Why is eating enough protein important? Well, if you pay close attention to your health and physical fitness, you want to avoid gaining weight unnecessarily. Just like healthy fats, you need a certain amount of protein every day for your body to function optimally.
Fortunately, there are plenty of foods available that contain proteins. These provide calories and amino acids, which are the building blocks for our body cells.
Animal proteins and vegetable proteins
You can choose to get animal proteins from foods such as meat, fish, milk, or eggs. You can also opt for vegetable proteins. These occur, for example, in bread, grain products, nuts, mushrooms, and legumes. An adult person needs on average about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
There are several reasons why eating protein is so important. These reasons can be scientifically substantiated. In this article, we will take a closer look at the importance of eating enough protein for good health.
Eating protein takes away the feeling of hunger
If you consume enough protein, you will find that you will achieve better results when you strive to lose weight. Where you normally opt for products with more fats or carbohydrates, you can partly replace these with protein-rich foods.
This ensures that you feel full faster and that the need to eat more decreases. The hunger hormone called “ghrelin” is reduced thanks to eating protein.
In addition, the levels of “peptide YY” (PYY) are increased, which also ensures a full feeling in the stomach. You automatically have less need to eat a lot, so that you may quickly lose weight, without actually eating less.
Weight loss is supported by eating protein
This will give you a fuller feeling faster and you will have less need to keep eating. Ultimately, you can lose weight faster and achieve more weight loss.
By adding the right amount of protein to your diet, you also regulate the weight balance. It becomes easier to stay at a lower weight, thus reducing the chance of the well-known yo-yo effect.
Increase your metabolism and fat burning
Eating proteins have a positive effect on increasing the so-called “thermal effect”. Calories are used for the digestion process and nutrients are absorbed into the body after they have been consumed.
In other words: the proteins ensure that your metabolism gets going and that more fat burning occurs. Subsequently, more calories are converted, so that you will most likely lose weight faster.
An increased protein intake is therefore beneficial for the metabolism since it can be classified as easily digestible food.
Eating protein lowers blood pressure
It is positive to lower blood pressure because high blood pressure can cause many unpleasant conditions. Clear risk factors are thus avoided because a higher protein intake can lower blood pressure.
In short, if you notice that you have high blood pressure, increase your protein intake. This way your blood pressure can be brought back to an acceptable level more quickly. Always discuss this with a medical specialist first.
You build more muscle mass and muscle strength
If you are exercising intensively and want to build muscle mass with strength training, it is wise to eat enough protein.
Proteins serve as the building blocks of your muscles and you can work better on your strength thanks to an adequate intake of proteins. Because the protein intake remains high, you also lose less muscle during weight loss.
Eating proteins is therefore certainly important if building muscle is a goal of yours and you want to increase your strength faster. In other words, consuming protein-rich foods contributes to building muscle, while reducing your weight. A true win-win situation!
You recover faster after an injury
You add to where a disturbance (or the injury) occurs at that moment and thus contribute to a speedy recovery. Eating protein certainly has a clear benefit, which means that you will most likely be able to start exercising and engaging in other strenuous physical activities sooner.
Eating enough protein is good for the bones
Contrary to what was previously assumed, eating protein is good for maintaining healthy bone mass. Regular consumption of animal or vegetable proteins contributes to strong bones.
Especially as you get older, a protein-rich diet ensures that your bones remain healthy and the risk of osteoporosis or fractures is reduced. Eating a lot of protein is especially important for women with a view to menopause, after which osteoporosis is more likely to start playing.
By staying active and eating enough protein, you lower your risk of complications such as osteoporosis and maintain strong bones.
Proteins do not damage healthy kidneys
If you have existing kidney disease, taking too much protein can have a detrimental effect. However, if your kidneys are healthy, you won't notice any discomfort if you have an increased protein intake.
There are no known harmful effects on people with healthy kidneys. So there is certainly no cause for concern if you want to supplement your diet with more protein. You can safely choose to replace fats and carbohydrates with products with higher protein content.
There are plenty of health benefits to consider that make this an effective choice. However, it is wise to do this in consultation with a medical specialist, such as a dietician.
Eating extra proteins should be done responsibly, without this being at the expense of other important nutrients.
You also stay optimally fit at a later age
Eating more protein can reduce muscle breakdown and also prevent a condition called “sarcopenia.” Muscle mass shrinks due to inactivity. You lose both muscle mass and muscle strength.
This can often be easily prevented, for example by eating protein regularly and taking sufficient exercise. The impact of sarcopenia on your life is enormous and you want to be aware of this at a younger age.
Strength training and an increased intake of proteins are indispensable.
Decreased appetite or need for snacks
If you increase your protein intake, you will experience fewer food cravings. Often this is not even about actually being hungry, but rather about being satiated for an uncontrollable need.
In other words, something beyond a sense of self-discipline. An excellent prevention method, which can satisfy this unsaturated hunger, is eating protein. You will then be less inclined to eat snacks.
This will also reduce the need to eat at night. One of the most important brain hormones that contribute to cravings or even food addiction is dopamine.
Increased protein intake may improve dopamine levels in your body, making you less likely to feel the need to eat. After all, you fill yourself with enough protein, which reduces or takes away the feeling of hunger.
In short, achieving a reduced appetite and eating extra protein go hand in hand!