Last month we started a 3 part series talking all about fat. This month we’re going to talk about the most controversial macronutrient – PROTEIN. Below is a short summary of what macronutrients are for you all.
When we talk about nutrients in relation to food, we typically focus on Micronutrients and Macronutrients. Micronutrients are things like vitamins and minerals found in foods. Macronutrients are simply Proteins, Fats, and Carbohydrates. Whilst it’s very difficult to manage how many Micronutrients we can get from our food, it’s easier to manage our Macronutrients and it can have a profound effect on our energy, wellbeing, weight, sleep, and much more.
Proteins are literally the building blocks for all of our body tissues and are also an essential nutrient for humans. The good news is that most of us naturally consume the right amount of protein without paying much attention, however, there are some misconceptions around which foods are high in protein that I typically have to address with my clients, so I wanted to discuss it here too.
Most people are familiar with protein from meat and dairy and also from plant sources such as beans, however not all of these proteins are created equal. Some proteins are utilised much more efficiently by the body, others less so. Can you guess which ones?
Protein from animal products is significantly better at delivering the essential protein that we need for optimal health. Beans, legumes, nuts and seeds are much harder to digest and assimilate in terms of deriving protein from so they’re an inferior choice particularly for people interested in blood sugar management (think sugar cravings), weight loss, muscle gain and any other health goal.
So how can I manage my protein consumption wisely you ask? Below are a few key things to remember.
- Eat as much protein as you crave, the body is very good at regulating protein consumption when it’s given the right types of protein.
- Eat meat, poultry, seafood and eggs to form the bulk of your protein intake as these are the sources most bioavailable.
- Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds can deliver other nutrients but are low in absorbable protein. Likewise grains and legumes which can actually cause digestive distress and block absorption of nutrients.
Eating the right amount of protein is essential for optimal energy, weight loss, muscle growth and much more. I hope this helps you focus on the best type of protein to help you achieve your health goals.