We heard about high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets like Atkins diet, South Beach diet, Paleo diet and other similar types of diet. It is very common in the fitness industry that men who want to bulk their muscle mass would go for protein shake and cut down on carbs to lose weight and especially body fats.
What is protein?
Protein is the last of the three macronutrients that I will be introducing. It plays an important part in our metabolism by fuelling the muscle mass and keeps our immune system to stay strong. As protein has satiety effects, this is why many diets these day encourage more intake protein to lose weight as it can help us to stay full for a longer time.
Role of Protein in our body.
Protein plays an important part in our body. Aside from what we commonly know that our body uses protein to build and repair muscles. It also builds our bones, cartilage, skin and blood. Our hair and nails are mostly made of protein. It is an important macronutrients that make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals.
However, unlike fat and carbohydrates, our body does not store protein. Hence is not stored resources for the body to extract for new supply. Does that mean that we have to eat loads of protein to build more muscles?
Muscles can only build through exercising. By having extra protein does not give us more strength. You can view from Singapore’s Ministry of Health guidelines here:
Not all proteins are created equal
To manage weight, we need to choose our protein wisely as not all proteins are created equal.
We recommend the protein source from fish, poultry, beans, nuts and whole grains. Processed meat like hot dogs, sausages and hams, you may eat them sometimes, but they should not be the main source of protein as the are linked to the high risk of diabetes (type 2), cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer.
Managing your protein can help us in managing our weight, but do remember the source of protein is very important.