Why do women need more protein?
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Why do women need more protein? And ways to get more protein daily.
Most adults’ diets consist of mostly carbohydrates and fats, which are vital macronutrients but protein is often neglected. Most dietitians and nutritionists recommend a diet that is balanced in Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats. These are all macronutrients that give our bodies energy. Each macronutrient is essential and has its purpose of fueling our body. That is why we need all to function well.
Miseducation on how to fuel your body
I find with many of my clients there is a lot of miseducation on what Carbohydrates, Fats, and Proteins look like in daily living. Each person varies based on age, activity, body composition, ion, so there is no cookie-cutter fix. There is no magic formula to weight loss despite what people may promise. You also have to take into account food preferences and allergies. But for the most part, protein is lacking in most people’s diets, whether they are plant-based or animal-based protein consumers. Most people are just getting enough to get by, but adding more protein to your meals can have many benefits.
Why do we need protein?
Protein exists in every cell in your body. It is composed of amino acids, and protein is responsible for supporting the growth of new cells in the body. It’s essential in the growth and development of children and teenagers. [THE U.S. National Library of Medicine,2021] Whether you get your protein from plants or animals, the human body needs to sustain and develop.
How does protein fuel our body?
Whether it’s plant-based or animal, protein fuels your body with over 100,000 types of proteins found in 20 amino acids. (“What are Amino Acids? | Enhancing Life with Amino Acids | About us | Ajinomoto Group Global Website – Eat Well, Live Well.”, 2021) Protein is critical to function to:
- repair our cells,
- Optimizes hormonal response,
- Strengthens your hair, nail, and skin are all affected by your protein intake.
- Protein helps to regulate your pH level and fluid levels in your body.
- Protein is used to transfer vitamins and minerals throughout the body and is also a source of energy.
- Protein is critical for the body to function well, and most people’s diets consist of less than 20% of their diet.
How much protein should I eat per day?
Depending on your health, it depends on your protein intake. In general, you need the same amount of protein that you break down to repair. If you’re injured or sick, you need more protein than if you’re not to repair. Pregnant women and those trying to strength train generally need slightly more protein than they break down.
According to the Dietary Reference, Intake report protein consumption for a sedentary adult should be 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (0.8 x your bodyweight). The average passive man should eat about 56 grams of protein per day, and the average woman should eat about 46 grams. But this is all dependent on your body weight. (2021)
How can protein help you with your weight loss goals?
Suppose you’re looking to lose fat and gain muscle. About 10-35% of your total calorie intake should consist of protein. Despite what trends may say, to lose fat, you must have a calorie deficit. A calorie is a calorie, but the quality of your foods affects your ability to function well. So, the type of food you choose to nourish yourself with, along with movement, reduced stress, and optimal rest, will result in changing your body composition. Check out my post on “Stress is stalling your weight loss.”
Why should women eat more protein?
Most women are eating enough protein to get by, usually, 15%, which is on the borderline of deficiency. Many women should increase their protein intake up to 35% of the calories of their total diet can have some great benefits when it comes to changing your body composition and your metabolic health.(Noakes, M., Keogh, J. B., Foster, P. R., & Clifton, P. M., June 2005)
Eating more protein can help:
Satiate and reduce appetite and cravings
Your weight regulating hormones response to protein causes you to become more full with less food. (Blom et al., 2006)
A way to get more protein on your plate is to reduce your carbohydrate serving slightly and increase your protein serving slightly. Also, consuming protein at night can help reduce your cravings late at night. Try my Edible Protein Cookie Dough recipe found in the Sweets! No Sugar Dessert Cookbook for a high protein sweet treat at night time. It was also found that maintaining a diet high in protein has helped them maintain their weight for those who had lost weight.
Aids in muscle growth
Protein is what helps renew our muscles. If you’re practicing a strength training workout like on the FaithFueled Life app, then you should be getting adequate protein to support and build muscles.
Protein gives you a metabolic boost as you digest
Protein has a high TEF (thermic effect of food), meaning that while you are digesting protein, it requires about 15-20% more calories to burn to digest. There has been a study that in a group of people who are higher amounts of protein there was 260 more calories burned than those who are lower amounts of protein (Bray et al., 2015)
Protein promotes healthy aging
Staying active and consuming protein can help you age well and reduce the deterioration of muscle that comes with aging. Getting higher amounts of protein along with moving your body can help you age well.
What are good sources of protein?
- Beans and lentils
- Skinless, white-meat chicken or turkey
- Lean cuts of beef or pork
- Egg whites
- High-Quality Protein Powder (whey or plant-based)
What are some easy ways I can add protein?
Try my new favorite Fall Super Pumpkin Shake
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Do you think you’re getting enough protein in your daily intake?
U.S. Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Protein in Diet: MedlinePlus medical encyclopedia. MedlinePlus. Retrieved September 19, 2021, from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002467.htm#:~:text=Every%20cell%20in%20the%20human,%2C%20teens%2C%20and%20pregnant%20women.
What are Amino Acids? | Enhancing Life with Amino Acids | About us | Ajinomoto Group Global Website – Eat Well, Live Well. (2021). Retrieved September 22 2021, from https://www.ajinomoto.com/aboutus/amino-acids/what-are-amino-acids
(2021). Retrieved September 22 2021, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/HealthInformation/Dietary_Reference_Intakes.aspx
Noakes, M., Keogh, J. B., Foster, P. R., & Clifton, P. M. (2005, June). Effect of an energy-restricted, high-protein, low-fat diet relative to a conventional high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet on weight loss, body composition, nutritional status, and markers of cardiovascular health in obese women. The American journal of clinical nutrition. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15941879.
Blom, W. A. M., Lluch, A., Stafleu, A., Vinoy, S., Holst, J. J., Schaafsma, G., & Hendriks, H. F. J. (2006, February). Effect of a high-protein breakfast on the postprandial ghrelin response. The American journal of clinical nutrition. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16469977.
Bray, G. A., Redman, L. M., de Jonge, L., Covington, J., Rood, J., Brock, C., Mancuso, S., Martin, C. K., & Smith, S. R. (2015, March). Effect of protein overfeeding on energy expenditure measured in a metabolic chamber. The American journal of clinical nutrition. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25733634.