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Why And How You Should Eat More Protein

Posted in General Health 10 Sep, 2015

Protein is the stuff of life. We need it for innumerable reasons. If your knowledge of protein is bit foggy from GCSE days, then read on.

What Is Protein?

Protein provides amino acids, the building blocks of life. Amino acids have different roles in the body. They regulate your metabolism, boost your energy, and produce all kinds of hormones. They also help maintain and grow muscle mass. In fact the original Total Recall script had Arnold Schwarzenegger uttering the immortal line 'Why don't you give these people some protein?' *

Why Is It Good?

As well as all the lovely effects listed above, eating more protein can help you lose weight because it makes you feel fuller for longer. It burns up slowly, fending off those snacking issues you have to deal with on a daily basis.

What If I Don't Have Enough of the Stuff?

Here are some of the symptoms of a low protein intake:

  • Sugar cravings: If your body is crashing because it needs more energy you'll want a pick me up.
  • Brain fog: Without energy your brain just won't work properly.
  • Hair falling out: Protein makes amino acids and amino acids help hair grow.
  • Feeling weak: Protein affects muscles.
  • Getting ill all the time: You'll get ill if you are missing any vital food group, protein included.

Yikes! Experts disagree about how much you should eat, but if you consume 2000 calories a day (well done!) then 50-150 grams of protein should suffice.

How To Eat Enough Protein

You don't need to eat chicken at every meal. Some of the best and cheapest ways to eat protein is to munch on veggies. Before you cry 'Pah! Vegetarians are weak because they don't get enough protein!' just take a look at some mountain gorilla pictures. Does he look like he needs more protein? And he's never had a roast chicken in his life.

  • Greek yogurt - not 'Greek Style', it must be Greek yogurt like 'Total'. There's about 10 grams of protein per 100 grams.
  • Lean meat - chicken of course, steak, fish and turkey all contain lots of protein. Avoid processed 'meats' like lardy sausages and salty ham.
  • Cheese - packed full of the P stuff, be it from cows, goats or sheep.
  • Peas - The humble garden pea has 3.5 grams of protein per half cup.
  • Baked potatoes - there are 3 grams of protein in a medium potato.
  • Tofu - stir-fried up with your favourite Chinese flavouring, it's stuffed with protein.
  • Eggs - scrambled egg for brekkie, because who's got time to boil anything apart from the kettle, and you're packing some powerful protein. 13 grams of protein per egg, woo!

It's worth taking a look at your protein levels. If you eat crackers, cereal and toast all day then you're probably bloated, overweight, exhausted and partially hairless. Get some Greek yogurt on baked potato down your neck and life may improve.

*Completely made up, but I still love you Arnie.

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