Most people take a sufficient amount of protein, but there are factors that suggest that a daily increase of protein intake would be beneficial for some.
We recognise these factors in preparing each individual meal plan and include foods that provide the exact right amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats for each individual. Various studies show that raising the intake of protein has favorable effects on weight loss and is good for the digestive system.
Here we list some scientifically proven reasons to include more protein in your diet:
Proteins reduce appetite and hunger
The three main nutrients (fats, carbohydrates and proteins) have different effects on the body. It has been shown that proteins are the satiating elements. They help us to be satisfied with lesser amounts of food. One reason for this is that the protein strongly suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin. Ghrelin is produced in the stomach and small intestine and affects the brain, causing the sensation of hunger.
Proteins reduce the overwhelming desire to eat
“I need to eat” is something everyone says to themselves even in moments when we might not really be hungry. Some people have an urge to eat frequently and other less so. Sometimes this feeling is different from hunger and is not related to the needs of our body, but more the desire of our brain for a “reward”.
To avoid these feeling we need to up our intake of protein. Numerous studies have linked a high intake of protein to the reduction of food cravings, especially in the evening. Starting off the day and eating a healthy breakfast rich in protein, it is enough to fight these false alarms about our cravings.
Proteins increase metabolism and burning calories
Proteins increase the so called ‘thermic effect’ of food,the cost of energy required for digestion, which enters the formula for total metabolism . Proteins have much higher thermic effect (20-25%) of carbohydrates and fats (5-15%). Eating more protein significantly increases our metabolism and the amount of calories we burn. According to various studies calories expended per day are up to 100 more. Fast food and empty calories do not increase metabolism. The less fragmented and the shorter the time the food is cooked, the more energy the body will spend digesting it.
Protein helps to achieve a desired weight and keep it there
Of the three primary nutrients, proteins have the most important role when it comes to weight loss. As seen above, high intake of protein speeds up the metabolism and reduces the feeling of hunger and the need for emotional eating. Even a minimal increase in the amount of accepted proteins (2%) is sufficient to be able to maintain the desired weight. If you have a meal plan to maintain weight, prepared by Ipokratis, then you can be sure that the amount of protein in it fully meets the needs of your body. If you do not have such a diet, but you have achieved your desired weight and continue to eat regularly, with quality foods in a moderate way, you can replace part of the carbohydrates and fats in your diet with protein. For example, increase a little meat or fish in portions instead of rice or potatoes.
How much protein do we need?
Although higher protein intake may have beneficial effects for many people, it is not necessary for all and must comply with our health and lifestyle (level of physical activity etc). When we have a diet that includes a variety of foods and we eat regularly we usually have the necessary amount of protein. It’s advisable to not think in percentages or count calories, just eat enough of a varied diet with quality food.
If you want to make sure that you obtain a sufficient amount of protein in your diet then add more foods such as eggs, chicken, cottage cheese, yogurt, milk, broccoli, quinoa, lentils and fish.
Enjoy these foods without depriving your body of the necessary carbohydrates and fats.
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