Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten
australiaphen375.com

Protein - Myths, Legends and Truth

Protein is essential for life, but not all food sources of protein are created equal, and you probably do not need as much as you think.

What is protein?

Protein is found throughout the body—in muscle, bone, skin, hair, and virtually every other body part or tissue. Protein is made from building blocks called amino acids, and because we don’t store them, our bodies must make them. For this we must get the nine essential amino acids from our food.

It is true that protein deficiency is a major health problem in the poorest countries of the world, but in developed countries it is nearly always the result of eating disorders, extreme diets or an underlying disease. Adults need a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day, or around 7 grams for every 20 pounds of body weight.

• At 10 stone that means about 50 grams a day.
• If you weigh 14 stone, that means about 70 grams of protein each day.

Anything from 10% to 35% of calories from protein is acceptable each day, but there is no proof that more is better. The only important thing is the quality of the protein that you consume.

A study of 130,000 men and women followed by Harvard for more than 30 years found little correlation between quantity and all cause death rates. However, the type of protein was important as when we eat foods for protein, we also eat everything that comes with it: the different fats, fibre, sodium, other minerals and vitamins. It’s this protein package that’s likely to make a difference to your health.

For example; a 4-ounce steak is a great source of protein—about 33 grams, but it also delivers about 5 grams of the worst type of saturated fat, a 4-ounce ham steak with 22 grams of protein has only 1.6 grams of saturated fat, but it overflows with 1,500 milligrams of sodium.

4 ounces of grilled salmon has about 30 grams of protein, is low in sodium, contains just over 1 gram of saturated fat, and like all oily fish is a great source of essential fatty acids like omega-3, to improve brain and heart functions.

Just one cup of cooked lentils provides about 18 grams of protein and 15 grams of fibre, and it has virtually no saturated fat or sodium.

All current knowledge shows that it’s this ”package” of protein, not the amount you eat that is essential for long term good health.

Healthy sources like beans, nuts, seeds, fish, or poultry in place of red and processed meat can lower the risk of several diseases and premature death.

Whole grains, eggs and dairy foods in moderation, even some vegetables like sweet corn, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, asparagus and broccoli will give some extra rations.

 

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