Health Benefits of eating more Protein

Protein is an important nutrient. Some of us consume enough protein and some of us do not. Number of studies suggests that eating high protein diet is good for metabolic health and weight loss. Below are some reasons to eat more protein that are science backed?

Lowering Appetite and Hunger Levels

Studies suggests that protein is far more filling than other macronutrients. Protein reduces level of hunger hormone, ghrelin. It also enhances satiety hormone peptide YY. Protein can help feel full with small amount of food, effect of which is powerful. Study suggests that increase in consumption of protein can lower unnecessary or extra calorie consumption. Those who want to lose weight or belly fat can replace some of the fats and carbs consumption with more protein. Keeping potato or rice serving smaller and adding more of meat or fish can be useful.

Muscle Mass and Strength

Protein helps build muscle. Number of studies have shown that consuming plenty of protein can increase muscle mass and strength. Those who are trying to gain muscle, lifting weights, need to make sure that they are consuming enough protein. Protein also helps prevent muscle loss when body is in catabolic or breaking down state.

Bones need protein

There is misconception that protein is bad for bone. This is based on the idea that protein increases acid load in body, which causes calcium being leached from bone to neutralize the acid. Most long-term studies suggest that protein including animal protein is highly beneficial for bone health. People, who consume enough protein, can maintain bone much better as they get older and are usually less prone to osteoporosis and fractures. This is particularly important for women who have risk of osteoporosis after menopause.

Reducing Cravings for Unnecessary Eating

Craving for food is different from hunger. Craving is about what brain is asking for rather than what the body really needs. Craving is hard to control. Preventing cravings from showing up is easier than controlling it. Protein can help beat cravings. Study suggests that increase in protein intake can help reduce cravings significantly. Increased protein intake may be linked with improved functions of dopamine, which is one of the brain hormones and is responsible for addiction and cravings.

Metabolism and Fat Burning

When we eat food, body burns calories to digest the food and utilize the nutrients in food. This process is known as thermic effects of food or TEF. Thermic effects of protein (20-35%) is much higher than that of carbs or fat (5-15%). High protein can significantly enhance metabolism and burn around 80-100 more calories a day.

Lowering Blood Pressure

One of the major causes for strokes, heart attacks and chronic kidney disease is high blood pressure. Higher protein intake is linked with lowering blood pressure. Studies have shown that higher protein intake reduced diastolic blood pressure by 1.15 mmHg and systolic blood pressure by 1.76 mmHg. Apart from reducing blood pressure, higher protein diet can also reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

Losing Weight and Keeping It off in the Long Term

High protein diets enhance metabolism and causes automatic reduction of cravings and calorie intake, all of which helps reduce weight significantly. People who increase protein intake lose weight automatically. Study suggests that people who consume high protein diet loses more body fat than those who are on low-protein diet. Increased protein intake can help maintain weight. Study suggests that increase in protein intake can help prevent weight regain significantly. Those who want to lose weight prevent weight regain or obesity can consider increase in protein intake permanently.

No Harm for Healthy Kidneys   

There is a misconception that high protein intake is damaging for kidneys. High-protein intake may be damaging only for those who have pre-existing kidney diseases. Since kidney is one of the vital organs in human body, it has to be taken seriously. Limiting protein intake can be beneficial for those who have kidney diseases. Just because high protein diets have damaging effects for those with pre-existing kidney diseases, does not necessarily mean that high protein diet has damaging effects for those who have no kidney diseases. Number of studies found that high protein diet has no harmful effects for those who are free of kidney diseases.

Help Heal after Injury

Protein can help repair body after it has been injured. Protein helps form building blocks of muscles or body’s tissues and organs. Number of studies suggests that consumption of more protein after injuries   helps recover faster.

Staying Fit as People Age

Muscles shrink because of people aging. This is known as age-related sarcopenia, which is one of the reasons for bone fracture, frailty and reduced quality of life. Consuming more protein is one of the ways to prevent sarcopenia. Being physically active and consuming, plenty of protein can help reduce muscle loss linked with aging.

Last update: June 22, 2017 01:50:57 pm

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