What foods are you getting your protein from? Are your proteins complete proteins? Are you getting enough?
In the last 2 months you have read about 2 of the ways you might be sabotaging your fat loss efforts; too much sugar sneaking in, and/or too little water. This month I’d like you to evaluate your sources of protein and your quantities.
What you put into your body determines the health of your body. This is also true for the animals and plants that you eat. What they consume and how healthy their life is, will affect their health and in turn your health. Think about it; a cow is not meant to eat grain, and not meant to be motionless in a cage. Chickens are meant to eat bugs not corn. The list goes on and on.
When an animal eats the wrong foods and then we eat that animal, we end up with a lack of proper nutrition. One of the many detrimental effects of our current food system is our unbalanced ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids. Too much Omega 6 can put the body into an inflammatory state. This imbalance is said to play a huge role in weight management, obesity, heart disease, cancer and a slew of other diseases. By choosing wild fish, free range chicken, grass-fed cows, etc. you can significantly increase your ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids. Therefore putting your body into a less acidic/inflammatory state.
The second question to consider is; are your sources of protein complete? A complete protein must contain all the essential amino acids. Animal sources, dairy, fish, soy, quinoa and hemp are all complete sources. However beans, rice, lentils, grains, nuts, and seeds, are not. They must be eaten in combinations in order for your body to absorb all 9 essential amino acids. Good combinations include grains and dairy, beans and rice, seeds and legumes. So pasta with a little cheese, a burrito, or falafel will fulfill your protein needs better than any of the above mentioned on their own.
The third question you want to ask yourself is; are you getting enough protein? The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of protein is 0.8 g/kg of body weight. But as said at Precision Nutrition “… we need a small amount of protein to survive, but we need a lot more to thrive.” Those who are active should aim to consume more like 1.4 – 2.0 g/kg of body weight. This works out to be about half – full body weight (lbs) in protein grams per day for active individuals. Are you getting enough?
So take some time to evaluate your protein profile. Ask yourself; are you eating healthy animal sources of protein, are you eating complete vegetarian sources of protein, are you getting enough for how active you are?
A diet with higher protein intake has been linked to high immune function, satiety, metabolism, performance, and weight management. So add a protein smoothie or some free range beef to your menu today!