We’re all becoming more and more conscious of what we eat, and what effect it can have on our bodies and overall health. With health experts telling us on a regular basis that the population is overweight and that we don’t make the choices we should be making, you might be wondering how you can kick-start a healthy eating regime. We already aware that we should be eating a balanced diet, which is sometimes easier said than done, but what else could you do? As much as a balanced diet will help, there are other avenues you can go down that will give you a boost.
When it comes to mapping out your food and deciding what you should be including, you may want to pay some attention to protein. An important part of everyone’s diet, it could be a way to help or lose weight and ensure you are being as healthy as possible.
What’s so special about protein?
Proteins are an essential part of your diet because they can help a number of functions that our body needs. These include growth, healthy bones, brain development and production of hormones. But what are they? How do they help us follow a healthier lifestyle?
Proteins are made up of amino acids; 22 in total. 8 of these are deemed essential because our bodies don’t make them, so we have to find them from other sources. Animal proteins, which includes meat and eggs, can sometimes be known as primary proteins as they contain those 8 that we need. Some of the best protein sources include grass-fed meat, eggs and fish.
Meat is known as a high quality protein, with the right distribution of amino acids. While we may all benefit from making sure we’re including enough protein in our diet, there are some specific instances where a high protein diet is encouraged.
Who needs a high protein diet?
There are some types of people who will benefit further from following a high protein diet. Some stages of life require extra protein, such as adolescence when you are growing, or if you are pregnant, or training regularly.
If you’re following an intense training regime, you will need to repair and rebuild muscle tissue. In other words, in the gym you are trying to build muscle cells, but this is difficult without those all-important amino acids.
Other people who may benefit from a high protein diet are those who are trying to lose or maintain their weight. Protein takes longer to digest which can leave us feeling fuller for longer. The Paleo diet is known particularly for its basis on high protein.
Lean protein can help to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, and can even have a positive effect on your metabolism. Foods that are high in protein take more work to eat, digest and use; so you’re actually burning calories when processing them. It has been shown that protein can help you to lose fat; your body uses amino acids to build muscle, which in turn will help you to burn calories even when you’re not active.
So, if you’re looking for a way to look after your weight, or help you boost your efforts in the gym, you may find protein more helpful than you think!