What’s So Great About Protein?
Nearly every part of your body is made up from protein: organs, cells, muscles, skin, hair, bones, and blood; making protein an essential macronutrient for your body’s function. In addition to giving you healthy skin and hair, protein has many great benefits to boost your metabolism:
- helps maintain muscle mass
- slows the absorption and digestion of carbohydrates (sugars) and lowers the glycemic index of carbohydrates
- stabilize your blood sugar levels
- help you feel full longer – detours the munchies
Protein is also valuable for weight loss:
- triggers fat burning by creating a hormonal response
- when eaten with carbohydrates and sugars, keeps blood sugar levels balanced and provide stable healthy energy.
- increases fat burning — protein-rich meals trigger the release of the hormone glucagon which aids the breakdown of triglycerides (stored body fats) into free fatty acids and glycerol, which can then be used by the body for energy.
In order to gain these benefits from protein we need a constant supply — our bodies cannot store protein like we do carbohydrates and fats. 1 serving, about the size of the palm of your hand, is recommended with every meal (depending on your goals).
Check yourself – how much protein are you eating? Look at the labels of your favorite foods to see how much protein they contain. You should aim to get about 0.36 grams of protein per pound of your body weight every day.
Examples of top quality proteins:
- Lean Beef, Pork, Chicken, Turkey, Fish, Eggs
- Milk, Cheese, Yogurt, Cottage Cheese
- Black Beans, Chick Peas, Legumes
- Rolled Oats, Whole Grain Rice