High protein content has become a very popular component of many products. Everyone knows that higher protein intake is necessary not only for athletes and physically active people who want to build muscle. The use of proteins is important for the normal functioning of the body, preservation of muscle mass, or even with weight loss.
Protein is an important trace element in losing weight
With fats, carbohydrates, and water, it is one of the trace elements necessary for a person to function properly. Proteins are large molecules whose chains are composed of combinations of amino acids. They are the basis of the human body because no cell in our body can exist without proteins. Protein functions can be divided into three main groups:
- ensuring the development and growth of muscles, bones, hair, and skin;
- the production of antibodies, hormones, and other necessary substances;
- source of energy for cells and tissues of the body.
The human body gets protein from food or supplements. The highest protein foods are:
- Fish and seafood;
- eggs and dairy products;
- legumes and nuts;
- some cereals.
Sources of protein can be divided into three main categories depending on the content of essential amino acids:
- High-grade proteins – contain all the essential amino acids and include animal products, such as meat, eggs, and dairy products;
- Defective – contain at least one amino acid, mainly plant proteins, such as peas, legumes, and cereals;
- Complementary is a combination of two or more foods that contain defective proteins.
By combining them, you can get a complete source of protein.
Protein produces and regulates hormone levels
For the production of hormones, proteins are needed, thanks to which organs and cells can bind to each other. The brain also receives signals through hormones, the levels of which vary depending on the diet. Increased protein intake increases the level of satiety hormones – GLP-1 and YY peptide. Also, its use reduces the level of the hormone of hunger. These hormonal changes lead to a significant reduction in hunger, which is an important factor in losing weight.
Regulation of hormones leads to a change in appetite and the need to consume calories. According to several studies, with increased protein intake, the total daily calorie intake is reduced. According to a 2005 survey, an increase in protein intake of 30% led to a decrease in daily calorie intake of 441 kcal.
Proteins can also help solve one of the biggest problems people have following a diet, as they affect appetite and overeating in the evening. Eating at night or late in the evening is a common cause of poor weight loss results.
Supports and restores muscle
During the process of losing weight, the body not only loses fat stores but also muscle mass decreases, which is a common side effect. Another possible side effect is a decrease in metabolic rate. This means that your body burns fewer calories than before losing weight. Studies have confirmed that protein intake has a positive effect on the regulation of metabolic rate.
Increases Calorie Burn
After eating, part of the calories used to digest food, this process is known as the thermogenic effect. Studies of the thermogenic effect are not unambiguous, but it is proved that proteins have a significantly higher thermogenic effect than carbohydrates and fats.