Written by Tim McComsey, RD, CPT
Don’t let a lack of protein bring your health down. Consume protein to receive these health benefits.
As a dietician, I hear all about the crazy diets my clients and their friends have tried, as well as a lot of questions about what they should be eating. Some come in looking for a healthy diet and tell me they’ve only been eating fruits and vegetables in an effort to lose weight. Macronutrients are a vital part of a healthy body, but they will not alone sustain your body. Every body is different in its needs, but a big component to all balanced diets is protein.
Ever wonder why you should eat more protein and how much you need? Let me lay it out for you. First, I recommend about 1 to 1.5 gram of protein per pound of body weight for active individuals that include weight training in their fitness regimen. For those of you that are less active, stay closer to .8 to 1 gram per pound of body weight. Here are three benefits of making lean protein a staple in your healthy diet:
Maintains Muscle Mass & Prevents the Breakdown of other Body Tissues
Protein is made up of several different amino acids. Those amino acids are the building blocks of life and their sole responsibility is to prevent breakdown by rebuilding tissue. People who make protein a staple in their diet have the amino acids necessary to build and maintain lean muscle mass. You can maintain muscle mass with general movement, but it’s most successful when combining the higher levels of protein with resistance training.
Increases Metabolism for Energy
Small meals throughout the day that are high in lean protein can boost metabolism by firing up your body’s system every two to four hours. Your body has to work harder to digest protein strands, thereby boosting your metabolism. And because protein can stabilize insulin levels, your energy level will be much more steady.
Controls Calorie Intake by Increasing Satiety to Promote a Healthy Weight
Protein burns more calories because it takes more energy to digest. It also keeps you fuller longer and can help people who are prone to overeating feel full faster. Eating more protein can control how many calories you are taking in as a whole.
The best way to get your recommended amount of protein in a plant-based lifestyle is with Sunwarrior protein. I personally have about 12 scoops of Sunwarrior every day between meal replacements and recovery shakes. The benefits of utilizing Sunwarrior include all the essential amino acids your body needs, a portable and easily stored option for high protein meals and snacks, and, best of all, a great tasting product easily digested and absorbed into the body.