber intake is 25g daily for females and 30g daily for males.

Carbohydrate intake should range from 33-65% of diet depending on level of activity spent throughout the day.  A more active day would result in consumption of more carbohydrates and a sedentary day would mean less carbohydrates.  If not counting calories, just make sure these foods take up only 1/3 of your plate.  Remember it’s more important to choose nutrient dense foods.

Recommended intake

1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories

Based off a 2000 calorie diet (base yours off your weight goals)

Active day: 2000 x 33% (1/3 of plate) = 660 calories

To figure out how many grams daily:

take total calories from carbohydrates and divide that number by 4 (number of calories per gram of carbohydrate).

660/4= 165g carbohydrates daily

Best Sources of Carbohydrates

Fruits, Vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds.  These foods should form the majority of the 1/3rd of carbohydrate on your plate.  Whole grains are ok while you are working towards eating the best diet possible to achieve optimal health.  For optimal weight loss, grains are best avoided or to be consumed in moderation.  There are benefits to WHOLE grains as they are a great source of fiber, B vitamins, Iron, calcium and other nutrients.  These nutrients are also high in fruits and vegetables.  Try some whole grains you’ve never cooked with before!

Fruit: 2-3 servings daily (one serving is equal to ½ cup or one medium sized piece of fruit like an apple)

Blackberries          Blueberries     Raspberries     Strawberries

Cherries                Grapefruit       Pears               Melons

Cantaloupe            Watermelons  Peaches           Apricots

Oranges                 Plum                Apples             Kiwi

Pineapple              Grapes             Mango             Peaches

Vegetables: 5-6 servings daily

  • 1 serving of bulk vegetables is ½ cup
  • 1 serving of leafy vegetable is 1 cup

Legumes/nuts/seeds: incorporate into meals or eaten as snacks.

Hummus                Soy Beans        Peas                 Pinto Beans

Lentils                    Butter Beans   Split Peas         Baked Beans

Kidney Beans        Chick Peas       Navy Beans     Hazelnuts

Sesame Seeds       Chia Seeds       Flax Seeds        Almonds

Hazelnuts              Pecan Nuts      Brazil Nuts       Pine Nuts

Walnuts                 Cashews          Pumpkin Seeds

Sunflower seed



The body uses the proteins we consume to essentially make every tissue structure in our bodies.  Proteins also function as enzymes, hormones, and are heavily involved in our cardiovascular and immune systems.  Our body metabolizes about 1 pound of our protein mass daily for use in our natural body processes.  We are in fact what we eat!  A good lean quality protein is important to carry out all these bodily processes.

Protein Quality:  The proteins we consume are metabolized into amino acids.  There is a total of 20 amino acids that are required for protein synthesis in the body.  Proteins are important for muscle growth, antibody production, and the production of different hormones.  Half of these amino acids can only be obtained through diet, the other half we can make on our own.

Proteins should consist anywhere from 25% – 35% of your diet.  Research has shown that the optimal range of protein intake is .8g – 1.5g protein per kg of body weight.  .8g is for the less active person and 1.5g is more for body builders.  I like to recommend 1g protein per kg of body weight.

Recommended intake:

1 gram of protein = 4 calories

Based off 1g protein per kg of body weight

Ex: current weight 200lbs

200lbs / 2.2 (kg per pound) = 91 body weight in kg

Depending on activity level, multiply body weight in kg by .8g – 1.5g protein to determine number of grams of protein to eat daily

91 x 1 = 91grams

91g x 4 calories per gram = 364 calories daily

What Protein to Eat

Protein plays such a vital role in our bodies, so it’s important to intake the best kinds of proteins.  The quality and digestibility of the proteins is how to determine which protein is the best to intake.  Low end and processed meats usually contain lower amounts of protein. High quality meats and fish contain high amounts of lean protein that your body can easily extract, digest, and use to build muscle.

  • Animal and fish proteins (serving size about size of palm)
    • Grass feed beef (general rule: 1oz = 6-7g of protein)
      • Hamburger: 6oz = 36g protein
      • Lean Steak: 6oz = 42g protein
    • Anti-biotic free/hormone free, free range chicken
      • Depends on density of chicken: 1oz = 6-8g protein
    • Wild Alaskan salmon (not farm raised)
      • Read labels to determine amount of protein
    • Lean meats like deer and boar
      • Read labels to determine amount of protein
    • Other fish and shellfish including: herring, mackerel, albacore tuna, whitefish, bass, mussels, oysters, bluefish, smelt, swordfish, trout, sardines, scallops.
      • Read labels to determine amount of protein
    • Lamb chops
      • Read labels to determine amount of protein
    • Legumes/nuts/seeds (serving size is typically a handful)
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Kidney beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Soybeans
  • Baked beans
  • Lentils
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Other
  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Peas
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes



Fats get a bad reputation with the current low fat diet fad.  It all depends on the quality of the fat you are consuming.  Sure, if you’re consuming high amounts of saturated fats or trans fats then you will pack on the pounds and cause all sorts of detrimental health effects on your body.  Consuming more healthy fats such as mono-unsaturated will have positive effect on your health.

Fat has numerous functions in the body.  It is our preferred long term source of energy.  Fats are the structural component of all cells as it makes up our cell membranes.  Fats are vital to a normal functioning nervous system and are very important part of many hormones in the body.

Fat intake should range from 20-35% of diet depending on level of activity spent throughout the day and is unique for each individual.  This range is determined once protein and carbohydrate intake is determined.  If the proper fats are consumed then a higher percentage of fats can be consumed.  Again, its about the type of fat you are eating!!!

Recommended intake:

1 gram of fat = 9 calories

Based off a 2000 calorie diet (base yours off your weight goals)

Healthy Fats: 2000 x 33% = 660 calories

To figure out how many grams daily: take total calories from fat and divide that number by 9 (number of calories per gram of fat).

660/9= 73g daily

Best sources of omega 3’s

  • Fish
  • Wild Alaskan salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies
  • Albacore tuna
  • Lake trout
  • Vegetables
  • Soybeans
  • Seaweed
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Marine algae
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Other
    • Omega 3 enriched eggs
    • Free range meats

Omega 6’s

  • These are numerous in the standard American diet. They’re in refined vegetable oils, majority of snack foods, cookies, crackers, sweets, and most processed foods.  If it’s not a natural food (breathing or growing) then it most likely contains high levels of omega 6.  Avoid all Hydrogenated Oils!

Healthy Sources of Dietary Fats and Oils

The following list is what I believe to be the healthier oils to consume

  • Monounsaturated oil: Extra virgin olive oil (I usually use olive oil while cooking)
  • Polyunsaturated oil: safflower, canola, borage, primrose, avocado, walnut, sesame, flaxseed, pumpkin.
  • Saturated fat: Not all Saturated fats are created equal.  Coconut oil has numerous benefits and cultures that consume higher amounts of coconut oil have a lower prevalence of cardiovascular disease.
  • Fish oil – I usually recommend supplementing 3g daily. This again is unique for each individual and should be discussed with your doctor before supplementation.

Saturated fats (in moderation, not over 10% of total fat intake)

  • Grass feed meats
  • Organ meats
  • Eggs
  • Organic butter
  • Coconut butter
  • Palm oil

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