Should I be wary of protein? I can’t count the number of times my new (and less new) customers ask me this question. Many still believe that consuming it on a daily basis is unique to bodybuilders. However, consuming them in a balanced way has many advantages. My article today aims to give you an understanding of what proteins are and how useful they are to the body. So make yourself comfortable, I tell you everything in the following:
What is protein?
Protein is one of the three major macronutrients (the others being carbohydrates and fats). Macronutrients are the chemical compounds that humans ingest the most and provide us with most of our energy.
More specifically, proteins are made up of a chain of molecules (amino acids) which forms the basis of all living things (viruses, bacteria, plants, function of the human body, etc.). They therefore play a major role for the organism structurally by building and repairing tissues (muscle, skin, capillary, etc.) but also in many physiological processes such as the immune response, digestion or transport of oxygen in the body. But are all proteins the same?
No ! There are 2 main categories of proteins:
- Animal proteins from meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, quinoa and soy.
- Plant proteins from plants, fruits, legumes, seeds, nuts, whole grains and cereals.
Overall, animal proteins are richer in essential amino acids (explained below). Thus, to ensure a balanced diet in amino acids from vegetable proteins, it is essential to combine different vegetable foods: cereals (wheat, corn, rice) with legume seeds (lentil, beans, peas, etc.).
Why do we need to consume enough?
Of the amino acids used for making proteins, only half can be made by the human body. The others are said to be essential because we are unable to synthesize them. They must therefore be supplied by the diet. In addition, a deficiency in essential amino acids can have serious health consequences.
Protein and weight loss: what is the relationship? 8-point answer:
|WHAT?||HOW? ‘OR’ WHAT ?|
|Provide better appetite control||Protein is the most satiating of the 3 macronutrients; thus it improves the function of weight regulation hormones.|
|Increase muscle mass and strength||By meeting your muscle needs (muscles being made up of protein) during your weight loss|
|Reinforce the framework||It significantly lowers the risk of osteoporosis and fracture (practical to help you exercise for a long time)|
|Promote fat burning||By promoting the development of lean mass there is stimulation of the metabolism|
|Bring resultsIn the long term||By helping you maintain your weight loss over the long term|
|Have no contraindication||Their consumption in a non-excessive way does not damage any part of the body in a healthy consumer|
|Help recover from injury||It is one of the main components of our tissues and organs|
|Slow down the effects of aging||By reducing the muscle weakness caused by aging|
How much to consume?
The daily amount of protein you consume is determined by various factors, including gender, age and level of physical activity. This can constitute between 15% and 30% of the daily energy intake (approximate and variable percentage).
In conclusion :
A varied diet strongly contributes to your good health over the long term.
The diversity of foods rich in protein is an ally for your metabolism, your muscle mass gain, your fat loss and your strength, so don’t forget them!