If you don’t understand all the complicated healthy terms about amino acids, proteins, gluten, metabolism and artificial this and that, don’t feel bad. We all learn together and as we learn new things, we will share it with you in terms us normal people understand too.
Today we’re talking about protein. I know we talk about that a lot but that’s only because it is so important for good health and weight loss.
Protein is made up of long chains of amino acids, and the body requires this in order to function properly
Protein is the body’s building blocks
There are 22 amino acids – eight of them are essential and the other fourteen are non-essential amino acids. The body produces the non-essential acids, and we do not need to consume these.
The other eight do need to be consumed in the food we eat. The body recreates these proteins after they are broken down into amino acids, which are absorbed into the body so that new proteins can be created.
In order for our bodies to perform at optimum levels, it is necessary to consume protein from a number of sources
Poultry, shellfish, eggs and dairy products are good sources of protein as they contain all the eight essential amino acids. Nuts, grains, pulses, vegetables and fruits contain incomplete proteins. This is why it is good to eat balanced meals that contain all protein types in order to obtain all the amino acids.
Certain protein-rich foods are high in saturated fats
Be careful not to eat too many of these food types. Rather look for low-fat options.
- Skim milk and cottage cheese are better options than full cream milk and cheddar cheese.
- Beans and peanut butter are good sources of complete protein.
- Eggs are great as they contain the most amount of essential amino acids.
- Fish is a lean protein and is therefore, a good source of protein. Most people lose this benefit by crumbing or battering the fish, rather look for a nice baked fish recipe.
- Fish also contains essential fatty acids, which are good for you.
By eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, it is possible to negate the harmful effects that high saturated foods have. While animal protein is good for us, there is a risk of developing high cholesterol so stock up on fruits and vegetables instead.
Our bodies lose protein daily, therefore it is necessary to replenish every day
Protein-rich foods contain important nutrients such as iron, without which we cannot function. Protein helps our bodies to create new muscles, enzymes, hormones, organ tissues and cells. It is rather easy to see why protein is so important.
To lose weight fast and effectively, you need to increase our intake of protein
The more weight we have to lose, the higher protein factor.
Lizette & I have noticed that by increasing our protein intake, not only have we lost weight quicker, but we have firmed up significantly. This is without any exercise whatsoever.
A breakfast that is high in protein will keep us satiated for much longer and helps to keep blood sugar regulated for longer too. If you do get the urge to snack, look for something that is rich in protein. This could include a quality protein powder, an egg, seeds, nuts or a protein bar.