by Catherine M. Haug, December 2010 (originally The Diet Solution and Metabolic Typing); updated Apr 2019
I first learned about metabolic/nutritional typing from the Diet Solution video (1). I never ordered the books, etc., but I do think their program has merit. It is based upon the Metabolic Typing theory as developed by Isabel De Los Rios (1A): different people have different metabolic tendencies that can be either enhanced or thwarted by diet. See also Wikipedia (4) for a more precise definition.
A similar concept, by Dr Mercola, is called Nutritional Typing. I learned about this from a 2008 article by Dr. Mercola, and took his quiz (2A, 2B). He identifies 3 types: Protein-Type, typical of people whose ancestral history places them from the colder, northern climes; Carb-Type, common for people whose ancestral heritage if from warmer climes; and Mixed-type, who have attributes of both types.
About the same time, I read a series of articles by Walter Last, about Metabolic Typing (see Cat’s notes on Metabolic Typing from Walter Last’s article (links to old iWEb site; update when moved) See also Walter Last’s article (5). He uses slightly different names for the different types, and introduces three new ones, all based on which autonomic system is dominant: parasympathetic or sympathetic).
NOTE: there are other programs titled “The Diet Solution” but the one I viewed is Mercola’s program (2A).
This article is based on my notes from the Diet Solution video (1).
- Includes: 1. Carbs, Fats and Proteins; 2. Why Avoid Processed Foods; 3. Shopping at the Store; 4. Why Calorie-based Diets Flunk
- See also: 1.Diet and Health Menu; 2. Cat’s notes on Metabolic Typing from Walter Last’s article (links to my old iWeb site; will change when is moved to my blog)
- Other Sites: 1. Metabolic Typing (Wikipedia) (4); 2. Dr Mercola’s Metabolic Type Quiz (2); 3. Dr Oz’s Metabolic Type Quiz (3); 4. Walter Last on Metabolic Types (5)
The Metabolic/Nutritional Types:
NOTE: Dr. Mercola calls this ‘Nutritional Typing’ or ‘NT.’ An easy online test to determine your Nutritional Type is available on his website: Introduction to Nutritional Typing (2A) and The NT Test (2B). The three types are: Protein, Carb, and Mixed.
I am a Protein- or P-Type, which I attribute to my Viking and Saami heritage Scandinavia). I do pretty much follow the dietary recommendations from the Diet Solution program, which is geared towards Protein Types.
The following define the types by food categories:
This is the food group that is most different for the different Metabolic Types.
- need more protein in their daily diet than Carb-types;
- find animal based proteins (meat, eggs, dairy) to be more beneficial than plant-based protein (legumes, grains);
- may have troubles digesting plant protein; for example, developing a food sensitivity to legumes and other plant proteins;
- need more fats and fewer carbs than carb-types [and may be more sensitive to grains that have not been sprouted/fermented].
- need less protein in their daily diet than Protein-types
- can better tolerate plant-based protein.
- Mixed types do well on animal and plant-based protein, and have other dietary tendencies of both protein and carb types.
For both types, there are good carbs and bad carbs:
- Good Carbs include:
- Sprouted or sourdough grain bread
- Sweet potato/yams
- Rice, millet, quinoa; also sprouted/sourdough spelt [to this I would add sprouted oat, barley, rye, kamut, emmer]; presoaking these grains helps somewhat, but not as much as sprouting or fermenting them.
- All raw, fresh veggies and fruits (eaten raw or cooked; NOTE that Mercola recommends some veggies more than others for P-types)
- Carbs to Avoid
- White bread, cakes, cookies, etc.
- ‘Wheat’ bread unless sprouted wheat
- Processed, extruded cereals (boxed cereals)
- Wheat if you are gluten-sensitive (may also need to avoid spelt, oat, barley, rye, kamut, emmer)
Fats & Oils
For both types, there are good fats and bad fats:
- Good Fats (See also my articles: Good Fats for Cooking, Essential Fatty Acids: A Case of Balance; and Saturated Fats: The Good Rap)
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil (the real olive oil)
- Eggs (whole)
- Raw nuts [to this I would add sprouted nuts]
- Fats to Avoid (See also my articles: Artificial Trans-Fats no longer Recognized as Safe, Chemically-Altered Fats, and Labeling of Trans Fats)
- Hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil
- Margarine and other fake butter or shortening
- Fake olive oil; see my article: Olive Oil: The Real Deal, or Adulterated/Fake.
Why Avoid Processed Foods
For the most part, processed foods are high in sugar, chemicals, and/or modified (chemically altered) foods. For example, fake dairy: margarine, non-dairy creamer, fat free sour cream, and so on. Sugar, in all its forms, should also be avoided except in small amounts (1 teaspoon or less in a day).
Most boxed products are also processed, such as breakfast cereals, crackers, cookies, hamburger helper.
What to avoid:
- High fructose corn syrup (HFCS), also known as corn sugar, is a very dangerous processed food made by GMO-bacteria;
- Artificial sweeteners (aspartame, splenda, saccharine);
- Agave nectar (GMO bacteria are used to convert any glucose to fructose), unless 100% Organic, and even then, should be used rarely and sparingly.
- Hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated oils and fats (margarines, plant-based shortening);
- Processed soy [NOTE: fermented soy such as miso are not considered processed and may be good for you].
- Cookies, cakes, etc., both commercial and homemade. Exceptions would include those made with sprouted/sourdough grains and sweetened with stevia.
The liver is an organ that has two basic functions (#s 1 and 2), plus a third (# 3) when needed:
- Break down & metabolize fats;
- Convert excess blood sugar into storage fat.
But it cannot do these very well at the same time. Processed foods provide many substances that must be detoxed in the liver; many processed foods also contain bad fats that require the liver to perform both functions at the same time.
Processed and likely GMO vegetable oils such as corn, soy and canola; and processed whole grain products such as Cheerios & Wheaties, are full of free radicals that must also be detoxed in the liver.
Shopping at the Store
Go for single ingredient foods that you combine yourself when preparing meals and snacks. This means:
- Buying from local farmers/dairies/ranchers who grow/raise their foods on-site.
- Shopping in the fresh produce section (especially the Organic section), whole grain section, fresh meats/fish/seafood section, and local dairy section of your grocery store. These are typically located along the perimeter of the store. Avoid most aisles in the bulk of the store because that is where you will find processed foods [exceptions include whole-grain flours, molasses, maple sugar, cooking oils such as coconut and real olive oil, vinegar, coffee and tea].
Why Calorie-based Diets Flunk
The quality of your food and metabolic activities are more important than calories provided by the food. Most people don’t get enough calories, which throws the body into starvation mode, converting all but minimum requirements into stored fat (body fat). Some people get most of their calories from junk-foods – processed and/or commercially-prepared – that are high in non-nourishing ingredients.
Diets flunk when:
- They are not specific for your metabolic type. The Diet Solution (1) provides a questionnaire to determine your type, but you can also find one on Mercola’s site (2), or on Walter Last’s pages on Metabolic typing (5).
- The foods and portions are not specific for your needs.
- They don’t allow you to enjoy the foods you eat.
- The Diet Solution:
- Dr Oz’s free quiz: doctoroz.com/quiz/quiz-what-your-metabolism-type
- Walter Last: health-science-spirit.com/HF5-1.html