The Building Blocks of life, proteins are essential for the physical development and function of organs and cells. It is a macronutrient in the diet that helps improve the body composition. It is made up of chains of amino acid and contains nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen and carbon.
Proteins derived from animal sources have a higher biological value because they contain a complete mixture of amino acids. Proteins derived from plant sources, however, are known as proteins with a lower biological value and don’t contain enough amino acids.
Proteins are found in the body as enzymes, hormones, and structure.
They also serve as:
Antibodies that support the immune system
Hormones and metabolic processes
Blood proteins transport oxygen and nutrients.
Enzymes that aid in digestion and absorption.
A good source of energy for the muscles, liver and intestine.
Antibodies are able to protect the body from infection and contribute to its immune system.
Collagen and cartilage are made up of help. This determines the shape and size of the skeleton.
Recent meta-analyses of 18 randomized-controlled trials revealed that older adults (50+), who consume a high protein diet, can maintain lean body mass more effectively during weight loss. Also reported were reductions in triglycerides blood sugar, and waist circumference. The study found that after eating higher protein meals, satiety levels were increased. This led to a greater feeling of fullness which helped reduce the amount of food consumed.
The amino acids are broken down into smaller proteins byproducts when we consume protein. The liver then breaks them down further to produce energy, or synthesizes other amino acids according to the body’s needs. According to theory, protein is the most satiating of all macronutrients. This leads to a feeling of satiety, which in turn inhibits further eating and increases feelings of fullness. This can lead to a negative balance of energy, and preserve lean mass in obese individuals.
When following a diet for weight loss, an excess of protein intake than the recommended allowances puts a greater burden on the kidneys and liver to metabolise the wastes that result from the breakdown of amino acids. If the diet is too high in protein but low in calories, dietary protein will be oxidised and tissue protein will break down. Protein-energy ratios differ for different age groups and activities
Carbohydrates and proteins provide the same amount of calories, i.e. The calories provided by 1gm each of these nutrients is 4kcals, but their effects on the body are different. It is important to have a balance between carbohydrates and protein. It will prevent the protein from being used for energy, and it will also limit its use for bodybuilding, repair and regulatory functions. The intake of energy is essential for protein utilization and deposition.
It is better to follow a well-balanced diet that includes the recommended amount of protein, along with adequate carbohydrates and micronutrients. Get a personalized meal plan from an expert.
Food sources of protein:
Pulses (Whole or Splits), eggs, milk, poultry, fish, and nuts are all good sources of protein. Combining these sources of protein with our cereal meal and vegetables will give us all the nutrients we need in a balanced amount and help with weight loss.