Shari Duncan

WHY PROTEIN?
Shari

by on Dec.09, 2009, under General HEALTH, General Nutrition, Natural Bodybuilding

Protein is a critical part of a healthy diet, and eating the right amount helps with everything from higher energy to stronger muscles.

The trick is knowing the healthiest sources of protein and the right amounts for your body. Every cell in our body needs protein to carry out all metabolisms that sustain us. Our nerves, tissues, bones all are made up of proteins,. Proteins play all sorts of roles in maintaining our health and functionality.

  • Build Muscle. Since you need protein to build muscle, eating enough protein ensures your body has what it needs to build new one.
  • Maintain Muscle. Getting your body the protein it needs will improve muscle recovery and prevent muscle breakdown from exercising.

    Assorted fast, slow, and timed released blended proteins available in many flavors.

  • Fat Loss. Protein has the highest thermogenic effect, which means your body burns more calories digesting proteins than carbs or fat.

Eating protein rich foods with each meal helps reduce the appetite, plus the body uses energy to convert protein to carbohydrates.

If too much protein is consumed regularly, it can be converted to fat and stored, the same as carbohydrates can be converted for fat storage. However, protein contains Nitrogen, an important chemical essential for the production of antibodies, so the body prefers to hold onto this Nitrogen. Therefore, protein is more likely to be converted to carbohydrates rather than fat. These complex chemical reactions use up extra energy and help us burn more calories at rest!


So How Much Protein Does a Person Need?
The United States RDA is 0.4g/lbs. This is only about 80g protein per day for a 200 lb person. But this recommendation is based on studies done on non-active, sedentary people.

For those who train regularly and want to build or maintain lean mass while trimming fat, the recommendation is .8 – 1 gram protein per pound of body-weight per day. That equates to 160-200g daily protein for a 200lb individual. This amount can be easily reached by eating frequently and including a whole protein source with each meal.


Best Sources of Protein

It is important to vary your protein sources to get the full range of amino acids and nutrients from your foods. Here are some of the best & most popular protein-rich foods.

Seafood

Seafood is one of the best sources of protein because it’s usually low in fat. Salmon contains more fat but it is the heart-healthy kind: omega-3 fatty acids.

White-Meat Poultry (Chicken & Turkey)

Stick to the white meat of poultry for excellent, lean protein. Dark meat is higher in fat. The skin is loaded with saturated fat, so remove skin before cooking.


Milk, Cheese, and Yogurt, Cottage Cheese

Not only are dairy foods — like milk, cheese, and yogurt — excellent sources of protein but they also contain valuable calcium. Choose skim or low fat dairy to keep bones and teeth strong, prevent osteoporosis, and enhance weight loss.

Eggs (Egg Whites)

Eggs are one of the least expensive forms of protein. One egg white is just 16 calories and has 3 grams of protein. One whole egg is about 75 calories, has double the protein and 5 grams of fat and 22 mg of cholesterol. To cut back on calories , fat and cholesterol, try using one whole egg to every two whites.

Beans

One-half cup of beans contains as much protein as three ounces of broiled steak. Plus, they are loaded with fiber to keep you feeling full for hours.

Pork Tenderloin

This great and versatile white meat is 31% leaner than 20 years ago.

Soy

Twenty five grams of soy protein daily can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Combine soy protein foods like tofu with a healthy low fat diet.

Lean Beef

Lean beef has only one more gram of saturated fat than a skinless chicken breast. Lean beef is also an excellent source of zinc, iron, and vitamin B12.

Protein on the Go

Grab a meal replacement drink, cereal bar, or energy bar. Whey protein shakes supply 30 or more grams of protein per serving. Check the label to be sure the product contains at least six grams of protein, and is low in sugar and fat.

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