What is Protein and how much of it do we really need?


What is Protein and how much of it do we really need?
  • Protein is the principal primary building blocks for every cell in the human body; it is an essential part of one’s daily dietary requirements.
  • You may be asking yourself: where do I get protein, and are all types good? 
  • These are good questions and ones that we can answer quite simply.
  • There are two basic types of proteins: Complete Proteins & Incomplete Proteins.
Complete Proteins: are comprised of all the essential amino acids a human body needs. Examples include: meat, dairy products, and poultry.
Incomplete Proteins: contain many of the same elements of complete proteins, but are devoid of all of the same amino acids. Therefore, you cannot meet all of your daily protein requirements from these sources as they do not contain all the essential amino acids. Examples of incomplete proteins include: whole grains, and plant sources.
Are all Proteins created equal?
  • I’m glad you asked, the short answer is no.      
  • Caged chickens, for example, do not contain the same amount of protein as “roam free” chickens. This affects their ability to harbor the same levels of complete proteins. 
  • Also, fruit, vegetables, and whole grains that are shipped to distant geographic regions go through rigorous processes to ensure longevity. Many of these treatments wash away the nutrients and render these foods almost null and void of needed proteins.
So how can I adopt a healthy diet?
  • There are several ways you can do this.        
  • One is to implement a healthy balance.
  •  A “Zone Diet” recommends the 40-30-30 rule.
  • Zone Diet states: 40% of daily calories should come from carbohydrates. 30% should come from protein (both complete and incomplete), and 30% of calories should come from fats.

Maintain a healthy balance and know your foods.

  • One of the best ways to maintain a healthy balance and truly know your food is to know where it comes from.   
  • By local! This not only helps your local economy, but it also allows you to know where your food is coming from and allows for inquiries. For instance, are these eggs from “roam free” chickens, and are these vegetables free of nutrient sapping chemicals?
  • Farmers markets are an excellent source of information. You can talk to the farmers and ask the questions pertinent for your dietary goals.
  • As always, education is the key to longevity.
  • You can help yourself, help your community, and teach sustainability to your family and friends if you follow these simple rules.
References
"The Truth About Protein | Jigsaw Health." Magnesium Supplements | Jigsaw Health. Web. 19 Jan. 2012. <http://www.jigsawhealth.com/resources/protein-diet>.

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