HIP HIP HOORAY! HIP HOORAY for Protein! The word is out and fans such as myself can’t get enough of this essential macronutrient. It’s practically everywhere in the food world and there is so much buzz from the latest protein bars, to innovative recipes for high protein smoothies. Bodybuilders and fitness addicts are guzzling high protein shakes to be at their best physique, dieters are eating the latest protein bars to drop weight, and many people like myself eat an ideal amount of protein to maintain a healthy weight in order to not look too skinny, while ensuring an overall balanced diet. You don’t have to follow a high protein diet to reap the benefits of protein associated with managing weight. Increasing protein intake at meals with higher protein foods can provide a feeling of fullness. Many health and fitness experts believe protein increases thermogenesis, which is when the body burns more calories just to digest and process higher-protein foods, so every time you eat protein your body burns more calories because it requires more energy to break down the protein. Protein is important in the overall health of one’s well being for the following reasons:
It is a component of every cell in your body and your hair and nails are mostly made of protein
The body uses protein to build and repair tissue
The body needs protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals.
Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH PROTEIN ?
(Information below and chart taken from the article The Best Protein Sources from Women’s Health
The question becomes how much does a normal person require on a daily basis, and how does one prevent from going into overkill mode with their protein intake. I have included an excerpt and a chart from the Women’s Health Article, which you can use as a healthy guideline
“The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for protein is .8 grams per kilogram of body weight, says Lisa Young, PhD, RD, a nutritionist in New York City, and author of The Portion Teller. If you’re trying to lose weight, she recommends upping your intake to 1 gram per kilogram of body weight (that comes to 59 grams a day for a 130-pound woman) and consuming a variety of different protein sources. And, of course, you’ll still need to exercise.”
To increase your protein know-how—and manage your weight more effectively—make this your go-to guide:
MONDAY’S HEALTHY LUNCH IDEA
My lunch consisted of a healthy serving of chicken salad, lentil salad with spinach, gluten free rice cake, and sesame vegetable mix. My protein was in the lentils and the chicken salad. You can recreate this at home, and if you don’t like chicken salad or lentils you can replace it with other options like tofu, tuna, turkey, or another protein item. The same goes with the lentils you can replace with other beans too! Always go back to basic and simple food dishes to maintain a diet of eating clean without counting calories.
DISCLAIMER: The nutritional, fitness, and well-being information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional nutritional or medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.