The health impact of carbohydrates and fats is controversial, but virtually everybody thinks that protein has a vital part to play when it comes to staying fit, healthy, and an appropriate body weight. Most people consume sufficient protein to guard against deficiency, however many people would be better off eating much more protein each day.
There are many studies that suggest consuming a diet that is high in protein helps improve metabolic health and boosts weight loss. Here, we take a look at some of the reasons why protein can be so helpful when it comes to losing excess fat and look at whether it’s essential to eat more protein or whether you’re already consuming sufficient.
Protein Reduces Hunger And Appetite
Protein, carbs, and fats all have their own unique effects on the body. Protein is the most satisfying and filling of these three macronutrients, helping you to feel full after consuming less food. This occurs because protein will reduce ghrelin levels while boosting peptide YY levels. The effect on your appetite is often impressive. If you’re trying to shed weight, replace some fats and carbohydrates with protein to help you reduce the number of calories you intake each day.
Protein Increases Strength And Muscle Mass
Muscles are built from protein, so if you eat more protein, you’ll be able to maintain muscle mass and help your muscles to grow when strength training. Being physically active requires you to consume sufficient protein. If you maintain a higher protein intake, you’ll also prevent excess muscle loss when losing weight.
Protein Supports Bone Health
Despite the myth that protein damages the bones, this isn’t the case at all. In fact protein can majorly benefit bone health and people who consume higher amounts of protein usually maintain their muscle mass more effectively as they get older, reducing their risk of fractures and osteoporosis
Protein Makes You Less Likely To Snack
Food cravings are very different from regular hunger. Cravings aren’t about the body needing nutrients and energy – they’re about the brain wanting a reward. It’s hard to cope with cravings, so the best way of overcoming them is to stop them from happening at all. You can do this by eating more protein. Higher protein intake helps dopamine levels to function more effectively, thus reducing cravings and helping to prevent snacking.
Protein Boosts Fat Burning And Metabolism
For a brief period, eating will increase your metabolism since calories are used by the body to digest foods and use their nutrients. But not all kinds of food are made equal in this respect. Protein burns more calories when it is digested. Eating more protein will, therefore, increase your metabolism and boost your calorie burning.
Protein Lowers Blood Pressure
Hypertension is a key cause of strokes, kidney disease, and heart attacks. If you consume more protein, you can actually reduce your blood pressure. An increase protein intake can lower systolic blood pressure by around 1.76mm Hg and can reduce diastolic blood pressure by 1.15mm Hg. Even better, a diet that is high in protein can reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol too.
Protein Helps To Maintain A Healthy Body Weight
As a diet that is high in protein increases metabolism while reducing cravings and calorie intake automatically, it can cause rapid weight loss and make it easy to maintain that new bodyweight. A study revealed that women who were overweight and consumed protein as 30% of their entire calorie intake lost 11lbs in just 12 weeks without intentionally restricting their diet. When restricting calories, protein also offers fat loss benefits.
People who consume high levels of protein when eating a calorie restricted diet lost over 50% more fat than those who eat the same amount of calories but less protein. When maintaining weight, evidence shows that increasing protein consumption to 18% of entire calorie intake can reduce regain of weight by 50%.
Protein Won’t Harm Kidneys That Are Healthy
There is a common misconception that consuming a lot of protein will harm the kidneys, but this isn’t actually the case. It’s true that reducing protein intake may be beneficial for people suffering from an existing kidney disease but for those who have no pre-existing kidney issues, a higher protein intake will make no difference at all to the well-being of their kidneys.
In fact, several studies have been carried out to prove that diets that are high in protein have zero harmful impact on people who do not suffer from kidney disease.
Protein Helps The Body To Repair After Injury
It is well-known that protein is helpful in aiding the body to repair itself when it has suffered an injury. The reason for this is that protein is the key building block of organs and tissues. If you consume higher levels of protein when you’re injured you can speed up your overall recovery.
Protein Helps You Remain Fit As You Get Older
When we get older, our muscles naturally weaken gradually over time. Age-related sarcopenia is an especially severe case, resulting in bone fractures, lower quality of life, and frailty in older adults. Consuming a higher level of protein is a great way of reducing muscle deterioration due to aging, and it will help to prevent sarcopenia. It’s also vital to remain physically active, with doing resistance exercise and lifting weights being especially helpful.
Although consuming more protein offers a host of health benefits of lots of people, it isn’t actually necessary for everybody to up their protein intake. The majority of people consume about 15% of their total calorie intake from protein – more than sufficient to guard against protein deficiency, but in some cases, individuals could benefit from consuming far more protein that that – as much as 25% or 30% of their total daily calorie intake. For anyone who wants to improve their metabolic health, gain strength or muscle mass, or lose weight, it’s essential to consume sufficient protein every day.