The metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats into energy is referred to as oxidation. This is the rate at which nutrients are converted to energy within all of your body's cells. If oxidation occurs too slowly or too fast energy production is impaired. Your oxidation rate is influenced by both genetics and by your diet. Therefore, what you eat affects your rate of oxidation and energy production, which in turn affects your mental, emotional, behavioural, and in some cases, physical health. Determining if you are a fast or slow oxidizer can help you alter your lifestyle, most particularly your diet, to suit your metabolism. Fast oxidizers rapidly convert food into energy. In order to balance their systems, fast oxidizers need to eat heavier proteins and fats that burn slowly. In contrast, slow oxidizers convert food into energy at a slower rate, and require carbohydrates rather than proteins and fats. Slow oxidizers are susceptible to fatigue due to the reduced activity of the adrenal and thyroid glands. This makes them crave sweets as their blood sugar levels tend to be low, which can make them apathetic and depressed.
What is metabolism?
Metabolism describes the ongoing chemical reactions in the body, such as the breakdown of food and its transformation into energy. This is controlled by hormones, which secrete enzymes to achieve this task.
Metabolic typing is based on the belief that each person has a unique metabolism, and that diets should be tailored to reflect these differences. Balancing your body chemistry can result in a significant increase in energy production. One can therefore recommend a particular diet to bring the body into balance and harmony. The steps are:
- Diet - tailor your diet to the food your body is comfortable with
- Metabolism - this will normalise your metabolism
- Energy levels - and boost your energy levels
The most common symptoms of a slow oxidative rate are:
- Emotional distress
- Lowered resistance to infections
- Lower body temperature
- Gall bladder and/or liver problems
- Weight problems, i.e. being under or over weight
Foods recommended for Slow Oxidizers
People who are slow oxidisers are advised to eat the following:
- Proteins such as fish and chicken as well as eggs
- Low fat dairy products
- Carbohydrates including most vegetables (excepting peas, cauliflower, spinach, artichoke hearts and asparagus)
- Supplements including: Vitamin B1, B2, B6, iron and copper
A light breakfast with protein and less calcium is recommended.
It is best to avoid to the following if you have slow oxidation
- Proteins including high fat red meats
- Fish including high fat species such as salmon, tuna and herring
- Vegetables such as beans, peas, lentils and spinach
- High fat diary products such as cheese and cream
- Any fatty foods such as pastries
- Carbohydrates such as sugars, alcohol and starches
Determining the correct diet will enable you to:
- Eliminate fatigue and lethargy
- Eliminate cravings such as for sugar or alcohol
- Maintain a healthy balanced appetite
- Eliminate hyperactivity
If you would like your metabolic type analysed see a dietitian for an evaluation.