Advertising on TV and the Social Media talks consistently about eating “plenty” of proteins and going on “low carb and high protein diets”. So here is some information about what proteins are, how much protein we really need and what it does in your body to gain a better understanding about the infamous proteins…
What are Proteins? [Structure]
Proteins are made of chains of molecules called amino acids and are the smallest unit a protein can be broken down into. The medium sized chains are called polypeptides and the longest chains are called proteins.
What are Essential and non-essential proteins?
Are proteins that our body can make themselves without any further aid from our part. So you do not need to worry about eating them.
These are important, or essential because our body can NOT make them. They need to be ingested by us via food… It is true that vegetarian sources of proteins are “incomplete” and therefore we need to ensure that we eat them all.
Functions of Proteins in our body
What is all the fuss about proteins for? Easy! We need proteins to make muscles, bones, tissue, skin, hormones, enzymes and for our DNA. So for a lot of important stuff!
16% of our body consists of proteins and our body can’t make proteins from carbohydrates or fat and we are not able to store them for a long period of time. Hence we need to eat proteins EVERY DAY!
How much Proteins do I need to eat?
A general guideline from my studies you can follow is, if you
- do not exercise you need 0.8g per kg of your body weight
- exercise up to 3 times p/wk you need 1-1.5g per KG
- exercise more than 3 times p/wk you need +2g per KG
Example of how many proteins to eat per day
You weigh 75 kg and don’t exercise then you would need 75kg X 0.8g = 60g of protein per day.
Ensure the quality of your proteins
It’s important to ensure that you eat good quality proteins and that they are as natural, organic and as fresh as possible. Especially if you consume meat! As the meat produced for the masses are pumped with toxins thanks to the feeding of antibiotics, growth hormones and unnatural foods. Many items in the supermarkets are highly processed and added with trans-fats, salt and sugar.
Don’t know the ingredients on the packaging…
Then don’t buy the products! For example the ingredients in protein shakes such as:
“Konjac Glucomannan Microencapsulated Conjugated Linoleic Acid [Safflower Oil Rich in conjugated linoleic acid, Glucose Syrup, Sodium Caseinate (Milk), Anti-Caking Agent (Silicon Dioxide), Emulsifier: Soya Lecithin”
You are better off eating a banana and raw nuts than consume this. Just stick to nature.
General sources of proteins
Meat, eggs, fish and dairy are popular sources of proteins but as mentioned above ensure that they are organic, grass fed and naturally raised.
Vegetarian Sources of Proteins
Organic legumes, nuts, seeds, grains and tofu. Swap or add these to balance your diet naturally!
Conclusion about Proteins
Our body needs all the macronutrients (carbs, proteins and fats) to be healthy. The balance and the quality are off in todays diets and we truly need to find the balance again. Lower your carb intake and increase your protein intake according to your body’s needs and make sure you only eat the “good” stuff in all food groups and keep it as natural as possible.
I hope this blog helped you understand what proteins are and what we need proteins for as well as the importance about the infamous Proteins 🙂