People like to argue about fats and carbs. However, almost everyone agrees that protein is important.
Eating enough protein is known to prevent deficiency, but there are some who would do better with a much higher protein intake.
Here we discuss 5 science-based reasons why consuming a high protein diet should be your top most dietary priority.
#1. Helps loose fat by suppressing craving for eating more food
A large group of research suggests that high-protein diets are effective for fat loss. (1*). Protein is more satiating than fat and carbohydrate as if give a feeling of wholesomeness. When we feel more satisfied with our meal, we naturally eat less—and lose weight without trying.
In fact, some recent research suggests that the reason low-carb diets are effective for weight loss is not because they are low in carbohydrate, but because they are high in protein.
#2. Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels
Eating foods with protein has less impact on blood glucose levels. Studies show having a protein packed diet slow down the absorption of sugar during a meal. (*2) This means a high-protein diet can help prevent spikes in blood glucose, which is especially important for preventing type 2 diabetes, balancing energy levels and keeping your appetite and mood in check.
#3. Helps in building and improving muscle mass
This is perhaps the most recognizable gain one gets from a high protein diet. Eating enough protein is necessary to build and maintain healthy muscle mass, while also supporting tendon, ligaments, and other body tissue.
Protein is especially important after exercise since physical activity like strength training purposefully damages muscle tissues so they can repair and grow back stronger. For this, you need some extra protein to help repair the damage. While protein alone won’t enhance athletic performance, research shows that eating protein before and after exercise helps increase muscle recovery, promotes muscle synthesis.
#4. Helps improve mood under stress
Certain amino acids from protein foods are needed to balance hormones naturally, control your mood and act as a natural remedy for anxiety. Proteins help neurotransmitters function and synthesize hormones like dopamine and serotonin that calm us and keep our outlook positive.
Many people who are lacking in key amino acids start experiencing weakness, moodiness and increased anxiety or signs of depression for this reason. Because protein helps stabilize glucose in your blood, it also prevents mood changes, irritability, and cravings that can occur due to fluctuating blood sugar levels.
#5. Promotes longevity and slows aging
One of the key roles of protein foods is helping the body to synthesize glutathione, often called the “master antioxidant.” Glutathione is stored within our own cells and helps us to detox and reduce carcinogens that age us. Animal and human studies both show that adequate protein intake is crucial for the maintenance of glutathione and helps the body stay in a state of balanced “homeostasis.” Glutathione deficiency contributes to oxidative stress, which plays a key role in age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, cancer and viral infections.
Research shows that a diet high in balanced amino acids from protein foods can help treat muscle loss due to aging (called sarcopenia). A diet that has adequate levels of protein helps to slow the aging process by keeping muscle mass intact, supporting strong bones, and maintaining high cognitive and immune function. In the elderly, amino acid deficiencies can potentially lead to eye problems like cataracts, heart problems, muscle loss, weakness and mood changes.
As you age, your body is less capable of synthesizing amino acids on its own, which is one reason why the amount of muscle you have tends to decrease over the years while fat accumulates. This makes it even more important for you to eat plenty of protein-rich foods to support not only a healthy body weight, but to keep your memory sharp, energy up, and strength and balance in place.
To sum-up: A simple rule of thumb is to add a high-quality protein diet. You will be surprised how it helps you be in your best shape of life.