Do you even know how IMPORTANT protein is?

Most popular diet styles are focused on fat and carbohydrates, but do you really know how important is to have your protein intake right? This is what this article is about!



We all have seen and heard about different types of diet and usually, people try to avoid fat and carbs - I've been there too. However, your diet should be built around your protein meaning, you should set up your protein intake, make sure that you have the right amount divided through all meals, and then you can add to your plan carbs and fat by your plan.

Protein is much more important than you may think. Low intake of protein has been shown in relation to impaired immune function, chronic diseases, and growth.





I found a very related approach called Muscle-Centric Medicine. This approach was developed by the amazing Dr. Gabrielle Lyon. This approach simply emphasizes the benefits of protein apart from building muscles. Your body needs protein for the structure, metabolic function, and regulation of all tissues and organs, including muscle. Protein is important for neurotransmitters which affect your mood and even the quality of your sleep. Every cell, your bones, your ligaments, your tendons, your liver, your brain, skin, and fingernails are all built from proteins.



If we want to really understand, we need to dive a little bit more into what is protein build from. Amino acids are the foundation. By getting the right amount of protein with each meal, you will get your amino acids requirement correct. We have 20 types of amino acids and each type of protein you eat has more of these amino acids than others.


There are two types of amino acids - ESSENTIAL and NON-ESSENTIAL amino acids.


Simply, essential are these that come from our diet and we need daily supply from the right and quality protein source or from supplementation. On the other side, non-essential amino acids our body produces on its own.

As each individual is different we all need a different overall diet, but even though most of the people (and especially who are not involved in sport and nutrition), usually do not eat enough protein in their diet and usually they even do not know how much they should get, but that is absolutely fine until you really care about your body. We all are usually overwhelmed by media about the newest types of diet that confusing people and usually they talk only about carbs or fat and their pros and cons, but nobody really understands all the benefits that protein has. Let's have a look closer.





The current RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for protein intake is 0.8 grams per kilogram of your body weight, which is only 72 grams of protein per day for a person weighing 90 kilograms. This is set as a minimum for your body to be able to do essential functions and basically live, but if we really want to use all the benefits that protein brings to our body, we need more and in each meal in the best case.


It doesn't matter if you are a bodybuilder or just a regular person who exercises 2 times a week. Muscle is the foundation of your metabolism, the organ of longevity that functions beyond locomotion. It helps to regulate blood sugar and blood lipids, it is also an endocrine organ that secrets myokines - proteins that help regulate metabolism in all other tissues in the body. Another fact that most people will appreciate is that the stronger and healthier your muscles are, the more carbs and fat your body burns. - MUSCLE IS YOUR METABOLIC CURRENCY.


Therefore, if you really want to focus on your diet with this approach, you need to learn to design each meal with the right amount of protein. Dr. Gabrielle Lyon recommends including in three main meals a minimum of 30 grams of high-quality protein to optimize muscle synthesis, but again this also depends on your goal. For example, if your goal is to gain some muscle, you can include higher protein intake in your mid-snack or second dinner if you wish, all depends on your total daily caloric and protein goals. In this case, your intake of protein may be 1,5-2,5 grams per kilogram of your body weight.


If you want to learn how to set up your calorie intake and macronutrient ratio for your goal STEP-BY-STEP click here.





Muscle determines almost everything about your body composition and overall health, how you regulate your blood sugar, your ability to manage fats, or even times of illness. We all know about the obesity rate in the world, but most of the time the issue is not that people are overfat but they are under muscled. This is not just about looking good at your gym selfies. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and many other chronic health problems start with inactivity that leads to poor metabolism. In the case of stress, your body also uses protein to protect other vital organs like the liver, kidney, or brain.


KEY BENEFITS OF PROTEIN

  • Boost metabolism and increases fat burning

  • Keeps you feeling satiated and longer, reduces cravings

  • Increases muscle mass and strength that lead to better body composition

  • Reduces the risk of chronic diseases as well and helps with recovery

  • Helps control and balance blood sugar and blood pressure

  • Helps maintain healthy brain function, strong bones

  • Enhances healthy skin, nail, hair, and overall wellbeing



Resistance training and protein intake go hand in hand when we talk about protein synthesis stimulation. Protein builds muscle via protein synthesis and resistance training accelerates the process. This process basically breaking down old and weak tissue and rebuilding new and stronger muscles. When you combine your diet with resistance training you get more active muscles and more likely you will have lower blood pressure, better cholesterol, and better blood sugar. When you make it a habit, you will improve your body composition with less body fat.


Conclusion


Diet should be built around your protein. Intake should be around 1,5-2,5 grams per 1 kg of body weight and the reason is not only to build muscles. However, muscles are one of the most important organs that show a level of vitality. Include up to 30 grams in your three main meals throughout the day to protect your muscles and help your muscles constantly get all nutrients for muscle protein synthesis.


References:


1. www.drgabriellelyon.com


2. Read “Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids,

Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids” at NAP.edu. (n.d.). Retrieved from

https://www.nap.edu/read/10490/chapter/12


3. Duan, Y., Li, F., Li, Y., Tang, Y., Kong, X., Feng, Z., ... Yin, Y. (2016, January). The role

of leucine and its metabolites in protein and energy metabolism. Retrieved from

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26255285/


4. The role of methionine on metabolism, oxidative stress ... (n.d.). Retrieved from

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319904765_The_role_of_methionine_on_

metabolism_oxidative_stress_and_diseases


5. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids,

Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. (n.d.). Retrieved from


http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2002/Dietary-Reference-Intakes-for-

Energy-Carbohydrate-Fiber-Fat-Fatty-Acids-Cholesterol-Protein-and-Amino-Acids.aspx


6. Brown, L., Rosner, B., Willett, W. W., & Sacks, F. M. (1999, January). Cholesterol-

lowering effects of dietary fiber: a meta-analysis. Retrieved from


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9925120/

7. Bazzano, L. A. (2008, December). Effects of soluble dietary fiber on low-density

lipoprotein cholesterol and coronary heart disease risk. Retrieved from

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18937894/


8. Anderson, J. W., Baird, P., Davis, R. H., Ferreri, S., Knudtson, M., Koraym, A., ...

Williams, C. L. (2009, April). Health benefits of dietary fiber. Retrieved from

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19335713


9. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids,

Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. (n.d.). Retrieved from


http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2002/Dietary-Reference-Intakes-for-

Energy-Carbohydrate-Fiber-Fat-Fatty-Acids-Cholesterol-Protein-and-Amino-Acids.aspx


10. Dewey, C. (2018, June 18). Analysis | Artificial trans fats, widely linked to heart

disease, are officially banned. Retrieved from

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/06/18/artificial-trans-fats-widely-

linked-to-heart-disease-are-officially-banned/


11. The Need to Re-evaluate the Adequacy and Application of Protein Requirements. (n.d.).

Retrieved from

https://www.internationalproteinboard.org/protein-matters/protein-requirements.htm


12. https://www.nrv.gov.au/chronic-disease/macronutrient-balance






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