9 Facts That Will Change How You Think About Protein

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<em>Edit Article</em> 9 Facts That Will Change How You Think About Protein
Protein is all the rage right now—there are hundreds of versions of a clean, lean, low-carb diet—it seems to be the one thing that every nutritional expert can support. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, most Americans are getting enough protein, but they are choosing the wrong kinds. The USDA recommends eating a varied selection of lean protein throughout the day for optimal health, whether its chicken and fish, or beans, grains, and legumes.

Surprised? Here are nine facts that will change your approach to protein forever:

1. Protein is the most abundant nutrient in our body besides water. The average adult woman should have about 46 grams of protein a day, and the average adult man should have about 56 grams of protein a day. This varies from person to person so work with a nutritionist to determine how much works with your lifestyle.

2. Protein has a thermic effect on the body because it takes longer to digest. This means up to 30% of the calories consumed from lean protein are burned while you process them.

3. Protein helps balances your blood sugar levels by preventing insulin spikes (the very same ones behind your afternoon candy craving!), which can prevent unhealthy food choices.

4. Protein intake after resistance training reduces muscle damage and increase lean muscle mass.

5. Plant-based diets provide enough protein, as long as you consume a mix of beans, legumes, and grains to receive a complete amino acid profile. However, you do not have to consume all of these sources in one meal, your body will combine them as you eat throughout the day. Fun fact: garbanzo beans and tahini form a complete protein, making hummus a go-to for a complete amino acid profile.

6. Dried apricots and avocados are the top fruits when it comes to having the highest levels of protein per serving.

7. For vegetables, peas, spinach, broccoli, and brussels sprouts are the best options for protein.

8. You can eat too much protein. For most, it shouldn’t be more than 35 percent of your total calories per day.

9. While any time you consume protein will benefit your body, protein should be evenly distributed throughout the day, not just lumped into a burger for dinner. That means cereal for breakfast isn’t cutting it. Try to get at least 10 grams of protein with eggs, nuts, seeds, or protein powder to kick start the day.    By:  Aloha

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