Protein is certainly an important part of our diet composition. In fact, in recent years it has become somewhat of a buzzword in healthy eating circles; with grocery store products proudly displaying their protein content. We know it can help us to lose weight, and beat the effects of ageing. But what exactly is protein? And, how much do we need? Let The Doc tell you exactly why-you-need-protein-for-weight-loss-and-wellbeing.
Not only does protein help build, sustain, and repair our body; (think bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood – even our hair and nails are made mostly of protein!) it is also commonly referred to as the building block of the human body! So it’s no exaggeration when we say that the reason we need protein is so that we can develop, grow and function properly.
This is because protein is a macronutrient (along with fats and carbohydrates) meaning our bodies need relatively large amounts of it. Luckily, it can be found in a variety of food sources – meat, eggs, and dairy products as well as beans, nuts and legumes.
Eating a high-protein diet also has a number of health benefits. It helps us to maintain and lose weight, stabilise blood sugar levels, improve your ability to learn and concentrate, boost energy, support your muscles and bones; and aid in the absorption of other important nutrients.
Protein can work effectively to regulate the appetite, support lean muscle and encourage significant weight loss.
Higher-protein diets have been proven a successful strategy against obesity, and have also shown to lower blood glucose levels in those with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance.
This is because it satisfies and saves calories. Protein helps slow down our digestive process; making us feel fuller (and therefore less likely to go back in for seconds). When we feel more satisfied, we naturally eat less—and lose weight without trying.
To help in weight loss try swapping carbs and fats for lean protein. It can be as simple as reducing your servings of potato and rice at dinner and adding a few extra bites of meat or fish.
No more highs and lows. When protein is paired with carbohydrate-rich foods it can slow down the absorption of sugar; keeping blood sugar levels stable and warding off future pesky cravings.
Burning up. We use energy to digest food. This process is referred to as the ‘thermic effect of food’ or TEF. Protein has a high TEF count compared to other macronutrients; meaning you burn more calories whilst digesting protein than carbs or fats. Similarly, protein consumption encourages the body to burn through its fat stores for energy. As you lose weight your body loses both muscle and fat so it is important that you continue to eat enough protein in your diet to sustain lean muscle growth and fat loss.
Repair. When you exercise regularly your body needs to recover. This can be done through diet as well as rest days and stretching! Eating a high protein snack or meal following a workout (when your muscles are sensitive to nutrients) helps them to repair and grow. This becomes increasingly important as we get older. This is because our muscles shrink leading to frailty, bone fractures and reduced quality of life in old age. Eating protein is one of the best ways to prevent this from happening.
So how much protein should you eat?
The right amount of protein depends on many factors including activity levels, age, muscle mass, physique goals as well as your current state of health. If you often reach for a protein powder, watch out for some of the ready-made protein powder meal replacements, as many of them contain maltodextrin, added sugars and hydrogenated oils that can raise the glycemic load of the product and contribute to fat storage.
Choosing the right proteins is especially important for vegans and vegetarians. Be sure to prioritise foods such as tofu, tempeh, and seitan; along with grains like quinoa and buckwheat as they can make up the full range of amino acids. Also, the Doc’s plant based Pea Protein is a premium vegan/vegetarian quality protein powder. It’s highly digestible (98%) and bio-available substitute for protein rich foods including meat, fish, chicken and eggs. It’s also highly alkaline (ph 7.5) and contains a balanced and complete amino acid profile.
The Doc’s Favourite Proteins
Grass Fed Beef (22 grams per 113 grams)
Supplying almost half of your recommended daily value of protein, it is also a rich source of vitamins A and E and other powerful antioxidants.
The Doc’s Whey Protein Isolate (22 grams per 30 grams)
Our whey protein contains one of the highest concentrations of protein, and the lowest amounts of fat and carbohydrates of protein products available! At just about 100 cal a serve, the Doc’s protein will help you keep total food volume down and feel fuller for longer.
Organic Chicken (22 grams per 113 grams)
Chicken is an excellent high protein option. It is easily prepared and can be added to any variety of healthy meal recipes. Chicken is also a source of B vitamins which are important for lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and other health problems.
Lentils (18 grams in 1 cup)
For vegans and vegetarians to get enough protein in their diets as well as fibre, folate, and iron to name just a few. The protein in lentils helps boost cardiovascular health, aid digestion, regulate blood sugar levels, and alkalize the body and balance its pH levels.
Black Beans (15 grams in 1 cup)
Black beans are an excellent source of both protein and fibre, which can help to make you feel full and satisfied after eating, while also controlling your blood sugar levels so you don’t experience blood sugar highs and lows.
Eggs (6 grams per egg)
Eggs have a complete amino acid profile meaning they contain all nine of the essential amino acids that we get through food. Add eggs to your diet to boost your heart health, aid in weight loss, prevent metabolic syndrome and boost skin health.
Yoghurt, almonds, goat cheese, salmon, and bone broth are also wonderful sources of protein to work into your diet!
The Doctor’s Kitchen has a range of proteins available to assist weight loss, support detoxification and digestion, and support a healthy immune system. You can book in with one of our Docs at our HQ at Carina. Or now, at Rosalie Milton Clinic, to get started on the Doc’s weight loss meals and sample some of the Doc’s quality protein to help you reach your goals sooner.
The Doctor’s Kitchen and our doctors service all Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, and Toowoomba areas.
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