One of the most common questions for those new to the Paleo diet is “How many grams of carbs, protein and fat should I eat?”. Actually, it’s a common question for many Paleo veterans too, especially when we find ourselves falling short of health goals. Macronutrients are the nutrients we need in big (“macro”) quantities, meaning fat, protein, and carbohydrate (rather than the micronutrients like vitamins and minerals that are even more vital for health but which we need in smaller quantities). And defining an optimal dietary macronutrient ratio (what percentage of our calories should come from carbs vs. fat vs. protein) is a contentious issue.
Given the ongoing debate surrounding how much fat and carbohydrate we should be eating, hunter-gatherers offer valuable insights into what types of macronutrient ratios have supported healthy human populations. How much of their energy comes from gathered fruit and tubers? Is meat a frequent meal or a rarer delicacy? Is their fat intake high or low? Let’s have a look!