Protein is one of the three macronutrients, alongside carbohydrates and fat, that is a necessary component of a healthy diet. The protein that we consume and those that are naturally made in our bodies are molecules that are made up of ‘essential’ and ‘non-essential’ amino acids. These are often referred to as ‘building blocks’ as they function to construct our muscles and bodily tissues.
Protein has the potential to play a key role in several aspects of body weight and appetite regulation. It is well established that consuming protein-rich foods as part of a well-balanced diet promotes feelings of satiety and fullness, to help us feel more satisfied. This decreases our desire to over-eat, while facilitating weight loss through reduced energy consumption.
Not only is it important to incorporate a protein source at each meal to promote prolonged appetite regulation, it is also necessary to ingest foods that are naturally high in protein alongside a form of carbohydrate. This will slow the release of glucose into the blood stream and assist to stabilise our blood sugar levels. Consistent sugar levels endorse a balance in energy levels; increase fat breakdown and the likelihood of hunger spikes. These factors are not only vital for short-term weight loss, but also long-term weight management.
You may be thinking, where can I find protein? Our most readily digested sources can be found in all animal by-products. This includes lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy-containing foods. Protein can in fact be found in some plant-based sources such as nuts, soybeans, lentils and legumes; however, the amino acid profile of these foods is different to those found in animal products, and therefore are not as easily absorbed.
Our height, weight, muscle mass and activity level determine how much protein we should be consuming every day. As a general rule, the recommended dietary intake (RDI) is:
* 0.75g/kg for adult women
* 0.84g/kg for adult men
* Around 1g/kg for pregnant and breastfeeding women, and for men and women over 70 years.
At Be Fit Food, a team of experienced chefs and highly trained dietitians have worked together to ensure every meal and snack includes the appropriate proportion of protein a nutritionally adequate and balanced diet consists of. Each meal and snack is scientifically formulated to include enough of each nutrient to keep us satisfied, nourished and healthy. So forget the artificial shakes, bars and supplements and choose a whole-food diet which improves your health and well-being while you are losing weight.