In the food industry, we have heard many voices demanding, “Protein!” Protein definitely is an important topic when it comes to nutrition. Proteins are a necessary and important part in the functioning and repair of the body. In addition, protein has received a lot of attention in the diet world. Protein-rich diets are popular with consumers that may be looking to lose or maintain their weights, as protein can make you feel full longer throughout the day.
With such benefits, it can be easy to see why consumers are enamored with this powerful, potent “P.” Still, there are some important qualifiers that need to be taken into account when focusing on protein in the diet.
First, generally, protein intake is far from being in want by most Americans. As the CDC states, “most of us eat more protein than we need.” The quality of proteins consumed can make a big difference though when it comes to making the most out of our diets.
This is because all proteins are not made alike. Consider the following: “Proteins are made up of amino acids. Think of amino acids as the building blocks.” We can obtain amino acids in several kinds of food in our diets.
“Essential amino acids cannot be made by the body, and must be supplied by food. They do not need to be eaten at one meal. The balance over the whole day is more important.” Essential amino acids can be found in “complete” protein sources like cheese, milk, milk, fish, poultry, etc When searching for these complete protein sources, the American Heart Association recommends that consumers look for low-fat options, like low-fat dairy products.