Proteins are the main building blocks of the body. They are used to make muscles, organs, tendons and skin. We also use protein to make enzymes, hormones and lots of tiny molecules that make our bodies work. So, we really need protein to live.
What is protein ?
Proteins are made up of amino acids, like beads on a string. Amino acids link together to form long chains. Our bodies can make some amino acids, but others we must get from diet. These are called the ‘essential’ amino acids.
When we eat food containing proteins they are broken down into amino acids, which are then delivered around your body. Some proteins are broken down faster than others. The slow proteins will provide raised levels of amino acids to our muscles for longer time. A combination of fast and slow proteins may be the most effective for building and keeping muscle.
So how does it help you loose weight?
Protein is incredibly important in losing weight. It can boost your metabolic rate and reduce your appetite. There are plenty of studies that show this. But the key to protein diets is protein’s ability to reduce your hunger – it makes you feel fuller than fat or carbs. This means you eat less while still feeling totally satisfied. Bonus.
Protein – 4 great benefits:
1. Effortless energy use. Studies show that protein needs more energy from our bodies to break it down than the other macronutrients.
2. Feel fuller after eating. Protein makes you feel fuller. Eating more protein can even help decrease calorie intake during the day and aid in weight loss.
3. Lower risk of disease. Eating more protein can help protect against diseases like diabetes and obesity.
4. Boost muscle mass. Protein has a positive effect on muscle mass. When people are dieting they can lose muscle if they’re not eating enough protein.
WHATEVER YOU DO do not think of eating more protein as a ‘diet’, it’s a way of life. Being smart about utilizing the power of protein, along with regular exercise, will help you reach your goals. More protein combined with heaps of wonderful vegetables, good fats and less refined carbohydrate is truly a perfect way to fuel your body: for work, play and fitness.
If you’re after high protein, without also adding a heap of carbs, meat is the way to go. Combining any source of protein with a bunch of delicious green vegetables is going to make a truly great meal for your body. Great high protein sources:
- Grass-fed beef & lamb.
- Free range chicken and eggs.
- Wild salmon and shellfish.
- Natural yogurt and cheese.
- Protein supplement.
Wondering about number 5? Whilst whole foods are ideal we live in the real world. The benefits of protein in your diet are clear, adding a good quality protein supplement (like Juice plus complete) to your diet might be an option at times. Especially those pushing their bodies physically, or needing a little help to stay on track each day in making good food choices.
- Check out this list of High protein foods and their RDA’s.
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