Is There Really Just One Best Source of Protein?

Protica Research

Founded in 2001, Protica, Inc. is a nutritional research firm with offices in Lafayette Hill and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Protica manufactures capsulized foods, including Profect, a compact, hypoallergenic, ready-to-drink protein beverage containing zero carbohydrates and zero fat. Information on Protica is available at www.protica.com

In the world of protein, there are several different options, including whole food sources such as animal foods and plant-based proteins like soy. There are also protein supplements that can include a number of different sources. The experts all tell us to get a variety of fruits and vegetables. They tell us that we should get our fats from healthy and varied sources. They also tell us that we should get a variety of protein foods. So how do you tie it all together?

Nuts and pumkings.



The Best Source of Protein, Or Why Variety is the Spice of Life

The body uses protein for a number of different purposes, and the nutrient plays a role in every single cell and function in the body. That being said, it is important to note that if we do not get enough protein, or enough of the right kind of protein, the body will simply lead us to eat other kind of foods until the right levels are reached. By the time we have reached the proper level, we will probably have consumed far more calories than necessary.

We get a number of benefits from protein, including increased satiety. When we eat protein, it's broken down in the body into amino acids, which are in turn used to make new amino acids, hormones, and enzymes that the body uses to regulate sleep, ovulation, and even digestion.

Every kind of protein we eat is higher in some types of amino acids than others, and if you're eating only one kind of protein it's possible that you'll see some kind of deficiency. New vegetarians are especially prone to this problem, making it even more important for them to get a variety of protein sources. Grains, nuts, and seeds are low in the amino acids isoleucine and lysine, while legumes are low in tryptophan and methionine.

Protein foods are considered to be complete proteins or incomplete proteins depending on the number of amino acids they contain. There are 20 amino acids in all, nine of which are considered to be essential because the body cannot make them on its own. The others can be created in the body. All animal foods, including eggs, dairy, and meats, are complete proteins. Soy is the only complete plant-based protein. It's beneficial for a number of other reasons as well.

The Best Source of Protein for Losing Weight

While all proteins have some nutritional value, there are some protein sources that are better for those who are trying to lose weight. For instance, though turkey is one of the best sources of protein, it can be made better by some educated choices. Lean skinless, roasted turkey breast is better than any part with the skin and better than dark meat turkey. Be sure to read ground turkey's label very carefully to ensure that you are choosing a brand that uses only skinless white meat turkey.

Salmon is another good protein source for weight loss because it is high in protein and low in calories, as well as a good source of marine-based Omega 3 fatty acids. There is some controversy about whether or not low fat milk is the weight loss miracle that it was originally marketed to be, but even if it isn't it can be a very good part of your overall diet. It's one of the best sources of protein available.

Protein is beneficial for weight loss for a number of reasons. A diet that gets about 15-30% of its calories from protein may be beneficial for starting weight loss. Weight maintenance can be accomplished with 15% protein, 35% fat, and 50% carbohydrates. The higher protein content makes these diets more satisfying.

The Best Source of Protein for Those Who Are Active

Protein is vital for anyone interested in staying active and healthy, but it's a myth that you automatically need a huge increase in protein intake when you increase your activity level. In fact, you may only need a very slight increase in protein over what you are getting right now.

The average person only needs 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. To calculate how much protein you need, divide your current weight (in pounds) by 2.2, which will give you your weight in kilograms. Multiply that number by 0.8, which gives you the daily amount of protein you need. If you are not at all active, however, you'll only need about half that amount. Your need increases to around 1 gram per kilogram of body weight when you are very active, meaning that you do moderate to intense activity 30-60 minutes a day, at least four days a week.

Body builders, contrary to popular belief, do not get big solely because of protein intake. It takes hours in the gym, overall good nutrition, and genetics.

The Best Source of Protein When There's Too Much of a Good Thing

Protein, even when it's from a healthy protein source, can be dangerous in excessive amounts. Too much protein can lead to kidney stones and may cause other diseases to worsen as well. The American Heart Association recommends that one's protein intake be kept at only 35% of total calories. They also suggest that animal protein be kept to a minimum as well.

The Best Source of Protein: Protein Supplements

In addition to whole food sources of protein, there are protein supplements including bars, shakes, and others. Profect, a protein supplement from Protica, is small and compact and can be taken anywhere at all. It's also high in protein but low in calories. Profect is available in a number of fruit-based flavors and can be mixed with other foods or beverages if needed.

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  • Chris says
    I've been vegan since 1995 & never had any issues with a lack of protein, just eat a varied diet, your body really doesn't require that much... my muscles have heaps of strenth & stamina for surfing & skateboarding & I usually only have soymilk on my cereal for breakfast :)
  • Nos4R2D2 says
    Great article. I tried some vegetarian sausages recently out of curiosity, they were high in protein and low in flavour.
  • Millie says
    fab article - it has reconfirmed my new years resolution to eat more protein
  • Darren says
    very interesting article and I thought milk was the best source of protein
  • Ebbz says
    I can't recommend lentils enough :D
  • Black Adam says
    very informative taught me a few things i didn't know.my job has me reasonably active during the day and i decided to cut sugar out of my diet and fizzy drinks increased my protein intake.eating alot of tuna nuts protein bars fruit veg and trim meats.and began taking protein shakes and a pill from hardys called thermodrine x.i didn't notice alot but people told me i was losing weight all the time.i'm off that diet but i'm going to start it up again now but try increase my exercise as well.
  • robmondo says
    yup protein stands for healthylife
  • Prettyboy says
    Used to get heaps of protein for dairy products but far too expensive these days.

    Plus the skin on KFC chicken tastes fantastic!
  • gotta love the Nuts specially Walnuts, good for ur brain.... hence the shape of them hehehe ;)
  • Fenrir says
    Just two FYi's which i stick by; Although Milk is great for protein, Soy Milk is higher in protein and lower in fat and if you love your peanut butter (High in protein and saturated fats), go and purchase some Organic Tahini (ground sesame seeds)

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