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Vegetables Are Carbohydrates...Right?

Dr. Rick Kattouf II

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I'm not really sure where this "vegetables are carbohydrates" thing started. My guess is it started with this crazy-phase of high-protein diets, which still seem to find their way to the surface. And always remember, anything that reads DIET is simply, Disaster Imminent Every Time™. Vegetables are not carbohydrates. Sure, they are good for us, they provide great antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, but that's it. They are not, and I repeat, they are not carbohydrates. Yes, vegetables have a few grams of carbohydrates but that does not make them a carbohydrate source. A slice of whole-grain bread has a few grams of protein, but do you call a slice of bread a protein source? Of course not, it's bread, it's a complex carbohydrate. Just because it has a few grams of protein, does not make it a protein source.  And the same holds true with vegetables; just because they contain a few grams of carbohydrate, does not make them a carbohydrate source. Here are two simple examples.


Let's take the ever-so-popular dinner that the diet world loves to lean on because they think it's so wonderful; a lean protein and vegetables. That just seems to be such buzzwords in the world of diets. You will hear people on diets say things like, "I eat so healthy now, I always have a lean protein and veggies for dinner." Well, let's see why a meal like this is nothing shy of a complete train wreck when it comes to fueling the body. A very popular "healthy dinner" (always remember, eating healthy is not the key to success; rather, eating right is the key to success) is 6oz chicken breast and 1/2 cup of mixed vegetables. This "healthy dinner" has the following breakdown:


  • 198 cal
  • 20% carbohydrate
  • 65% protein
  • 14% fat


One of the main keys in regards to nutrition that we always want to keep in mind is that there is a big difference between feeding the body and fueling the body. We have to be sure that at every meal and snack we are fueling the body and not just feeding the body. This meal is simply feeding the body and in no way is it fueling the body. At only 20% carbohydrate, that's virtually zero usable fuel for the body. And then, at a whopping, way too high, 65% protein, that's just not good. This is far too much protein; and then a very low, 14% fat. On the surface, the individual looks at this meal and think they are doing themselves good. But, the reality is that this meal is not good whatsoever in terms of fueling the body.


Now, let's take this healthy meal and let's make it right. Let's put together the right balance of carbohydrate-protein-fat that will properly fuel the body and brain.


  • 3oz chicken breast
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup mixed vegetables
  • 2 teaspoons almonds (chop up almonds and mix with rice)


With these simple changes and adjustments, we just took a healthy meal and made it right; now the body and brain will be properly fueled. This meal now has the following breakdown:


  • 392 cal
  • 57% carbohydrate
  • 25% protein
  • 18% fat


Wow! What a difference!


Whether your goal is to lose 100+ pounds of body fat, become a world champion athlete or somewhere in between, eating right (not healthy) is the key to success. Eating healthy is not necessarily eating right. But eating right is also eating healthy. If you are ready to create a true lifestyle for a lifetime, let's stop chasing diets & food fads out. These are diets for a reason and diets are temporary and they do not produce meaningful sustainable results for a lifetime. But, eating right will produce meaningful and sustainable results for a lifetime.


Are you ready to take your nutrition to the next level, get your brain and body fueled properly and feel amazing?


Dr. Rick Kattouf II

2x Best-Selling Author

Named One Of The World Fitness Elite® Trainers Of The Year



2x Best-Selling Author and Fitness & Nutrition expert Dr. Rick Kattouf has been named one of America’s PremierExperts® and one of the World Fitness Elite™ Trainers of the Year. He has been seen on ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox affiliates around the country as well as in the USA Today, Chicago Tribune and The Independent in the UK. Rick is the CEO/Founder of TeamKattouf, Inc., CEO/Founder of TeamKattouf Nutrition LLC, Creator of TeamKattouf Nutrition Supplements, Host of Rx Nutrition, author of Forever Fit, Creator of 5-Round Fury Fitness™ workout app, 9Round Nutrition Coach Sports Nutrition Specialist, ITCA Triathlon Coach, MMA Conditioning Coach, Food Psychology Coach, Wellness and Nutrition Consultant, Sports Nutrition Consultant, Heart Rate Performance Specialist, Entrepreneur and Inspirational Speaker.