Macro ratios and seasonal eating patterns

by (4844) Updated May 28, 2012 at 12:10 AM Created May 26, 2012 at 10:37 PM

I'm noticing that the warmer it gets, the less fat I want in my diet. I just can't do a meat & vege stir-fry dripping in tallow, which was my go-to meal over the winter, when it is 80+ outside. I'm still having an avocado most days and a little butter or coconut oil here and there (that is to say: I haven't become fat phobic, and I definitely need some healthy fats in my diet), but generally speaking I feel like I'm shifting more and more towards carbs for energy. Fruit has sounded absolutely delicious in the warming weather; I've been eating some berries and or a banana on a daily basis. I've also been having potatoes and more starch - I think I might qualify as a PHD convert at this point.

In my mind I picture "seasonal eating" something like this (granted this is from the perspective of someone who grew up at 47° latitude; this is obviously far from an equatorial people's diet):

Spring - lots of greens that are cold-hardy: kale, spinach, broccoli, etc. Coupled with plenty of meat and fat, slowly shifting phases as it warms into...

Summer - more fruit, more warm weather veges such as nightshades, summer squashes, lots of fish, avocados, less dense calorie sources, more carb dependent (and more physical activity, generally speaking; maybe the two coincide purposely?)

Fall - continuing on the carb-train with more squashes, the sweeter late-harvest fruits (apples!), gamey meat seems appropriate with hunting season and the coolness creeping in, slowly adding more fats back as the cold comes...

Winter - Dense fatty foods and offal seem appropriate both for the caloric excess required to keep warm, and to retain micronutrients that aren't available in fresh veges. Lots of meats, they would be easier to store for longer periods when it was frozen outside. I can't think of much in the way of fresh carb sources during the winter? Maybe a few roots, squashes?

I'm assuming meat is going to be fairly ubiquitous in the diet, along with any obtainable seafood; I'm mostly concerned with energy sources.

All that said, do you feel that macro ratios should naturally shift with the seasons? Do you have a different picture of how seasonal eating looks? Does the year-round availability that our modern world provides allow us to perpetually eat the "perfect diet" despite natural intentions, and should we eschew our ancestry in favor of that?

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2 Replies

749 · May 28, 2012 at 12:10 AM

seasonal eating for sure, but i can only add to the speculation.

Is it shaped by changing daylight hours, and the amount of sunlight we get? Is it an adaptation to the different growing seasons, migration patterns of foods? Is it the temperature, and some way it affects out metabolism? Is it to do with how our activity levels change, and we tend to change our eating to reflect? Is it shaped by equatorial monsoon patterns and dry season?

I think the answer will be everything, and nothing specifically, as well as so much more besides.

as long as i can buy broccoli, eggs and beef year round, though, i will probably never think about it again.

1019 · May 26, 2012 at 11:14 PM

Sounds like you've been spending time on Jack's website. If there is any scientific basis for this school of thought I would be interested in it, although I don't think this kind of research is available.

If your thought is based on ancestry then you should consider the seasons of Africa. More so wet and dry, not so much cold and hot.

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