Proteins, we have them in our daily diet. And that is a good thing because protein is an important building material for our cells. But did you know that a protein-rich diet can help you to lose weight? And protein has many other health benefits. Read all about this indispensable ingredient!
Proteins are essential
Protein is more than an egg-white omelette. This nutrient is present in almost all foods: meat, fish, dairy products, fruits and vegetables are all suppliers of protein. Proteins are essential for our body. They contain important amino acids. These are the building blocks for proteins contained in our cells. A part of these amino acids cannot be made by the body itself. You must get them from your diet. It is recommended per day to consume about 0.8 grammes of protein per kilogramme of body weight. For someone of 60 kilos, this would be the equivalent of 52 grammes. Athletes, vegetarians, vegans, small children and pregnant women do need more proteins than the daily recommended dose.
Your Diet and losing weight
For people who want to lose weight, protein-rich foods are a good choice. Proteins are more difficult to digest than carbohydrates for example. They remain longer in your stomach and thus ensure a long-lasting satiety. Protein also helps to build up your muscles. That is a big plus because muscle burns more calories than fat tissue. Even when you are sitting on the couch! Muscle tissue has to be maintained: doing nothing will not help its development. The best way to lose weight is to combine healthy, high-protein food with a more intensive movement pattern.
Health benefits of high protein foods
Protein will help you not only to lose weight and maintain it at a healthy level but is also good for your overall health. It seems a high-protein diet (when combined with lots of fruits and vegetables) has a beneficial effect on blood pressure. In addition, proteins play an important role in the metabolism at the cellular level, the action of enzymes and the transfer of certain signals between the brain cells and nerve cells. If you do not take in enough proteins, it could lead to the breakdown of muscle tissue. This would reduce your muscle function as well as your resistance to a hefty blow.
Healthy grocery list
Proteins can be divided into two types: animal protein (meat, chicken, eggs, fish and dairy products) and plant protein (legumes, nuts and seeds, vegetables, grains). Vegetable proteins sometimes contain fewer amino acids than animal proteins. Products with animal proteins may contain more saturated fats. Therefore it is good to alternate. Do you want to add more protein to your daily meals? Do not forget the more responsible protein bombs on your shopping list:
- Chicken breast;
- Low-fat yoghurt, cottage cheese and milk;
- Unsweetened soy milk or -Yoghurt, tofu;
- Lentils, kidney beans;
- Unroasted and unsalted nuts;
If you want to lose weight through a rigorous protein diet, you can also consider switching temporarily to protein shakes.
Just a few other facts about proteins. Did you know that:
- An adult human consists of about 12 kilos of protein
- A high protein breakfast makes you more alert and helps you to snack less throughout the day
- Too much protein is not good for babies and people with impaired renal function