What is the role of protein in our diet and how can it help us to lose fat and/or keep a healthy weight.
Protein is one of the three macro components in
, next to carbohydrates and fats.
Fat fulfilled in our bodies especially the role of (reserve) fuel, we store al excess of energy we eat in the form of fat, this to have reserves during less
. Overvloed Link ! Furthermore, fat it is necessary to keep a healthy hormonal balance, it also serves as a cushion and as insulation to keep us warm.
The average healthy human being has about 15/25% body fat. Teens often have less fat, and men on average have less fat than women. Some athletes, runners, cyclists have even much lower fat levels, down to 5% and sometimes even less. For them every kg bodyweight is something they have to drag along, so the less weight the better.
On the other hand, there are significantly overweight people and those sometimes have body fat percentages over 50%. That is a huge burden on the body, all that weight must be carried throughout the day.
Carbohydrates, which mostly play the role of fuel in our body, carbs provide us with the easiest energy, when we work hard most of the energy we use will come from carbohydrates. The reason for this is the conversion from carbohydrates into energy costs the least oxygen, so during hard efforts our body switches to carbs for fuel as much as possible. Our body can store carbohydrates only in limited amounts, and does so in the form of glycogen in the muscles and liver. A few hours of hard work is enough to empty those reserves. That's why we have to eat enough Carbohydrates on a daily bases, to keep those reserves from getting depleted. In moderation and healthy form though. Carbohydrates in the form of simple sugars are actually not so sensible. They disturb our blood sugar levels and that can easily lead to overeating. Carbs are very easy to digest, that's the basic problem.
Nowadays many diets require eating plenty of proteïne. Why is this?
Proteins can be found in meat, fish, beans, eggs, dairy, and nuts. There are animal proteins, which are most close to the human proteins, and vegetable proteins, which are further away from us humans. Proteins are certainly needed in a healthy diet, our bodies can not create most of them, but we do need them as building blocks, especially for the soft parts of our body.
Proteins are also used as fuel, but it's not something our body prefers, if we have enough fat and carbohydrates to our disposal, the protein in our bodies won't be used much. If we use lots of protein than it will be used as fuel, but it is the least well working energy source from the three.
Compared to carbohydrates and fat it is very difficult to get too much energy in by eating proteine and therefore to gain weight. 1 gram of proteine gives, just like 1 gram of carbohydrate 4 kcal. 1 gram of fat provides 9 kcal. But protein is not easy to convert into energy or store as fat. In costs, approximately 30% of the ingested energy to do so. And besides that it also takes more time to do so, it stays longer in out stomach
Fats don't have to be chanced much or little in order to be stored, carbohydrates, depending on the kind are also easy to digest, So excess of those are also easy stored as fat.
Those three carakteristics things of protein, providing little energy, roughly 30% is lost through during the digestion of it and digestion goes slow, which make it an excellent food source to control our weight.
How much proteïne do we daily need? If we assume a minimum of about 0.65 grams per kilogram body weight. Someone
of 100 kg, needs 65 grams per day. A person of 50 kg, only needs 32.5. In practice it is wiser to stay above those numbers. People who do heavy fysical work especially, 1.5 / 2 gram per kg body weight would be better. Physically heavy work requires a lot of our muscles and to to keep them in good condition, our body needs adequate amounts of proteine.
Are there any drawbacks to the consumption of proteïne?
Disadvantages can also be found, proteins are relatively expensive, to produce proteins we need lot of food to fed the animals to grow. There is also a lot of fresh water needed to keep animals. In addition to breed animals we need a lot of space for the animals themselves but also for the production of foodd for those animals.
Furthermore, proteins require a long preparation time, although you also can see that as an advantage and they taste pretty quickly boring. But that can easily be overcome by combining them with other foods.
But apart from these drawbacks, the benefits remain, eating enough protein and especially at the expense of carbs can certainly help to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.