Weight loss: Importance of Protein in Weight Loss
Protein is one of the three macronutrients that are the basis of a healthy diet. All (protein, fat and carbohydrate) play an important role in health but protein is thought to be of great importance during weight loss as research has shown it is the most satiating macronutrient. Eating a protein-rich meal or snack can help you feel fuller longer, reducing the need to snack before the next eating occasion or even causing one to eat less at the next meal. This can translate into reduced daily energy intake, which can add up over time.
A recommended weight loss diet is an energy-restricted diet that has 25-35% of the total energy coming from protein sources. Some sources of lean high quality proteins include soy, chicken, and pork.
Who needs protein the most?
It is important for everyone, both children and adults, to get the recommended amount of protein in their daily diet. Children need more protein to fuel their growth and development, especially during times of rapid growth. Protein is also important for adults, both men and women. Active individuals who exercise regularly and/or vigourously may also need more protein. Building and repairing healthy muscle requires adequate amounts of high quality protein, which supplies the building blocks for muscle, amino acids. It may be surprising to learn that as we age, we need more, not less, protein. Our bodies may use protein from the diet less efficiently as we age and need more protein to maintain healthy muscle tissue.
Protein, from soy, fish and other animal sources, is important for health of lean muscle tissue. Maintaining healthy muscle can help maintain a healthy lifestyle.
*Inputs: Ratna Mukherjee – Ph.D., Nutrition Science Team Lead | DuPont Nutrition & Health
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images