Proteins: What they Are, What They Do and How They Do It? Let’s clear up some myths

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Pragya is one of the best Fitness Speakers at Zeal who has a unique artistic vision and always has a lot to share with her clients.

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  • Proteins are an essential part of your muscles and almost every other part of your body.

  • Dutch chemist G. J. Mulder first identified protein molecules in 1838, and their study as biomolecules span from the early 19th century till the present date.

  • A Protein is nothing but a long chain made of different types of amino-acids. Just as a sentence is made up of different-different words.

  • They are the chief actors within our cells that carry out different duties within our bodies like immunity, metabolism and DNA replication.

  • Just like in a sentence, the combination of words determines its meaning. Proteins different combinations of amino acids have different effects.

  • Though proteins are a very common part of our life cycles, and a topic very often discussed upon. We still get a lot of protein-related questions.
    Many of which represent the ongoing misconceptions.

Let's take a look at some of them

  1. 1. What’s considered “A source of protein”?

    • Primarily meat, poultry, fish and seafood, dairy(milk, yogurt, cheese), eggs, soy(soy milk, tofu), pulses(beans, chickpeas) nuts, and seeds are sources of protein.

    • Some other food types— such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruits — contain smaller amounts of protein.

    • They may add up to your daily total, but are not considered a full "protein source".

    • They are not, what we call, the ultimate source of protein.

  2. 2. Is animal protein higher in quality than plant protein?

    • Plant proteins, unlike animal proteins, are not "complete," meaning, they don’t contain all the nine essential Amino Acids.

    • Although this is true, we don't need to get all these amino acids from the same meal. Eating a variety of plant foods rich in protein over a day covers most of it, but not all of it.

  3. 3. Do vegetarians and vegans get enough protein?

    • Including a range of soy products, peas, nuts and seeds, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits make it pretty easy for people to satisfy protein needs on a vegan diet— which eliminates all animal-derived foods.

    • But yes off course, Vegetarians who eat eggs or dairy foods have an even better time to meet their protein needs.

    • You have to plan your meals nicely and include a good protein source at each meal.

    • A tofu meal ( scramble or stir-fry), bean-and-vegetable soup, or whole-grain foods, or peanut butter are good examples.

    • In the end, it's your Body's diet, and only you can make it Right.

  4. 4. Do most of the protein get covered in the diet?

    • According to the Global Dietary Guidelines, while nearly 60% of people are getting more than the acceptable amount of protein, more than 40% are not getting enough.

    • It's often said- “Women only need 46 grams of protein per day, and men need 56 grams.” Well, that’s true — if you’re a 126-pound (~57 Kgs) woman or a 154-pound man (~70 Kgs).

    • Unlike vitamins and minerals, protein needs are determined by body weight, not age and gender.

    • Stick to the Rule - 0.8 grams Protein per kilogram of body weight per day (1 kilogram is 2.2 pounds).

    • That’s the amount required to offset protein deficiency in 98% of people, but research suggests that amount may do little to help maintain or build muscle.

    • A better range may be 1 to 1.2 grams per kilogram per day —(or about .5 grams per pound of body weight.)

  5. 5. Is soy a safe source of protein?

    • The origin of the notion:"Soy isn’t safe & causes breast cancer in women and interferes with hormones in men and children" — comes from isoflavones, compounds in soy that weakly mimic the effect of the female hormone estrogen (emphasis on “weakly”).

    • But, Current Cancer Research shows soy foods are safe and possibly beneficial. When eaten regularly, isoflavones have been linked to lower risk of heart disease, breast and prostate cancer, and osteoporosis.

    • Soy foods are good sources of protein that also offer a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

  6. 6. Is too much protein bad for the bones and kidneys?

    • Theories from the 1920s about excess protein leaching calcium from bones have been long disproved.

    • While it’s true that we lose more calcium when we eat more protein, but we also absorb the same amount of calcium, balancing out the losses.

    • Plus, our Skeleton is partly protein-based, so we need protein for bone health.

    • A 2017 research review from the National Osteoporosis Foundation concluded, with evidence, that there are no adverse effects of higher protein intake.

    • And as for kidney health, the National Kidney Foundation says: protein is not “hard” on normal kidneys.

  7. 7. Is it OK to eat eggs?

  8. It's Natural to be Confused about Eggs.
    • Here's the main takeaway from examining past and present egg research — the studies that raise alarm bells are mostly observational studies.

    • In other words, they observe trends in egg consumption and how they track with rates of certain diseases. This type of research can’t prove cause and effect as there are many other factors acting at the same time.

    • The bottom line:Eggs are good sources of protein and other essential nutrients. While some individuals might have specific reasons for avoiding eggs (Allergies or Religious reasons), but for the majority of people, eggs are just fine.

Feel free to post your questions or views in the Comments Section.

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Health & Fitness Trainer
Pragya is one of the best Fitness Speakers at Zeal who has a unique artistic vision and always has a lot to share with her clients.

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