Protein's Role in Your Diet
Posted by Eric Lancaster on
Protein in Natural Dieting
When it comes to fueling your body, you have three choices: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Fat has the most energy content, but that higher energy content means a higher body fat potential if that fuel is not burned, and fat rich foods are also often cholesterol rich foods. Carbohydrates are a popular source of quick energy, but carbohydrate rich food is so commonplace that most serious dieters spend more time finding ways to limit their intake.
Even though carbs have become synonymous with “body fuel”, proteins have the same energy content as carbohydrates, and they have nutritional benefits that extend far beyond just their use as fuel.
Adopting a Protein Rich DietThere are plenty of protein supplements on the market, but getting these nutrients from real food is cheaper, more efficient and encourages a better lifestyle. Meat, eggs and fish are excellent sources of complete protein; in other words, they contain all nine essential amino acids that your body needs. Even though no one vegetable, grain or legume individually has all nine of these amino acids, however, they should still be your primary source.
By eating a variety of beans, cereals, seeds, nuts and fruits, you can easy obtain all of the amino acids that your body needs. Contrary to the popular myth of “protein combining”, it is not necessary to consume all nine amino acids in a single meal. Beans and rice are nutritious, and together form a complete protein, but your body will get the same benefit if you have beans for lunch one day and rice at dinner the next day.
As with any other form of natural dieting, variety is paramount. Strive to get as many colors on your plate as possible and take everything in moderation. Never depend on a single source for your protein, no matter how much you may love a good steak. Also, please look back to our blogs on soy for issues with soy as a primary protein source. If you are a meat eater, be sure to get your proteins from lean meats. Wild game meats are usually the best as they are always lean and have been eating all sorts of wild diets.