Nutrition: Foods with a Caloric Ratio Near 40-30-30

A caloric ratio of 40-30-30 means that 40 percent of the calories come from carbohydrates, 30 percent come from protein and 30 percent come from fat. You need to know which foods to eat if your diet plan recommends this caloric ratio and how to make healthful selections from among your allowed foods. A nutritionist or physician can help you plan a nutritionally adequate, balanced meal plan to meet your diet goals.



Carbohydrates and protein each provide 4 calories per gram and fat provides 9 calories per gram, so a food with a ratio of 40-30-30 would have about 8 g protein and 3 g fat for every 10 g carbohydrates. A diet based on a 40-30-30 caloric ratio is slightly lower in carbohydrates but within ranges for protein and fat, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Recommendations are to get 45 percent to 65 percent of your calories from carbohydrates, 10 percent to 35 percent from protein and 25 percent to 35 percent from fat.

Potential Benefits

A potential benefit of foods with a caloric ratio near 40-30-30 is that they often have a low glycemic index so that they do not lead to spikes in your blood sugar. The protein and fat in foods slow down digestion so that it takes longer for carbohydrates to enter your bloodstream, according to the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center. Besides regulating blood-sugar levels and possibly reducing your risk for type 2 diabetes, foods with a caloric ratio near 40-30-30 may help you lose weight because protein and fat make you feel full for longer after a meal so that you may eat less.

Food Choices

A cup of low-fat milk has 12 grams carbohydrates (48 calories), 8 grams protein (32 calories) and 5 grams fat (45 calories). This makes a total of 122 calories with a caloric ratio of about 39-37-26. Not many individual foods have a caloric ratio near 40-30-30, and your best approach for a meal or snack is to combine two or more foods to meet your goals. Have a high-carbohydrate food, such as a grain or fruit, some protein, such as tuna or chicken and some healthy fat, such as olive oil.


Your total calories determine your weight loss, so monitor portion sizes of foods with a ratio of 40-30-30. Choose healthful, unsaturated fat, such as from avocados, olive oil and vegetable oils, instead of cholesterol-raising, saturated fat, such as from butter, palm oil and coconut oil. For your carbohydrates, emphasize whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and limit your added sugars and refined starches, such as from white pasta and rice. Fiber is a carbohydrate, but it does not contribute calories, and it may further help you regulate your blood sugar.


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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or