By Lisa Shaker-Knopp (LowFatLowCarb.com)
Proteins have numerous benefits. They are essential for growth and repair. Skin, organs, muscles, hair and fingernails are all mainly protein materials. Proteins help to synthesize hormones (for example, insulin) and are also crucial to the immune system, because disease-fighting antibodies are synthesized from protein. Your body uses it to build and repair tissue. You need it to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. It is an important building block of EVERYTHING!
Protein is one of our “macronutrients”, which means you need relatively large amounts of it to stay healthy. Vitamins and minerals, which you only need small quantities of, are called “micronutrients”.
The other two macronutrients we need are carbohydrates and fats. However, of the three, protein is the only one we don’t store. We have no reserves. We use protein every second of the day. This means we must know how much we are consuming. Do you know how much protein you should consume daily?
I have been taught to calculate approximately .5 to 1.0 grams per pound of ideal weight to maintain your structure including the muscles, organs, tissues etc. What does that mean? A female at an ideal weight of 130 pounds would want to consume a minimum of 65 grams of protein per day, up to 130 grams. A male at an ideal weight of 200 pounds would want to consume a minimum of 100 grams per day up to 200 grams. The amount needed depends on your activity level as well. The more active, the more protein is necessary.
Here are some good forms of protein:
- Chicken (skinless)
- Turkey (skinless)
- Fish (all kinds)
- Seafood (all kinds)
- Beef (leaner cuts)
- Pork (leaner cuts)
- Whole Eggs
- Egg Whites
- Protein Supplements
- Soy Protein ( tofu, tempeh)
This is by no means an absolute list of every food that contains protein, but it is a list of the ones that will provide the majority of your daily protein intake. You can also get proteins from legumes (beans), cheese, nuts and milk.
Protein does many beneficial things for the body, especially while on a weight loss journey. It makes you feel fuller than fats or carbohydrates. It helps regulate your blood sugars, and keep you balanced. It helps control cravings. It helps you to burn fat, especially while you are sleeping, and repairing. Don’t underestimate the amount of protein you are consuming. Most Americans still under eat this major macronutrient, even though it is in abundance and available. Pay attention and write it down, or keep track on an APP on your phone. But, KNOW YOUR NUMBERS!
DO YOU EAT ENOUGH PROTEIN DAILY?
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