I’ve never kept my obsession with protein a secret. In fact I brag about protein every chance that I get. From the moment that I changed my eating plan to a high protein diet, I have never looked back. I started getting the results that I wanted and found that I was never hungry! Although I don’t eat red meat, I don’t struggle for options due to the wide variety of foods that are protein rich.
As some of you may know, I have recently started studying to become a nutritionist. I have completed six of my modules so far, with many of these focusing on macronutrients which is of course fats, carbs and PROTEIN! So, I would like to share with you some interesting facts that I have learnt along the way, that only contribute to my love affair with all things protein!
Protein is part of every living cell in the human body. Our skin, hair, muscles, tendons, the core of our bones and teeth are predominantly made of protein. Even antibodies, which fight diseases, and enzymes, which assist in many chemical reactions in the body, are made of protein too. Protein produces the hormone glucagon, which helps the body to release stored energy.
Protein can be divided into two groups: Complete and Incomplete. Complete protein can be found in foods such as: meats, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy and soya beans. Incomplete proteins are foods such as cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables.
When talking about or researching protein, you will more than likely come across the term amino acids. Proteins are made up of long chains of amino acids. There are 20 different amino acids that make up the proteins in our bodies both essential and non-essential. When the body is short of non-essential amino acids, it can make them from other amino acids that are in plentiful supply. It is impossible to do this with essential amino acids. There are only 8 essential amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine
When protein is broken down, it’s component amino acids join the blood pool and are then used as needed. As there is no long-term storage site for unused proteins, excess protein is excreted in urine. As a rough guide, the recommended intake is 0.8g per pound in body weight . (I weigh 120 and therefore my RDI is approximately 96g)
A simple and convenient way to increase your protein intake is by consuming protein shakes. It is a ‘sweeter’ way to consume protein rather than the usual tuna/ chicken/ salmon combo. It is important that you do your research before purchasing and consuming protein shakes as there are many different types available, some far better than others! I use Vanilla Surge Level Up by Rare Candy. Why? It contains only 115 calories per serve which is made up of 23.7 grams of protein and 1.8 grams of carbs, which suits my diet requirements perfectly. Although not completely natural, it contains very few added sugars, sweeteners, colours and flavours. It tastes delicious and is well priced. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my previous post “Next Level Up” that gives specific details about this protein.
Be sure to keep me posted on your thoughts, recipes and most importantly your progress.