Updated: Aug 16
When come to include more protein into your diet, the easiest way is to take protein supplements. Protein supplements have gained in popularity among teenagers, are they good for you?
"The current recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 0.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight. Consuming twice the RDA for protein — which would be 15 to 25 percent of your daily calories — is a good range for maintaining optimal muscle function"
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate all supplements. This means that what is inside the bottle may not be what is on the label. You can also gain weight from taking too much protein and calories. Even though sugar and carbohydrates are the main contributors to extra calories, protein is just as much of a factor. Having an excess of protein intake can lead to weight gain as fat inside body has nowhere else to go. Protein is a large amino acid molecule, meaning it takes more time for your body to digest it and get it out of your system. Digesting too much of it at a time can be increasingly dangerous.
Since protein supplements are not regulated by the FDA, it can contain unknown toxins. There are some instance of powders containing heavy metals, and this over time can lead to health problems. It is important to know that, if you are taking supplements, how natural the products are in them. Make sure to always track the amount that you intake to prevent having too much.
Intaking too much protein may also hurt your kidneys. When you consume too much protein, your kidney can struggle with processing such a high amount. Too much can lead to dehydration since your kidneys work to flush out the large amount in your system.
So how can you get enough protein naturally? Consider adding these items to your diet.
1. Lean meats
Lean meats such as chicken, turkey, pork, lean cuts of steak, lean ground meat are excellent source of lean protein.
2. Low-fat dairy
If you are not meat lover, you can swap out chicken or turkey for low-fat Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.
Make sure the products aren't load with sweeteners. Yogurt cups with fruit tend to have higher amounts of carbs due to added sugars.
3. Eggs and fish
Eggs are another great substitute for lean meat. They’re healthy sources of both dietary fat and protein, and they’re rich in iodine, a mineral that helps promote normal thyroid function.
Fatty fish such as salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which help lower your bad cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
4. Nuts and seeds Nuts and seeds are considered high thermic foods; flaxseeds and Brazil nuts are the best choices you can make. Nuts and seeds also contain a lot of vitamins and nutrients that support metabolic health. They’re also high in soluble fiber, which slows the absorption of food and keeps you satiated.
5. Beans and legumes
Legumes such as lentils, peanuts, black beans, chickpeas, and green peas are excellent sources of plant-based protein. They also have high fiber contents, which reduces insulin spikes by keeping your blood sugar levels consistent throughout the day.
Next time when you add that one table spoon protein powder to your drink, think twice and see if you have other way to get protein.