Is Protein Really That Important?
What is Protein?
Why is it Important?
How much protein should I have?
What are the best sources of protein?
It is often preached about by fitness professionals but is it as important as many make it out to be?
What and Why of Protein?
Firstly, Protein is made up of chains of amino acids. These amino acids vary in shape and size and there are about 20 that we use to build protein. Of the 20 amino acids, our body can only make 11 on them, known as non-essential amino acids. The additional 9 are called essential amino acids, need to be obtained from food or supplement sources.
Protein is an integral part of any diet
Protein is used by almost every cell in the body.
It helps organs function properly.
It helps build and maintain lean muscle mass.
Supports healthy hormonal functions Supports healthy skin and tissue growth.
Eating an adequate amount of protein daily will support healthy weight loss.
Protein will help you maintain a healthy weight. Dietary protein will help keep you satiated longer, which mean it makes you feel satisfied longer and requiring you to eat less frequently. The satiating effect of protein will also help prevent cravings and overeating.
When you put it into perspective, how many times have you mindlessly kept eating protein rich foods such as eggs without feeling full? For this reason, protein helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels as well as energy levels throughout the day.
When you compare eating protein to eating calorie dense, easily digestible carbohydrates most people will overeat. The lack of feeling satiated and in many instances will continue to crave more and more carbohydrates usually resulting in a spike in blood sugar that may result in a boost in energy but usually followed by a hard crash and lack of energy. Protein provides a much more sustained source of energy which can help improve focus and reduce brain fog.
A benefit of protein that is often overlooked is that it the macro nutrient that requires the most energy to digest.
Simply, when you eat that 100 calorie piece of steak, you are only keeping about 70 calories from it but still retaining all the nutritional benefits. When you compare that carbohydrates which use less than 10% and fats less than 5%.
Protein is not the only macro nutrient you should consume. Carbohydrates and Fats are very important part of an all-around healthy diet and lifestyle. The amount of each will depend on your individual goals, daily energy expenditure, and training frequency.
The 11 Best Protein Choices
Organic Free Range Eggs
Fresh Caught Cold Water Fish
Organic Grass Fed Beef, Bison, and Lamb
High Quality Whey or Casein Protein
Organic Pasture Raised Chicken and Turkey
High Quality Vegetable or Vegan Protein
Organic Full Fat Cheese and Yogurt
Raw Nuts and Seeds
Soaked and Sprouted Legumes and Beans
Raw Organic Nut Butters