Having The Proper Amount of Protein Daily Is Key

Of all the diet plans out there, from the Atkins diet to fat reducing diets, none recommend that you reduce the consumption of protein, which highlights the critical role that it plays in your body and its development. Understanding the role that protein plays in the body can increase your attention to consuming it and in making sure that your body has sufficient protein to meet your life goals.

Fuel for the Body and Muscles
Protein is one of the most critical needs for your body and has many uses that can help your body’s functions. Protein is used to build and repair muscle and is therefore a critical component to prevent and recover from injury, as well as to develop the strength needed for the various jobs that you need accomplish. Since your body doesn’t store protein the way it does carbohydrates and fat, you need constant supplies of protein to be healthy.

Certain parts of your body are comprised almost solely of protein such as your nails and hair, though all of your cells have some protein included in them. Protein is also used to make the hormones, enzymes, and other chemicals that your body needs to in order to operate. Protein is one of the major building blocks of your bones, muscles, cartilage, and even your blood. Protein therefore plays a critical role in your endocrine system to keep your body functioning effectively.

Protein has other health benefits as well including weight loss. Eating protein reduces your appetite and fills you up, helping to contribute to a tighter waist. If you are on a diet and trying to lose weight, eating protein will help to prevent your body from using the muscle mass that you have as part of a catabolic process. Adding muscle mass and strength is important for weight loss as your muscles burn more calories than fat does, thereby leading to a healthier or slender you. Since muscle mass and strength is built with protein this is important for your body’s development

Side Effects of Insufficient Protein Consumption
One of the best ways to understand the role that protein plays in the body is by understanding what will happen to your body and what risks insufficient protein consumption plays. Without sufficient prote consumption your muscles will wither and additional stress will be placed on your bones and joints. Ou will experience a reduction of strength, energy, and stamina with insufficient protein consumption.

Recommended Levels of Protein Consumption
The amount of protein your body needs will fluctuate widely based on your age, size, and lifestyle. Men and women also need different levels of protein consumption. Individuals who are looking to add muscle to their frame will need more protein than those who have a less active lifestyle. As such, understanding the amount of protein that you need is challenging and is best done with a nutritionist or other medical professional. The United States Government recommends that the average adult consume .36 grams of protein per day per pound of weight..

Sources for Protein Consumption
Your body generally prefers to get their nutrients from food rather than from supplements as they are easier to process. Foods like lean meats and fish, eggs, tree nuts, legumes (chickpeas, peanuts beans, and peas), and tofu are all great sources of lean protein. Of course, other meats like beef and pork also contain lots of protein, but are saddled with fat and other side effects.

Individuals who find it challenging to meet their protein needs via their diet, without loading on additional calories and fat, are often best served adding protein supplements or shakes to their diet. These products can quickly add protein to your body quickly and timely, often to support the repair and development of muscles after a workout. Protein supplements are typically designed to inject protein into your body without the sugar and additives that may have other side effects on your body. Quality protein supplements are also helpful for individuals who simply are not consuming sufficient levels of protein in their diet due to other health problems, vegetarianism, or even financial limitations. Consider the need to add protein supplements into your diet and consult with a doctor or nutritionist if needed.

Protein therefore plays a critical role in your body and individuals are best served by monitoring the quantity of protein that they consume. Understand the needs of your body, the sources of protein that you commonly get, and consider ways to supplement your consumption of protein with protein shakes or supplements if needed. Sufficient protein can help our body to develop a maintain its strength appropriately and provide health benefits throughout your life

Choosing the Right Nutrition Bar – A Few Simple Tips

Nutrition bars have become a “go to” snack for many health conscious individuals. They are convenient, require no preparation, and are easy to store in a desk or take along in a purse or backpack. They require no refrigeration and come in a wide variety of flavors to suit every taste and palate.

Depending on the bar, they can function as a snack or as a meal replacement. There are literally hundreds of brands, recipes and flavors on the market which makes it hard to choose the best one for you. They vary wildly in terms of caloric content, ingredients, and Protein/Carbohydrate/Fat ratios. And, some of them are not much more than expensive junk food bars. All of this leaves you wondering, just how healthy are these bars?

If you want to choose a healthy bar, and one that works for your particular needs, you have to understand that it is all about the ingredients. And, you have to learn to read labels. Whether you are looking for a healthy snack, a protein boost, a carbohydrate fix or a meal replacement, you need to understand what is in the bar if you want to get the benefits you desire.

A good place to start is with the ingredient list and the nutritional facts label. Every bar has one, and just reading these two labels will tell you everything you need to know.

Regardless of whether you are looking for a nutrition bar that is high protein, high carbohydrate or a combination, there are certain ingredients that are simply not healthy for you.

For a nutrition bar to be healthy, it should not contain a significant amount of added sugar. Dried fruit such as dates, cranberries, apple etc should provide enough sweetness. If however there is added sugar, it should not be among the first 3 or 4 ingredients and it should not contain corn syrup of any sort. Nor should it contain any “sugar” with a chemical sounding name. Natural sugars such as honey, agave or brown rice syrup are healthier as long as they are used in small amounts.

While you do not want a nutrition bar to contain a lot of fats, there are good fats and bad fats. The body needs fat to function properly. Nuts and seeds are high in fat but these are good fats. They are good for your body and regulating metabolism. Bad fats include any product that contains hydrogenated fats. These should be avoided.

While it is beyond the scope of this article to provide detailed nutritional counseling, certain basics apply. Carbohydrates are digested quickly and give a quick burst of energy. Protein takes longer to digest and thus helps one feel fuller longer. Fats slow down the digestive process of carbohydrates and help with metabolic and brain function. Fiber helps move waste and toxins through the body ad any calories not used are stored as fat.

Based on their specific needs, you should look at the amount of fiber, calories, protein and carbohydrates in a whichever nutrition bar you plan to choose. Each of these items serves a particular purpose. So the individual needs of each consumer come into play here.

Perfect for runners, bicyclists and other athletes, anyone needing a burst of energy should opt for a high carbohydrate nutrition bar.

Many people are following a high protein or zone diet should pay attention to the Carbohydrate to Protein ratio. If the goal is to use the bar as a meal replacement it should contain about 1/3 each of carbs, protein and fats.

Nutrition bars can be a great addition to a healthy eating program. They can curb cravings, help level out blood sugar, give you a quick burst of energy or, in a pinch, act as a meal replacement. Choosing wisely can help achieve weight loss and good health. However, if you don’t pay attention, you may be buying very expensive candy bars.