High Protein Diet Benefits

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The 9 Benefits of a High Protein Diet

High-protein diets are founded on the idea that eating more protein-packed foods leads to successful weight loss. These diets are often low in carbohydrates and/or low in fat, therefore the dieter is consuming far fewer calories than on a typical diet. There are many other benefits to a diet high in protein, and it has become a popular solution for weight loss.

Improved Muscle Mass

Consuming enough protein is necessary to build and maintain healthy muscle mass, ligaments, tendons and other tissues in the body. Glutamine is an important amino acid that helps to maintain muscle, support gastrointestinal health, boost the immune system and sustain healthy growth hormone levels. A diet consisting of low amounts of protein leads to muscle atrophy as the body will metabolize the protein in muscle tissue to support the body’s energy levels.

Whey protein powder is also used across the world to help boost protein intake and shorten recovery times.

Athletes such as rugby players also consume a diet high in protein as it enables them to maintain muscle mass through rugby training, weight training and cardiovascular training.

Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels

As opposed to a high-carb diet, a high-protein diet does not result in fluctuations in blood sugar levels. In fact, eating protein rich foods can decrease the absorption rate of glucose into the blood stream, which is especially important in maintaining energy levels, preventing type 2 diabetes and keeping your mood and appetite under control (1).http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/4/734.full

Help Improve Your Mood

Certain amino acids such as glutamine play an important role in maintaining the levels of hormones dopamine and serotonin which are responsible for controlling our moods. Amino acids are also important in the synthesis of these hormones and other neurotransmitters that calm us and keep us positively beaming throughout the day.

Weight Loss

High-protein diets have been found to stimulate weight loss for many reasons. Eating more protein tends to curb a person's appetite by keeping them sated for longer. This limits overeating which can lead to weight gain.

High-protein diets have also been found to increase the body’s metabolism due to their characteristic low carbohydrate amounts. In the absence of enough carbohydrates, the body resorts to metabolizing fat so as to maintain energy levels; a process known as ketosis. Continuous ketosis eventually results in weight loss.

Promote Healthy Brain Function and Learning

In order for the brain to maintain concentration and keep energy levels high, it requires a constant supply of amino acids. Hormones, enzymes and neurotransmitters that are critical for cognitive function are all made up of amino acids.

Studies show that when the brain is deprived of amino acids, learning and coordination declines, but once the essential amino acids are provided, learning and motor skills improve (2).

Help Maintain Strong Bones

Many studies have indicated that a positive co-relation exists between eating more protein-rich foods and better bone health. Recent studies in the elderly in the U.S. show that elderly people who consumed low protein diets consisting of 16–50 grams of protein per day experienced the greatest amount of bone loss (3).http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11127216

When individuals consume low protein diets, insulin-like growth factor production is reduced and this has a negative effect on calcium and phosphate metabolism in the bones and bone formation. A protein rich diet can heal bone fractures, prevent bone weakness and even bone loss (osteoporosis) by increasing calcium/phosphate absorption and helping with bone metabolism.

Promotes Longevity

One of the important roles of amino acids is to help the body synthesize glutathione, a very important antioxidant and help us detox and reduce carcinogens that increase the rate of aging. Research shows that a high-protein diet can help in the treatment of sarcopenia, a disease associated with the loss of muscle tissue as a natural part of the aging process (4).http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/5/1562S.full

Promote Heart Health

Recent studies indicate that substituting a high-carbohydrate diet with a high-protein diet results in lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels (5). It has also been discovered that an inverse relationship exists between protein intake and risk of heart disease. Individuals who consume large amounts of protein tend to have a lower risk of having heart disease or high blood pressure as compared to those who take low protein diets.

Manage Your Weight By keeping you sated

Foods rich in protein are known to prolong satiety to a greater extent than carbohydrates or fats, so they can prevent overeating by controlling one’s appetite. Protein metabolism also initiates a process in the body known as thermogenesis which requires the body to expend more energy (calories) in order to digest food (6).http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/5/1558S.long

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