What is a Protein?

Protein is a macronutrient, one of the big three along with carbohydrates and fat, which we talked about in our recent blog posts. If you haven’t read those yet, click here

Protein is made up of amino acids. When we eat protein our body digests these amino acids which are the building blocks for other proteins that our body needs to function. 

Protein is essential for cellular health as well as muscle function. Our body does not store protein, nor does it use protein for fuel (unless forced to, not ideal), that is why it is so important to get enough. 

Having adequate amounts of protein in your body helps with: fat burning, muscle recovery, injury health, balanced blood sugar, brain function, cholesterol, and energy.

Each gram of protein contains 7 calories. We are looking for 30% of our daily caloric intake to consist of protein. This number can very depending on a number of factors such as age, sex, activity level and your goals.  

The most common foods that contain high amounts of protein are lean meats such as beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and turkey.  

Being deficient in such an important macronutrient such as protein can be detrimental to your body and your goals. Protein deficiency can lead to loss of muscle mass, lower bone mineral density, stunted growth in children, and even greater risk of infections. 

Next time you sit down for a meal, look at your plate and ask yourself if you have enough protein, or if you even have any at all. ¼ of your plate should consist of lean protein. This may take some time to get used to, keep making the effort to improve your nutritional habits and reap the benefits!