Protein is a staple nutrient that we consumed on daily basis for better health and body maintenance. The daily intake of protein for a woman is 46 grams while for a man it is 56 grams which is a must and you cannot neglect it as protein is crucial for the human body and its daily consumption is required as tissues and muscles need it for their repairing and maintenance
More overly, a high protein diet is a more structured and organized way to consume enough protein so that our body can work properly and it also provides other benefits like weight loss, muscle development, body growth, resolve hunger issues, etc.
What is Protein and why it is Crucial for the Human Body?
Protein is one of the necessary macronutrients which is very important for the growth and development of the human body. It is made up of smaller units known as amino acids which are 20 in number, characterized as essential and non-essential depending upon their functions and origin. The essential amino acids should be consumed through diet as a human body cannot make them whereas the non-essential amino acids can be made by the human body.
At least 20 distinct amino acids are required by the human body. Eleven of the amino acids that our bodies produce are known as “nonessential” amino acids. However, we must receive the other nine from food (essential amino acids).
The majority of proteins are complete, providing all of the essential amino acids needed by the organism. The highest-quality protein sources are obtained from animal products.
Protein is considered a crucial nutrient due to its role in the human body:
- Enzymes are majorly made up of protein and they are a part of hundreds of chemical reactions in the body.
- Protein is the core component of bones, skin, hair, and muscles and it keeps them maintained by repairing and replacing them with new protein molecules every day.
- Protein molecules also work as a transporter for various nutrients.
- The human body cells also need protein for their proper functioning and maintenance.
- Hormones are also proteins that are the main source of chemical communication and endocrine metabolism in the body.
What is a High Protein Diet?
The high protein diet is the one where you increase the protein and reduced the carbs intake which helps in weight loss as suggested by many health researchers.
In a normal routine, we consume a very moderate portion of protein like 10 % of our daily intake and on some days, we completely forget to eat it which is not good as it is very important for the human body. So, when you follow a high protein diet, you consume at least 20 % to 35 % protein with every meal each day.
This diet enhances weight loss as it works as an appetite suppressant which enables you to consume fewer calories and makes your hunger more satisfied. More overly, protein foods contain a very minor amount of carbs which cause less fat storage. A very interesting thing about protein is that it gives you a feeling of fullness which keeps the stomach full for a longer time as it digests slowly.
The Scientific Point of View about the High Protein Diet
The scientific studies prove that a high protein diet is very beneficial for weight loss but in shorter time durations and not for a longer time.
A healthy diet needs adequate protein. It assists muscles, organs, and bones to develop and mend. Studies demonstrate that a high-protein diet can lead to weight loss, a reduction in fat, an increase in satiety, and retention of muscle.
But diets with a lot of protein have also been linked to a number of hazards that you should be aware of and be able to recognize. Nutritional experts do not recommend that you consume more than the quantity prescribed for you each day. Consider your current daily protein intake when estimating your daily protein requirements (e.g., food and drink sources). Additionally, be sure to take supplements, such protein powder, into consideration.
But one thing is approved by researchers that a high protein diet promotes weight loss only for a specific time. You should also consult your doctor or dietitian before starting the diet as they can give you a more detailed concept and can also provide a balanced protein diet plan for you.
Is a High Protein Diet a Good Health Choice?
Many experts have this concept that a diet plan which is higher in protein content with reduced carb intake is a good health choice as it causes weight loss and proper functioning of the body. Several studies also recommend that having a protein portion of 10 % to 35 % in the daily calorie intake is a sign of nutritional balance but you have to keep it in balance with their macronutrients.
More overly, which you follow a high protein diet you often avoid foods that are processed, ready-made and artificial, choose foods that are more natural and organic which is the best combo to keep the body in a good state.
but for me so far I did not find any low carb diet healthier than the keto diet if you don’t know it yet you can read my comprehensive guide about What is a Keto Diet? A Simplified Approach to Understand Ketogenic Diet
Foods to Include in a High Protein Diet:
Here is the list of best high protein foods which are perfect for the diet plan:
- Chicken breast or with-bone.
- Beef and red meat
- Turkey breast
- Beans and legumes such as chickpeas, black beans, etc.
- Nuts and seeds
- Fish and other seafood
- Protein shakes
- Sour cream or whole-milk cream
- Raw milk
- High-protein vegetables such as broccoli, green peas, spinach, etc.
- High-protein fruits such as avocado, blackberries, cherries, jackfruit, etc.
Foods to Exclude on a High Protein Diet:
Here is a list of foods that you should exclude from the diet plan:
- Refined foods such as cereals, cakes, candies, etc.
- Highly processed foods
- Fast-food and ready-made foods
- The foods that are labeled as diet contain more artificial sweeteners.
- Sugary drinks
Sample of 1-day Meal Plan for a High Protein Diet:
The meal plan for a high protein diet is mainly focused on a large protein portion which is accompanied by a smaller serving of vegetables, whole grains, or fruit. The snacks are also mainly protein-containing to keep the metabolism according to the diet plan.
Here is a 1-day sample for a high protein meal plan:
3 eggs (boiled or scrambled) with 1 bran bread slice and I tbsp. of almond butter with a pear or avocado.
1 slice of hard cheese
Avocado salad with cottage cheese and 1 whole orange
Handful of nuts
114 grams of grilled chicken with stir-fried Brussels sprouts and quinoa
As you are following a diet plan, being cautious about the drinks is also important. Here are some of the beverages that you can drink for a high protein diet:
- Herbal tea
- High protein organic shake
- High protein and low-sugar smoothies.
Benefits of a High Protein Diet:
Protein is the macronutrient that is very fulfilling as it takes more time to absorb than carbs which makes it an excellent appetite suppressant. Protein stimulates the production of hormones like PYY AND GLP-1 which keeps the hunger satisfied for a longer time and it causes the reduction in calorie intake which is good to maintain good body weight.
As we already know that protein consumption suppresses appetite, speeds up the metabolism, and promotes stomach fullness, this all surely means that it is going to be great for weight loss. Many studies suggest that usually when you reduce the number of calories of your diet, your metabolism gets slower but in the case of a high protein diet, it is the opposite of that which is very good for weight loss.
Protein is the main component to promote muscle mass and benefits in its growth and development. Many studies suggest that high protein diets are very good for muscles and cell repairing.
Strengthen the bones:
A high protein diet enhances bone health by maintaining its structure and strength as proved by many studies. This provides the essential nutrients which are necessary for bone development.
Boost up metabolism:
Several scientific studies have suggested that consuming a diet plan which is high in protein intake is good for the metabolism rate as it increases its working and also burns the stubborn fat more rapidly which both are great factors for good health status.
Problems with the High Protein Diet:
There are majorly two main problems with the high protein diet which are:
Hard on the liver:
A high protein diet can get very hard on the liver organ. If you have a toxic, weak, or damaged liver, you will not be able to handle all that heavy protein and when the waste builds up, as result you cannot detoxify that which can harm the body’s health. Also, the fat you are consuming is going to get through the liver and if it is damaged, you are going to end up with a fatty liver.
Provide inadequate nutrients:
A high protein diet does not provide all nutrients, it does not provide vitamins and minerals which can generate deficiencies in the body specifically deficiencies of potassium and calcium. This diet plan disturbs the body balance which is not good, however, you can cover this problem by consuming enough nutrient-rich vegetables.
Some Basic Guidelines for Following a High-Protein Diet:
Following are some basic guidelines that should follow for a high protein intake:
Consume a balanced meal including protein, veggies, fruits, and other nutritional foods so that you get to benefit from everyone.
Choose natural and organic sources of protein rather than processed ones.
Add both plant and animal proteins:
Include both the animal and plant protein sources as it provides more nutritional value than just doing one protein source at a time.
Body’s protein requirement:
Knowing your body protein requirement is very important, you can calculate it by multiplying your weight by 0.8 grams.
Consume a minimum of 25-30 grams of protein per meal:
Studies have shown that consuming 25-30 grams of protein promotes weight loss and muscle growth.
Keep a protein journal:
Keeping a protein journal will help you to know how many proteins you are consuming per meal and also what is your macronutrient goal so that you can manage both.
The Bottom Line:
A high protein diet is an effective way to organize your daily calorie intake and it also reduces the consumption of unhealthy foods which enhances good health. This diet plan is very customizable and flexible, you can design it according to the body requirements and your food preferences. Vegetarians can also use this diet by combining various plant sources to deliver the same protein content as animal sources, so it is a diet plan suitable for everyone.
The high protein diet will surely provide you with great health benefits and a managed diet pattern.