Tag Archives: protein

What Type of Protein is Best for You?

Protein is an essential part of any healthy diet, especially if you get a lot of exercise. High-protein diets can help keep you feeling full for longer and also help with restoring your muscles and tissues. However, there are many different types of protein and so it can be confusing for even the most dedicated of health addicts. Even more confusing, different types of protein are good for you in different ways.

protein

In no particular order, here is our list of the top five types of protein, and why each one has different benefits and advantages.

  1. Seafood and Lean Meats

Animal protein is easy to access and full of other benefits such as heme iron and various nutrients and amino acids. However, it can also be high in fat and cholesterol. For that reason, our choice of animal proteins are seafood and lean meats: fish has benefits such as heart healthy omega-3 oils, whereas lean chicken can provide the cheapest amount of protein per gram for animal protein.

  1. Dairy products

If you are not keen on consuming animal protein, then there are plenty of other fresh alternatives. Dairy in its multiple forms like milk, yogurt and cheese is full of protein, and is tasty as well. Dairy foods tend to have a high amount of nutrients such as calcium, but they can also be high in fat. For that reason, try go for low fat alternatives such as skim milk. If you are keen about being green, go for dairy products that are derived from grass-fed animals and that are rBGH-free.

  1. Soy protein

Soy protein can be consumed from actual soy or in powdered form, but either way it is a great form of protein with multiple benefits. Soy’s key selling point is that it is naturally cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat. Soy also helps to lower LDL cholesterol, the ‘bad’ cholesterol thought to be responsible for conditions such as heart disease.

  1. Whey protein supplement

Whey protein is a very common protein supplement that is often used by athletes. It is popular because of its low price tag and high level of nutrients. One of the many great things about whey is that, even more so than other proteins, it is very filling and even helps to lower your levels of ghrelin, the hormone that controls your hunger levels. This makes it excellent for those trying to lose fat and build muscle simultaneously.

  1. Casein protein supplement

Casein is another popular protein supplement, which is mainly valued because it can take anywhere from 5-8 hours to fully break down in the body. This makes it a great source of protein to consume before bed. The slow and steady release of protein into the body makes this source of protein one of the best in terms of timing and availability. If you’re looking for casein in its natural form, drink a glass of milk before bed.

If you’re looking for a diet plan that factors in supplements, then check out Tosi Health products. Their supplements aim to ensure you get the full spectrum of nutrients you may be missing out on in your diet.

Vegetarian diet: How to get the best nutrition.

A well-planned vegetarian diet is a healthy way to meet your nutritional needs. Find out what you need to know about a plant-based diet.

By Mayo Clinic staff

A well-planned vegetarian diet can meet the needs of people of all ages, including children, teenagers, and pregnant or breast-feeding women. The key is to be aware of your nutritional needs so that you plan a diet that meets them.

Types of vegetarian diets

When people think about a vegetarian diet, they typically think about a diet that doesn’t include meat, poultry or fish. But vegetarian diets vary in what foods they include and exclude:

  • Lacto-vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, poultry and eggs, as well as foods that contain them. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt and butter, are included.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish and poultry, but allow dairy products and eggs.
  • Ovo-vegetarian diets exclude meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products, but allow eggs.
  • Vegan diets exclude meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products — and foods that contain these products.

Some people follow a semivegetarian diet — also called a flexitarian diet — which is primarily a plant-based diet but includes meat, dairy, eggs, poultry and fish on occasion or in small quantities.

Vegetarian diet pyramid

A healthy diet takes planning, and a food pyramid can be a helpful tool. The vegetarian pyramid outlines food groups and food choices that, if eaten in the right quantities, form the foundation of a healthy vegetarian diet.

Vegetarian Food Guide Pyramid

Vegetarian Food Guide Pyramid

Getting adequate nutrition

The key to a healthy vegetarian diet — like any diet — is to enjoy a variety of foods. No single food can provide all the nutrients your body needs. The more restrictive your diet is, the more challenging it can be to get all the nutrients you need. A vegan diet, for example, eliminates natural food sources of vitamin B-12, as well as milk products, which are good sources of calcium.

With a little planning, however, you can be sure that your diet includes everything your body needs. Pay special attention to the following nutrients:

  • Calcium helps build and maintain strong teeth and bones. Milk and dairy foods are highest in calcium. However, dark green vegetables, such as turnip and collard greens, kale and broccoli, are good plant sources when eaten in sufficient quantities. Calcium-enriched and fortified products, including juices, cereals, soy milk, soy yogurt and tofu, are other options.
  • Iodine is a component in thyroid hormones, which help regulate metabolism, growth and function of key organs. Vegans may not get enough iodine and be at risk of deficiency and possibly even a goiter. In addition, foods such as soybeans, cruciferous vegetables and sweet potatoes may promote a goiter. However, just 1/4 teaspoon of iodized salt provides a significant amount of iodine.
  • Iron is a crucial component of red blood cells. Dried beans and peas, lentils, enriched cereals, whole-grain products, dark leafy green vegetables and dried fruit are good sources of iron. Because iron isn’t as easily absorbed from plant sources, the recommended intake of iron for vegetarians is almost double that recommended for nonvegetarians. To help your body absorb iron, eat foods rich in vitamin C, such as strawberries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, cabbage and broccoli, at the same time as you’re eating iron-containing foods.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are important for heart health. Diets that do not include fish and eggs are generally low in active forms of omega-3 fatty acids. Canola oil, soy oil, walnuts, ground flaxseed and soybeans are good sources of essential fatty acids. However, because conversion of plant-based omega-3 to the types used by humans is inefficient, you may want to consider fortified products or supplements, or both.
  • Protein helps maintain healthy skin, bones, muscles and organs. Eggs and dairy products are good sources, and you don’t need to eat large amounts to meet your protein needs. You can also get sufficient protein from plant-based foods if you eat a variety of them throughout the day. Plant sources include soy products and meat substitutes, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
  • Vitamin B-12 is necessary to produce red blood cells and prevent anemia. This vitamin is found almost exclusively in animal products, so it can be difficult to get enough B-12 on a vegan diet. Vitamin B-12 deficiency may go undetected in people who eat a vegan diet. This is because the vegan diet is rich in a vitamin called folate, which may mask deficiency in vitamin B-12 until severe problems occur. For this reason, it’s important for vegans to consider vitamin supplements, vitamin-enriched cereals and fortified soy products.
  • Vitamin D plays an important role in bone health. Vitamin D is added to cow’s milk, some brands of soy and rice milk, and some cereals and margarines. Be sure to check food labels. If you don’t eat enough fortified foods and have limited sun exposure, you may need a vitamin D supplement (one derived from plants).
  • Zinc is an essential component of many enzymes and plays a role in cell division and in formation of proteins. Like iron, zinc is not as easily absorbed from plant sources as it is from animal products. Cheese is a good option if you eat dairy products. Plant sources of zinc include whole grains, soy products, legumes, nuts and wheat germ.

If you need help creating a vegetarian diet that’s right for you, talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian.

Getting started

If you’re not following a vegetarian diet but you’re thinking of trying it, here are some ideas to help you get started:

  • Ramp up. Each week increase the number of meatless meals you already enjoy, such as spaghetti with tomato sauce or vegetable stir-fry.
  • Learn to substitute. Take favorite recipes and try them without meat. For example, make vegetarian chili by leaving out the ground beef and adding an extra can of black beans. Or make fajitas using extra-firm tofu rather than chicken. You may be surprised to find that many dishes require only simple substitutions.
  • Branch out. Scan the Internet for vegetarian menus. Buy or borrow vegetarian cookbooks. Check out ethnic restaurants to sample new vegetarian cuisines. The more variety you bring to your vegetarian diet, the more likely you’ll be to meet all your nutritional needs.

(original source)

Metabolism Booster Ideas

The following may increase metabolism—but at a price, warns Walt Thompson, PhD, professor of kinesiology and health and nutrition at Georgia State University.

EPHEDRINE: Supplements containing ephedrine are still around, though they’ve been banned by the FDA. They dangerously speed up heart rate and raise blood pressure, increasing the risks of heart problems and stroke.

NICOTINE: It’s true that nicotine boosts metabolism. But those smokers may also be skinny because they have a form of emphysema, a disease that burns calories quickly—not in a good way.

CAFFEINE: Studies have shown that coffee may rev up metabolism, but the effect lasts less than 30 minutes. You’d have to drink gallons to have a measurable impact—not a good idea, since excessive caffeine consumption has risks, such as interfering with calcium absorption.

Metabolism booster #1

Trim the trans fat – You’ve heard they’re bad for you. But trans fats also slow down your body’s ability to burn fat. “They have an altered shape and make your biochemistry run funny,” Hyman says, explaining that trans fat binds to fat and liver cells and slows metabolism. Eating trans fat can also lead to insulin resistance and inflammation, both of which cripple metabolism and can cause weight gain.

Metabolism booster #2

Go organic – If you’re on the fence about whether to buy organic this news may sway you: Fruits, vegetables, and grains grown without pesticides keep your fat-burning system running at full-tilt because they don’t expose your thyroid to toxins, Hyman says. Nonorganic produce, on the other hand, “blocks your metabolism mainly by interfering with your thyroid, which is your body’s thermostat and determines how fast it runs, he explains.

Metabolism booster #3

Think protein – Your body digests protein more slowly than fat or carbs, so you feel full longer (this is especially true when you have it for breakfast). Plus, it may also giveyour metabolism a bump. In a process called thermogenesis, your body uses about 10 percent of its calorie intake for digestion. So, because it takes longer to burn protein than carbs or fat, your body expends more energy absorbing the nutrients in a high-protein diet. Another bonus: One recent study from Purdue University found that diets higher in protein may help preserve lean body mass, which is the best fat-burner of all.