To maintain a healthy body weight in the long term it’s important to retain as much fat-free mass and muscle as possible – protein intake is key to this.
Whether you’re in a weight-loss or weight-maintenance phase, the combination of protein consumed in the correct quantities and a moderate exercise routine has been shown to increase the retention of fat free mass and improve your body shape.
What are proteins?
Proteins are large, complex molecules that are critical for the normal functioning of the human body. They are made up of smaller units (amino acids) which form a long chain. While there are many types of amino acids, only 22 are vital to our body. Thirteen of these are produced by the body, with the other nine sourced from our diet.
Animal proteins such as meat fish and eggs contain all the essential amino acids while plant based proteins (with the exception of soy based products) are incomplete.
Proteins are essential for the structure, function and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs – every living cell, fluid or process in the body requires proteins. Enzymes and some hormones such as insulin are proteins and play vital roles in the body’s day-to-day processes.
Muscles and vital organs are made up of protein, as are antibodies that fight infection and diseases, and haemoglobin which form key components of our blood.
Unlike carbohydrates and fat, the body does not store protein, so it’s important to eat protein-rich foods regularly to give your body a good supply.
As general rule of thumb, we need to consume around 0.6 – 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight each day to maintain lean mass – more exact protein requirements can be calculated based age, sex, height and weight, and level of activity – contact us or email us e:email@example.com or t:03 9826 4300 to find out how we can help you optimise your protein intake.
Sources of Protein
High quality proteins include fish, lean grass fed beef, skinless chicken breast & eggs. At Como Diagnostic we cannot stress enough the importance of these lean quality proteins as they provide the perfect combination and ratio of amino acids such as l-arginine, l-lysine and l-glutamine that are vital for protein synthesis, enable the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and the flight or fight chemical adrenaline (amongst others) and act as a fuel source.
Complete proteins are more difficult to source from plant based products and we at Como Diagnostic do not recommend legumes, nuts and grains as satisfactory sources of protein but rather as sources of fat and carbohydrate to be eaten in very limited quantities. If animal proteins are not your preference we recommend a variety of protein powders, soups and tasty snack bars that are easily digested and absorbed, some of which are are dairy free & can be consumed at meal time or between meals as snacks and are ideal as part of our weight management or weight loss program – for more information on protein powders, soups and snacks contact us email us e:firstname.lastname@example.org or t:03 9826 4300.
Benefits of optimal protein intake
- Protein is a key appetite modulator
- The challenge for most of us, however, is to maintain a healthy body weight and control our appetite without succumbing to the enticement of ‘comfort foods’
- The good news is that protein, when eaten in the correct proportions, helps us feel fuller for longer when compared to fat and carbohydrate intake
- Enables maintenance or enhancement of fat free muscle mass and a leaner body shape
- Whether you’re in a weight-loss or weight-maintenance phase, appropriate protein consumption has been shown to enable the protection of fat free mass and / or improve lean mass to fat ratio and improve your body shape
- Consumption of quality protein is essential for growing children and adolescents but is just as important in the middle-aged and elderly. Age-related loss of muscle mass, strength and function (known as sarcopenia) occurs in people aged in their late 40s and over. There is considerable evidence to show that consumption of quality protein, together with regular resistance workouts, can minimise this loss.
- Reduces insulin resistance and improves blood glucose control
Protein – the key takeaways
- Eat a portion of lean protein at every meal – keep your body in steady supply to help your body repair and build
- Try different kinds of protein – this will help you get the best range of nutrients
- If you’re over 65, eat more protein (consider easily digested protein powder to support correct amino acid balance)– this helps slow down age-related muscle loss which improves long-term health and quality of life
- If you’re a plant-based eater, plan your meals carefully. Without animal products, you’ll probably have to work a little harder to get enough protein
A note of caution
Please note that there are dangers associated with a very low carbohydrate high protein diet. A very high protein diet often infers a low intake of fibre-rich carbohydrates, and a high intake of animal protein may also be high in saturated fat and cholesterol which is associated with a range of cardiovascular conditions & can have a negative effect on the gut microbiome and immune system.
For a diet tailored to your specific needs, and that can bring about transformational change in your energy levels, well-being and body shape make an appointment to consult Dr. Sandi Vinson Bromberger. Contact us at email@example.com or phone 03 9826 4300.
This blog is general in nature only and should not be relied upon as medical advice. For further information please contact our clinic or your own medical practitioner before commencing any diet or exercise regimen.
We would love to hear from you – email us with your comments or opinions firstname.lastname@example.org