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A nutritious diet increases your vitality. If you’re feeling low on energy, a few changes to your diet could help you put a spring in your step and help you stay active and well for years to come.
Proteins are made of amino acids
Proteins are made up of building blocks called amino acids. There are about 20 different amino acids that link together in different combinations. Your body uses them to make new proteins, such as muscle and bone, and other compounds such as enzymes and hormones. It can also use them as an energy source.
Some amino acids can be made by your body – there are 11 of these and they’re known as non-essential amino acids. There are nine amino acids that your body cannot make, and they are known as essential amino acids. You need to include enough of these in your diet so that your body can function.
Protein is important for maintaining muscle strength, fighting infections, and for renewing the body´s cells. The recommended daily intake is about one gram of protein for each kilogram you weigh. The following is a list of some high protein foods and the amount of protein in a serve of each.
* 100g grilled chicken breast = 28g protein.
* 100g cooked rump steak = 28g protein.
* 120g canned salmon = 26g protein.
* 1/2 cup of lean beef mince = 22g protein.
* 2 scrambled eggs = 13g protein.
How does protein help with weight loss?
Research has shown that a higher protein, low GI diet can lead to greater fat loss and healthy weight maintenance
Protein is great for weight loss for the following reasons:
• The number one reason – it makes you feel fuller for longer (improved satiety)
• It is used to build muscle and muscle burns energy (increased Basal Metabolic Rate).
• Maintaining muscle mass is important in weight loss – we want to lose fat and not our muscle bulk.
• It is a low energy density – 1gm protein = 4 calories
• You actually use calories to digest it – this is the thermic effect of food
– 20-30% of the calories from protein are used to digest it
– For example, 100 calories from protein
– 30 calories used to digest it
– leaves 70 calories left for you to use/store
• Protein in a meal can slow the rise in blood sugar after a meal
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