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Right proteins essential to diet

Protein is the latest hip food supplement, appearing in everything from weight-loss shakes to pasta. Protein is marketed as vital to our health and well-being, and this is true.


High-protein foods satisfy you for longer than high-carbohydrate foods, making them essential to include at every meal, especially if you want to lose weight.

Where to find it. Americans are famous for our love of meat. Animal products (including eggs) are a wonderful source of protein, but for health, cost and, for some people, ethical reasons, you might not want to make it your sole source of protein.

Dairy products, especially plain (not fruit-flavored) Greek yogurt and cottage cheese, are great sources of protein.

Vegetable proteins vary in the amount of amino acids they contain, and must be combined (such as legumes and whole grains) to provide a more complete protein.

Powdered protein supplements don’t have living cells, instead getting their amino acids from protein isolates.

Protein supplements can be a good choice, especially for those with gout and dairy sensitivities. But always read the labels closely.

If you’re watching your weight, look for protein supplements with fewer than 10 grams of carbohydrates per serving.

The right amount. Your protein requirement depends on your age, gender, size and how active you are. You can find a good online calculator at www.healthcalculators.org/calculators/protein.asp.

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