Does Protein Have Its Correct Place on Your Menu?

By Tom Herrin

The various components in food get a lot of talk.  There are all kinds of combinations of diets.  A few old standards still exist.  What we really have to do is decide what we want to make of ourselves because a diet is a lot like a recipe.  Some things can mess up the final outcome, and all the ingredients need to be in just the right amount.  Protein is no different.  The days when people ate meat and potatoes are pretty much gone as more people have learned the lessons of a bad diet.  There is plenty of information around about the results of too much of one thing and too little of something else.

What Protein Does

Protein is one of the three foods that are considered macronutrients, along with fats and carbohydrates.  Each has its function.  Unlike the other two, protein cannot be stored.  That means we have to take in the correct amount.  The bad thing is that some of the protein-rich foods contain unhealthy amounts of fats, particularly saturated fats.  Proteins are primarily performing the job of rebuilding muscle tissue.  They don’t actually increase strength or muscle.  In order to do that, it requires the muscles to be worked, torn down, and rebuilt.  Protein’s job is support.  

What Are Healthy Proteins?

Meats tend to have quite a bit of saturated fat in them.  Cheeses, while high in protein, also have an abundance of saturated fat.  When we look to increase our protein, we need to watch the fats.  Some good high protein foods are skim milk, yogurt, and things like wheat germ.  These provide ample protein yet are still somewhat low in calories.  The thing to remember is we don’t actually have to have huge amounts, but we need to have enough.  All too often, we get into habits of eating large amounts of carbs or fats.  Both have a place, but too much of either one can lead to serious health problems that may not be reversible.

Balance Is Always The Key

Eating the right amount of protein can have several positive effects on our bodies.  It can make us feel fuller, provide energy, and help in repairing muscles that have been torn down by overwork or strain.  Some things contain non-digestible proteins which our bodies are not able to get any use out of even though they really are made of protein.  Carbohydrates and fats are both essential as well.  So to be healthy, look for balance.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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