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Top 4 Reasons to Include Protein for Weight Management

Top 4 reasons to include protein for weight management

Protein is becoming an important item for health, performance, and optimal nutrition. No longer considered only for athletes and fitness buffs, ingesting more protein is important for weight management and performance across a wide range of individuals. Top reasons to eat more protein for healthy weight management:

Promotes satiety

The product with the most protein is more filling. Is it easier to eat 1 cup of non-fat Greek yogurt (130 calories, 23 g protein) or a typical small granola bar (130 calories, 3 g protein)? Although the same amount of calories is consumed, ingesting the high protein snack will prevent hunger more so than the high carbohydrate, low protein snack. Satiety or the feeling of fullness is important to prevent excessive hunger.

Greatest thermogenic Effect

The body requires the most energy to digest and absorb protein compared to both carbohydrates and fats. In fact, it takes 3x the amount of energy to digest and absorb protein. This means for every 100 calories of protein consumed, your body will burn about 20-25 calories in the process of digesting and absorbing it. Carbohydrates and fats require about 6-8% & 3%, respectively.

Encourages steady blood sugar levels

A typical scenario of eating too many carbs without the presence of protein is an excessive blood glucose level. The result of this is an increased release of insulin from the pancreas to clear the high glucose in the blood, which could leave the person with feelings of fatigued, mental fogginess and intense signals to eat. Ingesting protein signals the body to release glucagon. This hormone signals the body to lower blood glucose opposed to spiking it to high levels which occurs with excessive carbohydrate consumption (and the absence of protein). The result is a much more manageable hunger- encouraging the person to eat when hungry, not due to hormone fluctuations.

Support lean muscle mass

Including more protein in the diet is important for maintaining lean muscle tissue and performance. Muscle tissue is important for a healthy metabolism. The more muscle one has, the higher the metabolic requirements. High quality protein sources such as those found in dairy products contain all of the essential amino acids and are especially high in three key amino acids called branched chained amino acids (BCAAs). These amino acids directly act to promote protein synthesis in active individuals and support lean muscle mass to encourage a healthy metabolism.

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