- Proteins are long chains of amino acids, linked by peptide bonds.
What function do proteins serve?
- They form the major structural components of muscle as well as that of the brain, nervous system, blood, skin, and hair.
What are the amino acids?
- Amino acids combine to form proteins. There are 9 essential Amino acids, which must be consumed in the diet, as well as 11 nonessential Amino acids, which can be produced by the body.
What affects the quality of a protein?
- Essential Amino Acid Composition
- Bioavailability- the amount of protein the body can absorb and use, which is an extension of digestibility
What are the best sources of protein?
- Foods which alone or in combination with another food contain all 9 essential amino acids
- Examples include
- Incomplete plant or nut proteins in combination such as rice and beans, legumes, nuts, wheat, oats
- Complete plant proteins like soy, quinoa, chia seeds, buckwheat, hemp, flax
- Lean animal proteins such as beef, poultry, pork, or dairy products
- Whey protein is a particularly good source of protein because of its high digestibility and because it is lactose free
How much protein should one consume?
- Endurance athletes- .5 -.6 grams / 1 pound of bodyweight (your weight x .5-.6)
- Strength athletes- .7 – .8 grams / 1 pound of bodyweight (your weight x .7-.8)
- Active lifestyle- .4 grams / 1 pound of bodyweight (your weight x .4)
What role does protein play in metabolism, weight control, and exercise?
- When protein is present in the diet, protein in the muscles is spared as an energy source which helps long-term with maintaining a higher metabolism.
- Protein can slow the glycemic index and insulin response of certain foods, and is best ingested with other foods like vegetables and carbohydrates.
- Protein causes fullness, which is helpful in weight control.
Can you eat too much protein?
- Yes, too much of a good thing, including protein, is not good.
- Excessive protein intake is not good for your kidneys, and is stored as fat if not used for natural processes.
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