Reasons to eat Protein

If you ask a man what his ideal treat or cheat meal would be, the most common answer is most likely to be something like a grilled burger or porterhouse steak with chips right? If you ask a woman what her ideal treat or cheat meal would be, it would probably be something like a chocolate dessert or ice cream? Women tend to crave sugary snacks while men usually prefer to sink their teeth into a big piece of meat. Although woman need less protein than men (exceptions do apply), more woman do not get the recommend amount of protein per day, compared to men. A lack of protein can have many associated problems. Protein is essential for healthy tissue growth and repair. In this blog we focus on our favourite reasons to eat protein.

Reasons to eat Protein

1. Protein is one of our four macronutrients. There are 20 amino acids that make up protein. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Out of these 20 amino acids, 9 are essential. Essential amino acids cannot be made by our bodies. The only way to get these nine amino acids are therefore through food and diet; dietary protein.

2. Protein helps to stabilise our energy levels. This results in us feeling fuller for longer. Our bodies break down each macronutrient at a different rate; compared to carbohydrates and fats, protein takes longer to break down and digest. This slow rate of digestions means our blood glucose levels stay stabilised for longer. This results in us feeling fuller for longer, with our hunger levels at bay.

3. Protein promotes weight loss. As mentioned, protein is broken down at a slower rate than the other macronutrients. But protein also has a higher “thermic effect of food” (TEF). So not only does protein keep us fuller for longer and help better stabilise our glucose levels, the TEF of protein, which is the amount of calories it costs our bodies to process and utilise a nutrient, protein cost our bodies more energy to break down and use. This helps us burn more calories effectively.

4. By consuming adequate amounts of protein, it safeguards against muscle loss. If we do not consume enough amino acids, especially essential amino acids, our bodies start to break down our muscle store, to get these amino acids. This results in muscle loss.

Disclaimer: Results may vary. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss. Consult with your health care processional before beginning any diet or exercise regime.

Tammy Kacev
Nutritionist

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