0ne big mistake made by self-proclaimed diet experts is how they deal with protein. Either they underestimate it or with the high protein diet, they over estimate it. The fact is simple. Your body has very specific needs for Protein. Beyond this you are creating a problem and below it you are creating an even bigger one.
We are all made up of proteins that are pretty common throughout the whole of known life. These proteins make up your blood, organs, and the enzymes that speed up chemical reactions to keep us alive. The fact is that these enzymes control every twitch of our existence. Get protein right or you will suffer.
It may surprise you to find out that most of the protein in your body is replaced every 6 months. This means what you eat now is what you will become later. The body has an incredible ability to make do with what it gets, but if you cut something, you will lose something. When you look in the mirror you see a reflection of what you have eaten over the last 6 months.
Protein is only 4 calories per gram, which is low next to fats which are 9.The point to watch out for is that many protein foods have fat in tow.
Proteins are made up of small chemicals called amino acids which are strung together in the cells of our bodies, like heads on a long necklace. Our cells are huge production lines for protein. Goods-in take the form of amino acids, the result of the foods we have recently eaten. This is referred to as the amino acid pool. In the centre of our cells, the nucleus is like the management team giving the orders to take the relevant materials for goods while sending them to the ribosomes. This is the shop floor at which the amino acids are strung together to specific blue prints sent down from the drawing room. These blueprints are called messenger RNA. Once the protein is complete, it is sent to the packing department known as the golgi body, ready for goods- out. The package then makes its way around the body until it reaches its destination.
There are twenty two of these amino acids found in human protein. Most of them can be made by the body. Eleven of then cannot. Most literature refers to eight essential amino acids and three extra required for children. These extra three are Arginine Taurine and Histidine which are critical to growth and development. I believe it is more efficient to include them. The other eight are Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan and Valine.
The problem is this, if for some reason one of the essential amino acids is missing from your amino acid pool, then production can grind to a halt. It is like having a component missing in an engineering factory. This means that protein does not get built. Bad news for your muscle density which gives structure and shape to your body and is the primary driver of your metabolism.
If you do not regularly consume the essential amino acids, your body cannot rebuild itself. The consequences are serious.
This brings us to why we need to eat several small meals per day as opposed to one or two big ones. Someone recently told me that snakes only eat twice per week. Simple. We are not snakes. The fact is that snakes digest their food very slowly, releasing protein into their bodies as required .They can do this because they spend a lot of time resting.
Different foods have different quantities of amino acids. The very best carry the non-essential amino acids as well. Many researchers make the mistake of looking for foods rich in the essentials .Mixing the right foods gives us all the amino acids in the right proportions. Amino acids regulate each other, so having to make them places extra demand on your body which can be avoided by proper nutrition.
Eggs or egg whites are the closest amino acid structure to human muscle tissue and are almost good enough on their own. Other foods such as beans are high in protein but lack one essential amino acid. However if beans are combined with whole grain brown rice or whole grain brown bread, then they are almost as good as egg whites and slightly better than steak.
For more information go to our home page www.newyou.ie and click on nutrition and weight loss or watch our video on Nutrition.
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