So today we thought we would focus on Protein – one of the favourite components on our plates! The Paleo diet itself is high in rich proteins as a majority of our ancestors’ calories came from the meat that they were able to hunt. Although it has always been a staple in our diets and recommended in dietary guidelines, people have only just begun recognising how important it really is! So we thought that we would give you our top five reasons for loving protein:
1. You feel fuller for longer: Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates or fats, therefore you feel more satisfied and less likely to refill your plate with seconds!
2. It stops sugar highs: Pairing protein with carbs helps to slow down the absorption of sugar from your stomach into your bloodstream. Therefore, no sugar highs or lows, and no more cravings!
3. Protein promotes muscle & tissue repair and growth: Protein is made up of ‘building blocks’ called amino acids that help to build and repair tissues such as skeletal muscle, bone, hair, finger and toe nails, cartilage and skin.
4. Protein provides a rich source of vitamins and minerals: For example, meat is a good source of vitamin B12, iron and zinc. Fish also contains omega 3s (fatty acids which play an essential role in the function of our nervous system including brain function).
5. Protein requires more energy to digest: Ever heard of the thermic effect of food (TEF)? It refers to the energy we use to digest our foods. Protein has a higher TEF than carbs or fat, so you need more energy to process protein. We have to burn more calories to provide this extra energy – bonus!
So in which foods can you find proteins? Proteins are found in a variety of foods: meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds, and soya. Meat, fish and poultry contain very high levels of protein and are usually considered the most popular sources.
So what are you waiting for? Add some more protein to your next meal and know that your body will love you for it!