Protein is an essential and widely known nutrient. A high protein diet is encouraged and advised in different conditions. Whether you want to build muscle, lose weight or any other reason. However, what do proteins do that makes them so important?
Why do we need protein?
There are various reasons why we need protein in our diet. Here are the main reasons why we need protein daily:
1. The main building material of our muscles is protein. Therefore, consuming enough protein will help us retain muscle mass and promote muscle growth when we engage in resistance training.
2. Protein is the most satiating component, according to studies. With less food, we feel fuller. The level of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, is decreased by protein, which contributes to this. Peptide YY, a hormone that helps us feel full, is also increased.
3. High-protein diets help people maintain bone mass better as they age and reduce their risk of fractures and osteoporosis. Women, who have a higher than average risk of osteoporosis after menopause, should pay particular attention to this.
4. Cravings can be extremely difficult to suppress. Increasing our protein intake is one of the best prevention strategies. In a study of obese people, adding 25% more protein to the diet reduced food cravings by 60% and the need to snack at night by 50%.
5. You can temporarily increase your metabolism by eating more protein. Eating plenty of protein has been shown to dramatically speed up metabolism and increase calories burned.
High-protein foods or protein shake?
Complete proteins are found in the most well-known protein sources, such as meat and dairy products. They therefore provide all the amino acids the body needs to build muscle and promote tissue growth and repair. They also contain dietary fiber, disease-fighting antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
These foods promote digestive health and satiety in addition to health benefits, including reducing our risk of cancer and heart problems. Plus, whole meals don’t have a long list of potential side effects that protein shakes can have, such as gastrointestinal upset, nausea, bloating, headaches, vitamin deficiencies, or adverse drug interactions.
The majority of packaged protein shakes are fortified with many vitamins and minerals found in traditional foods and are made from whole proteins like whey or casein. A typical protein shake contains 20-30 grams of protein per serving, which is equivalent to a complete meal.
However, protein shakes, on the other hand, cannot offer the same amount of fiber or antioxidants as many high-protein wholemeals, such as lentils or quinoa. Although shakes are a convenient source of high-quality protein, it’s always best to get most or all of your protein from whole foods.
As noted above, foods that are natural and high in whole protein may be more beneficial than protein shakes. However, unlike protein shakes, preparing high-protein meals every day can be overwhelming. Protein shakes are a faster and more convenient way to get enough protein.
Disclaimer: This content, including advice, provides generic information only. It does not in any way replace qualified medical advice. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim any responsibility for this information.