You already know the importance of protein in weight loss (we hope), but did you know that varying the type you consume is also important? Even those clients who have been thoroughly educated about the optimal diet for weight loss by our weight loss consultants, and those who are well achieving their weight loss goals, may overlook the importance of different sources of protein. Sometimes they ask, "Why can't I just get most of my protein from a daily intake of meat, fish, and chicken?"
Read on for some interesting and valid reasons:
- Compensate for boredom: By opening up a completely different protein gene, such as vegetable proteins, many customers remain interested and engaged enough to see their weight loss through to the end and, better yet, stick with maintenance without getting demotivated or bored. Lenses have become the new best friend for many clinics for good reason. They are the most popular and dense source of vegetable protein and offer other benefits such as prebiotic fiber, minerals such as magnesium, copper and manganese, and vitamins such as folic acid and B1. Read more about the health benefits of plant proteins.
- For cardiac health benefits: The goal of including more fish, for example, is a great idea for overall health and longevity. But you'll only do this if you make the effort like me (it's too easy to only ever have chicken or meat for dinner). I find the only way is to go to my local fishmonger and buy in bulk to freeze. Seafood contains a number of nutrients, particularly the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA found in oily fish like tuna, mackerel, and salmon. Eating about 8 ounces of seafood per week (say, two fish nights and a lunch or two) helps prevent heart disease. The health benefits of eating seafood outweigh the health risks associated with mercury, a heavy metal found in varying amounts in seafood. If you eat a wide variety of fish, there should be nothing to worry about.
- To fully benefit from amino acids: Since protein is made up of up to 20 different amino acids, each source contains a different amino acid profile (with either some or all of these amino acids in different proportions). When we digest protein, our body actually absorbs and uses these amino acids. Each one plays a different role in the body, from building and repairing various tissues to performing vital metabolic processes to regulating gene expression. We need a wide variety of amino acids to live and thrive. A table showing the different amounts of protein in different foods can be found on the BNF page.
- Better budgeting: Vegetable protein is usually cheaper than animal protein. Getting some of your protein from plants offsets the cost and allows you to focus on high quality protein (such as organic ground beef or grass-fed and pasture animals). Another good idea in terms of cost and optimal nutrition is to reduce the meat content in some of your meals and instead mix in some lentils or red kidney beans (in chilli, for example, or a spagbol with half meat, half lentils). Another point that needs to be mentioned here is that reducing meat consumption is also known to contribute to environmental concerns, as we know that methane emissions from cattle create greenhouse gases that have led to global warming, so mixing more vegetable proteins into ours Meals could help the planet too.
Consolidate your amino acid knowledge
It took me forever to get used to it, but amino acids – the building blocks of proteins – come in two types. Non-essential amino acids can be made by the body while essential amino acids cannot be made by the body so you must get them from your diet.
There are 9 amino acids that we cannot make or convert. Mainly, animal protein contains sufficient concentrations of all essential amino acids. In other words, they are complete proteins that they provide all of the essential amino acids (like soy foods, by the way).
In addition, animal muscle meat is roughly identical in its amino acid composition. Whether you eat chicken thighs, lamb chops, pork loin, salmon fillets, or ribeye, you'll get the same basic pattern of amino acids in your diet – including all the essentials. The same goes for almost all animal foods like eggs and dairy products.
However, vegetable proteins are incomplete – You are usually missing one or more of the essential amino acids. Because of this, crops that rely heavily on vegetable protein are given food combinations that have been carefully engineered to provide all of the essential amino acids like beans with rice or beans with corn. By consuming a variety of sources of protein, you will get all of the amino acids you need to carry out basic physiological processes. Here are some reasons why it's important to balance your protein intake from different sources.
How amino acids are used
The three main ways the human body uses amino acids are:
- Protein synthesis– New proteins are constantly being created. For example, when old, dead cells are peeled off the surface of the skin, new ones are pushed up to replace them.
- Forerunners of other compounds– A number of substances are made from amino acids (e.g. the brain chemical (neurotransmitter) serotonin and the chemical adrenaline function “fight or flight”).
- energy– Although carbohydrates are the body's main source of fuel, around 10 percent of energy comes from protein.
Diversity is the spice of life
If, like many people, you tend to eat mostly meat and chicken, remember to shake things up a bit with these simple tips:
- Choose seafood at least twice, ideally three times a week. Look for seafood that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout, tuna, and sardines.
- Choose Beans, peas or soy products often as a main course or part of a meal.
- Choose unsalted nuts as a snack, on salads or in main dishes (e.g. toasting and sprinkling blanched almonds on a curry) or to eat a nut butter as a protein-rich snack.
- do not forget Greek yogurt – A brilliant, protein-rich yogurt that contains significantly less sugar and more protein than other yogurts.
- Did you know that? broccoli contains protein? Load it on your plate – calorie for calorie, it's very high in protein compared to most vegetables. One cup contains 3 grams of protein with just 31 calories.
Protein forms the building blocks of organs, muscles, skin and hormones. The goal is therefore to consume high quality protein with every meal. Studies show that this improves health in a number of ways, such as: Help with weight loss and belly fatwhile Increase your muscle mass and strength. A high protein diet too lowers blood pressure, fights diabetes and more. So what are you waiting for? Broaden your horizons with sources of protein and check out different sources of protein to add variety, taste, and interest to your meals and snacks.