Why You Must Have
Protein is composed of chains of amino acids and when it is consumed, enzymes in the stomach and small intestine break it down to smaller chains of amino acids (peptides), which are made up of two or three amino acids, as well as single (free-form) amino acids.
There are 22 amino acids that make up protein and they are classified into two groups: essential and non-essential. Even though they are all necessary for good health, only 8 have to be supplied in the diet. These are known as essential amino acids, which means the body can't make them. If adequate amounts of the essential amino acids are supplied in the diet, the body can make the other 14 amino acids (non-essential amino acids).
Protein provides the 'building blocks' for the body and therefore have a number of functions. Protein is required for building cells, repairing tissues and forming antibodies to combat bacteria and viruses. It is part of the enzyme and hormonal systems, it builds genetic codes in cells, carries oxygen throughout the body and is involved in muscle activity.
Since it is such a vitally important component of our body, we must ensure it isn't neglected in our diet.
There several ways through which high protein foods may assist the body in losing weight. They are:
Protein requires more energy to be used up through the process of digestion, absorption/ assimilation and excretion compared to foods that contain predominantly carbohydrate or fat. As a result, the body's metabolism speeds up and this may assist your weight-loss efforts.
Protein stimulates the release of cholecytokinin (CCK) from the stomach, which induces feelings of satisfaction following a meal. By feeling more satisfied after a meal you are more likely to eat less. This will make it much easier to lose weight.
Regular consumption of protein supplies the body with a continuous supply of amino acids, which helps the body maintain its muscle mass. By doing so, your metabolism can remain elevated which makes fat burning much easier and supports your weight-loss efforts.
Here are some good sources of protein to include in your diet on a regular basis.
For a more complete list of high protein foods, get a copy of my e-book, Look Good, Feel Great!
The best way to use the list is to simply select one source or a combination of sources to have in each of your 5 or 6 small meals that you have throughout the day.
For example, during the week when you are busy you may want to have some nuts and seeds added to your cereal and on the weekends when you have more time, you may want to prepare scrambled eggs on toast perhaps with a slice of smoked salmon as well.
Your mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks/ meals might consist of a piece of fruit with some nuts or perhaps 1/2 small tub of yoghurt with two tablespoons of cottage cheese mixed in. A protein shake is also one of the good sources of protein as well as being quick, easy, convenient and cheap. You may also have the occasional tin of flavoured tuna or chicken perhaps on a couple of corn thins.
There are plenty of easy ways to ensure you have high protein foods in each of your meals during the day.
Your lunch meal might be a chicken salad, and your dinner might consist of a small piece of steak (about the size of a deck of cards) with some vegetables.
By using the list of high protein foods, you will find it easy to not only have an adequate protein intake, but will also be having 'complete' meals and will be assisting your weight-loss efforts.
Also, here's a video which lists a range of high protein foods:
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