There was a period of time when protein was seem to be simply for being strong but not necessarily healthy outside of that realm. It was considered useful for muscle building and strength growth, however was not thought of an item that would promote much of any other health benefits. In today’s modern nutritional climate, scientists and nutritionists are starting to realize some of the fundamental benefits of a high-protein diet. Not only does it appear to facilitate or aid in the development of muscle structure and groups, but it also appears to help individuals lose weight (when utilized properly).
What is a High-Protein Diet?
Using a high protein diet does not mean stacking a bunch of protein on an already full diet. Instead, what it means is protein can be used in lieu of other items like sugars and carbohydrates. One should stress immediately that protein should not be something that takes the place of one’s vegetable intake, but protein and minerals from vegetables can be a fantastic cornerstone of a diet. It is important to remember that protein does not automatically mean that one consumes meat. A high-protein diet does not have to be pictures as a Viking-like diet, wherein one eats leg of lamb, or entire roasted pigs as a daily meal. Instead, high-protein diets can consist of granola, cottage cheese, protein shakes and bars, assorted nuts, as well as meats.
How Much Protein Should I Eat?
The average adult male can eat anywhere between 38-200 grams of protein without concern; however, the recommended amount needed is somewhere around 58 grams. For women the number is closer to 38 grams of protein per day. Of course, this number may vary depending upon your personal physiology and nutritional needs. To know how many grams are within your probable optimal zone, attempt to make protein around one-third of your calories intake for a high-protein diet. This means that if you eat 1,800 calories, your protein intake should be around 650 calories of protein. If this is a difficult task for you, then stick within the healthy range of protein intake listed above. Moreover, remember there is no substitute for speaking with your personal physician or nutritionist.
How Does High-Protein Help?
A high-protein diet has been shown to help curb individuals’appetite, which can obviously lead to the individual taking in less overall calories throughout the day. When this phenomenon is coupled with a high rate of activity, the body is able to synthesize the protein into muscle, burn off the unneeded calories easier, and thus sustain or lose weight quite easily. While the science behind why protein lowers the appetite is complicated, think back to when you had a large portion of meat. Most of us, after eating that large steak, leg of turkey, or quarter of a salmon likely felt very full. The body has to spend a lot of energy breaking down protein, and while it is doing that, it cannot be as interested in asking for more food. Think of protein as a way of keeping your digestive system busy, and thus uninterested in more fats and sugars. However, appetite suppression is not the only bonus of a high-protein diet. The intake of high-protein also improves your body’s blood-fat levels, and of course helps you gain muscle tone and density.
Where Can I Find High Proteins?
Proteins can be found in a wide range of foods. Quite obviously are the meats like cow, sheep, pig, fish, and horse. Most meats will have somewhere between 5-8 grams of protein per ounce. You can also find high levels of protein in eggs with 6 grams per ounce (which has the closest to a perfect combination of protein). Other products also can contain high levels of protein such as cottage cheese and tofu, which each hold around 12-14 grams of protein per ounce. Even vegetables, lentils, beans, and peanut butter hold 2-8 grams of protein per ounce. Remember however, that just because a food is high in protein does not mean you should not pay attention to what else it contains. For instance, frozen yogurts can hold 8-10 grams of protein per serving, but also hold far more sugar than your body needs to intake per day. A high protein diet that is filled with sugars and excessive carbohydrates is no better than no diet at all.
Remember There are Many Amino Acids in Protein
There is not simply one protein which we intake when we eat a high-protein diet. Instead, there is an assortment of proteins that we want to intake in order for our body to function well. For instance, an egg is very close to having “perfect” protein. An egg holds within it 18 different aminos that make up its protein content such as Glycine, Lysine, Isoleucine, Tryptophan, and Alanine. Meats like beef also have high levels of protein through their aminos that is why they are often both used in high-protein diets.
Supplements to High-Protein Diets
Always remember that with a high-protein diet, it is not enough to simply take in a high percentage of proteins. One must also lower their total intake of calories while increasing their level of activity to be burning more calories than their intake. The key to weight loss is always the simple concept of more burned calories than consumed calories. High-Protein is best suited for those who are able to stay active throughout their day and willing to sacrifice carbohydrates while increasing their activity. The reason an increase in activity is important is simple. Since the body has to work harder to break down the protein, other consumed calories can be turned into fats easier, and thus activity will increase the metabolism, breaking down the meat faster and making sure its contents does not as easily turn to fat. Instead, with high activity levels, the protein can be used for muscle formation, which can give you a toned and slim look.