Despite ongoing debates on high protein, low fat diets, the fact remains that protein rich foods remain an essential dietary element. This is primarily due to the fact that protein rich foods serves functions that are crucial to the human body. Composing about seventy-five percent of body weight, protein is found in hair, bone, skin and muscles along with many other parts of the human body.
Also called polypeptides, proteins are amino-acid based compounds which are organic and fixed in a chain which is folded into globular forms. The polymer's amino acids are joined by bonds of peptide between the amino and the carboxyl residue groups of amino acid that is adjacent.
Made of amino acids and enzymes, protein is the power source of bodily chemical reactions and is responsible for carrying oxygen to the bloodstream. Many people wonder, however, if all proteins are alike.
The different kinds of protein rich foods are made of either incomplete protein or complete protein. Incomplete protein is found in grains, vegetables, fruits and nuts. These lack the complete list of amino acids. To create protein, supplements and a varied diet are necessary. This information is important to vegans and vegetarians since majority of the protein they consume are incomplete.
Complete protein is usually the kind that animal sources have like eggs, fish, poultry, meat and dairy. These protein rich foods have all the amino acids necessary for developing new proteins. What this really means is that consuming one serving of meat will give your body all the necessary components it needs to create new proteins.
For every 2.2 lbs of body weight, adults require at least one gram of protein. If a person is not able to get necessary protein, the body slowly begins to deteriorate, breaking down its own tissues to get the protein it needs. This means that an average one hundred forty pound woman will need about sixty three protein grams each day.
You need to ensure that you are getting the necessary protein you need each day by consuming protein rich foods. One advantage is that food that is high in protein such as beans, fish, beef or chicken, are digested slower compared to other types of food. This means that it travels slowly from the stomach to the small intestines, causing you to feel fuller longer.
Also, protein rich foods have a stabilizing gentle effect on sugar in the blood, which is quite different form carbohydrates which are highly refined. This can cause an instant increase and an equally instant decrease in your blood sugar levels.
The consumption of low saturated fat protein like whole grains, nuts, soy and beans, while simultaneously cutting back on highly processed carbs causes an improvement in high-density lipoprotein and in blood triglycerides. These reduces your chance of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart attacks.
A well-rounded diet needs to contain nutrients and healthy fibers that protein rich foods like whole grains, nuts, soy and beans offer.
Lack of a diet containing protein rich foods leads to decreased immunity, weakening of the respiratory system, the heart and the muscles, growth loss and death.
There are also some disadvantages to consuming too much protein rich foods
The body is only able to store small amounts of extra protein. As your body digests food, protein gets broken down into energy-producing amino acids. The unused amino acid becomes converted into fat.
Protein digestion releases acids which the body needs to neutralize using calcium. Excessive consumption of protein requires a lot of calcium, which the body can sometimes leak from the bones. A diet excessively rich in protein can, in the long run, weaken your bones. High protein diets such as Atkins can also increase your risk for osteoporosis and kidney stones.
A lot of people are under the misconception that high amounts of protein can only be consumed from meat. The truth is that there are many other protein rich foods that are non-meat which are recommended for people searching for alternatives. These include tofu, organic whey protein, and other soy products, which are food that most vegetarians eat.
Aside from being rich in protein, foods that are soy based foods provide minerals, vitamins, fiber and less saturated fat than meat. Part of the pea family, soy currently is an ingredient in many products like yogurt, cheese, ice cream and soy-based milk. Also the basis of tofu, soy is used in hamburgers, hot dogs and other meat imitation products.
Although a great protein source, remember not to consume too much soy. This is because it contains isoflavones, which is a component that imitates estrogen. Eaten in big amounts, common body functions may be disrupted due to the body's perception of estrogen increase.
The health benefits of soy include minimizing menopausal hot flashes in women, reducing the risk of some cancers and lowering cholesterol.
Besides soy, other great sources of non-meat protein include whole grains, yogurt, cheese, peanut butter, nuts, legumes and beans.
People that are showing signs of protein deficiency need to take protein supplements. Created from dairy and soy sources, there are different forms of supplemental protein. This includes protein shakes, protein powder and protein bars. For people who are trying to lose weight, however, protein supplements may be a bad idea since these are rich in both calories as well as protein. Taking supplements once in a while is a good idea, but keep in mind that using them every day to replace meat is not advisable.