Friday, October 4, 2013

The Power of Protein

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What's with all the talk about protein?  

What do you think when you hear the word ‘protein’? Maybe protein shakes, or body builders with huge muscles? The latest high-protein diet craze? No matter if you want to lose weight, build muscle, or just be healthy, everyone needs protein. 

Protein in the Body: Protein is found everywhere in the body and makes up about 20% of total body weight.The protein in the foods we eat is first broken down into tiny amino acid parts, and later used to build and repair organs and tissues. 
Protein in Food: Protein keeps you full and controls your hunger; it’s important to eat the right amount and the right kind of protein.

Animal Proteins
Animal sources of protein are great options – they are known as ‘complete’ proteins because they contain all the amino acids the body needs to build and repair tissue.   
  • Lean Meats: With chicken, skip the darker meat and take the skin off (it’s loaded with Bad Fat!). If you prefer beef, choose lean cuts, which are higher in protein and lower in Bad Fat. 
  • Eggs and Dairy: Eggs are a good source of low-cost protein, and make a great option for a protein-packed breakfast to fuel your day. Milk and low-fat cheese are also good protein sources, and are calcium containing. 

Non-Animal Proteins
‘Incomplete’ proteins fall short of containing all essential amino acids.  No worries though, by combining two or more incomplete protein foods, a complete protein can easily be created. This is particularly important for vegetarians and vegans.  
  • Beans: Beans are loaded with fiber and packed with protein. Combine beans with brown rice, and you’ve got a complete protein source.
  • Nuts: These nutrient-packed nuggets also make an excellent protein-rich snack. Spread peanut butter on 100% whole wheat bread for a complete source of protein.  

Protein Craze

With all the talk about protein, you might think a high-protein diet is the way to go. Unless you’re an endurance athlete, or intense weight lifter, chances are you consume enough dietary protein.
  •  The recommended daily allowance of protein is 0.8 grams per kg of body weight (10-35% of total daily calories based on your age and gender).
  • Using Bon’App will help to ensure you reach your dietary protein goal each day.
  • When your daily goals are met, the Protein battery turns green. Remember, you can personalize your Protein battery, or use Bon’App’s age and gender specific recommendation to track your intake. 

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