Protein plays an essential dietary role for those seeking to reach specific health and fitness goals. Protein can be sourced from a variety of foods, with chicken, fish and lean meat some of the most common examples. But why is it so important?
Put simply, protein is a macronutrient which is a vital component of every cell in the body. The body uses it to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals and it is an important building block of bones, cartilage and muscles. Most importantly for those spending time in the gym, protein is essential for building and repairing muscles.
You may have previously heard about high protein diets, with many in the health and fitness world swearing by them, but you’re probably wondering what exactly these diets entail and whether they’re right for you. So we thought we’d break it down for you!
What does a high protein diet entail?
The standard recommended daily intake for protein is 0.8g for every kilogramme of body weight, which equates to 56 and 46 grams per day for the average man and woman respectively. By eating a healthy balanced diet you will be able to reach this recommendation, however there are some benefits of surpassing it, these include:
Help Managing Weight Loss
Protein takes longer to digest than other food types and creates a process in the body known as thermogenesis. This process requires the body to use more energy (calories) in order to digest food. Protein leaves you feeling fuller and more satisfied after eating, which discourages snacking between meals, a vital asset for weight loss efforts.
Improving Muscle Mass
Eating enough protein is necessary for building and maintaining healthy muscle mass, whilst also supporting tendons, ligaments and other body tissue. Eating increased amounts of protein can prevent muscle atrophy which occurs when muscle fibres are broken down to support your body’s energy needs.
Improving Heart Health
On a high protein diet, fish will play a big role, which is great as it’s a fantastic source of omega3. Omega3 helps to lower cholesterol as well reducing your chances of developing heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Studies have found that higher protein diets appear to be one of the natural remedies for high blood pressure.
Easy to follow
Diets can be daunting and difficult to stick to for those who are new to meal plans and dieting. High protein diets however, are much easier as there are few components, and you already consume most of the required ingredients on a daily basis.
So, there you have it! These are just a few key benefits of high protein diets. It’s important to bear in mind however that this sort of eating regime may not be for everyone. As such, it’s advisable to seek advice from a doctor or a dietitian before beginning.
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