Animal Protein Sources- Meat, Fish, Cheese and Milk

The Meat and Cheese Tango: Finding Your Macros Sweet Spot

Alright, let's cut to the chase – we've got some meaty decisions to make here, and they involve your favorite dried and cured delights. We're talking about prosciutto, pepperoni, salami, and capocollo, the classics that transport you back to your Italian roots (or at least your Italian cravings).

These are more than just snacks; they're your go-to for packing on muscle without the sneaky addition of body fat. The best part? These savory delights are popping up everywhere, from your corner store to your neighborhood supermarket.

But here's where it gets tricky. These cured meats come with a not-so-welcome guest: fat. And let's not forget about the cheese, the ultimate partner in crime for these flavorful charcuteries. Cheese is like the trusty sidekick, always there to complement the star of the show but sometimes bringing its own baggage – fat, in this case.

Aim for 2-3 times more protein than fat to sculpt your physique. But here's the catch – many cured meats and cheeses don't quite play by these rules. They're like the wildcard in your macros deck, making it easy to veer off course.

To keep you on the right track, I present to you a simple lifesaver: the 50/50 Rule.

The 50/50 Rule is your ticket to balance in this culinary conundrum. It's like a well-choreographed dance where the stars are protein and fat, and they need to be in perfect sync. You want no more than 50% fat in your meat or cheese, with at least 50% protein. Imagine a 50/50 ratio of fat to protein, and you're golden.

For instance, picture this: you're eyeing a cured meat, and it boasts 10 grams of fat but only 5 grams of protein – it's like a salsa dancer with two left feet. Opt for something leaner, my friend. But if it's the other way around, with 5 grams of fat and 10 grams of protein, it's a match made in macro heaven. And if they're equals (say, 10 grams of fat and 10 grams of protein), it's a borderline case, but it'll do.

Now, let's break down the fat-to-protein ratio, just for kicks:

Meats and Cheeses Fat-Protein Showdown

Cured meat and cheese platter

  • Capocollo: The balanced contender (47% fat, 53% protein)
  • Genoa Salami: On the edge (53% fat, 47% protein)
  • Hard Salami: The fatty contender (67% fat, 33% protein)
  • Mortadella: The heavyweight (64% fat, 36% protein)
  • Pancetta: Another heavyweight (64% fat, 36% protein)
  • Pepperoni: All fat, no play (72% fat, 28% protein)
  • Prosciutto: The lean charmer (27% fat, 73% protein)
  • Serrano: The sultry dancer (33% fat, 67% protein)
  • Soppressata: Another balanced contender (46% fat, 54% protein)
  • American Cheese: The fatty fromage (60% fat, 40% protein)
  • Brie: The creamy dreamer (64% fat, 36% protein)
  • Cheddar: The borderline sharpshooter (56% fat, 44% protein)
  • Gouda: Gooey and balanced (56% fat, 44% protein)
  • Mozzarella: The mild contender (55% fat, 45% protein)
  • Provolone: The mildly melty (53% fat, 47% protein)
  • Swiss: The neutral crowd-pleaser (50% fat, 50% protein)

Now, let's address the keto elephant in the room. If you're on the keto diet train, you've got a bit more freedom to indulge in the high-fat, moderate-protein world of cured meats and cheeses. But here's the thing – I'm not the conductor of the keto express. I prefer a different route, one with fewer fat loss plateaus and more flexibility.

Keto may have its moments of glory, but sooner or later, you'll hit a fat loss roadblock, and it's a one-way street to frustration. There's just not much room to play around when your carbs are already at rock bottom.

So, my recommendation is we start with a solid carb base and slowly trim down. It's about sustainability, and you want a plan you can stick with for the long haul. Plus, you get a cheat day, and even on regular days, there's wiggle room for carbs.

So, let's wrap it up – the meat and cheese tango is a fun one, but we've got rules to follow. Remember the 50/50 Rule, and you'll dance your way to balanced macros and a happy, healthy belly.

James Freeman


Liam Marshall, the friendly fitness coach, has spent 14 years sharing his love for sports and fitness. With degrees in sports science, he crafts workouts that fit like your favorite jeans. Beyond the gym, he organizes sports clinics and tech-savvy fitness apps that motivate people worldwide. He's all about making fitness doable for everyone, and it's not just about bodies – it's boosting confidence. In 2019, he scored the "Virginia Fitness Coach of the Year" award. Outside the fitness world, he loves family time and hikes in Shenandoah National Park. Liam's journey from a small-town fitness fan to a big-time coach is all about passion, inspiring people to see fitness as a body-and-mind thing. Catch him on Instagram to stay in the loop!