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Let Us Talk Protein

15.09.2016

High protein diets used to be commonplace among the bodybuilding and athletic world. However, it is become ever more prevalent throughout the general public with 37% of people believing that protein helps with weight loss.

 

However, research has shown that a high protein diet could put you at higher risk of cancer, diabetes and overall mortality in middle age. There is also a higher likelihood that with an increased protein intake, the amount of fruit and veg consumed may be compromised and will therefore leave you lacking in fibre, leading to a range of health problems and vitamins deficiency.

 

The Purpose Of Protein

Protein is found throughout the body, comprising of approximately 10,000 variations. Therefore making protein essential for your body to grow and repair. 

Protein is created by amino acids. Essential amino acids are derived from food, with animal protein containing all of the amino acids we need. This means that non-meat eaters must ensure that they eat a wide variety of protein-containing plant-based foods. The only plant-based foods to provide all of the essential amino acids are quinoa and soya beans. 

 

Protein Portions

A single portion of protein should be approximately the size of the palm of your hand. This means that a 6ft 5’ man will need a considerably larger portion than a 5ft woman.

The European Regulation Reference Intakes recommends that we consume no more than 50g of protein each day. This equates to approximately 2 palm-sized portions of meat, fish, pulses, nuts or tofu.

This recommendation is to be used as a guide, as this amount will differ depending on your gender, size and any exercise you undertake along with the frequency of it. For a more individual estimation with the assumption of weight maintenance, the Dietary Reference Intake states that you should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Therefore if you weigh 60kg, that would mean you will need to consume 48g of protein each day.  According to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, mean and women in the UK eat approximately 45-55% more protein than they require each day.

 

The Effects Of Too Much Protein

  • Smelly breath
  • Weight gain
  • Kidney damage
  • Extreme thirst
  • Higher likelihood of mortality
  • Nausea
  • Potential Cancer Risk
  • Potential Chronic Disease Risk

 

Protein Powders

Protein powders and shakes have become a regular go-to option after a workout, with some drinks offering up to 55g of protein per portion. We know that protein helps muscles to develop and recover but many studies say that a healthy and well-rounded diet alone can provide you with all of the protein necessary for recovery.

 

The Dangers of Processed Meats

Processed meats have been shown to lead to a greater risk of bowel cancer according to the NHS. Further studies have also shown that there is a strong link between chronic diseases and processed meats – these include, high blood pressure, stomach cancer and heart disease. Processed meats include any meat that has been smoked, salted, cured, dried or canned – examples include sausages, bacon, salami and ham. 



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