Monday, February 13, 2012

Proteins - Building Blocks

So why is protein so important? Protein is an essential component of the diet. Proteins help your body repair muscle, grow tissue, regulate hormones, control metabolism, boost your immune system and still more. Your ligaments, tendons, muscles, hair, nails, skin, teeth, tissue, organs and bones are all made from proteins. Your body breaks down proteins to feed and maintain these body components. The more active you are the more protein you need to replenish.

There are many opinions in the “fitness” world of just how much protein an individual needs. This ranges from 1- 2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight daily. At a minimum, try to consume 1 gram per pound. As you become more active, try for 1.5 grams per pound. If you are a serious athlete, then 2 grams is appropriate to help prevent the body from eating valuable muscle.

Protein sources are abundant. Fish of any kind (also filled with healthy fats), chicken, turkey, egg whites or Egg Beaters® are all protein packed. Eggs are fine for occasional use but they have as much fat as protein. Lean beef cuts (there are some excellent 94+% lean ground beef available) and low fat diary (cheeses, cottage cheese) are also good choices.

The way you prepare your protein will affect its nutritional value. Stay with broiled, steamed, baked or pan-fried. Stay away from breading and calorie packed sauces. Instead opt for spices (most are calorie free) to enhance flavors.

No matter what your goal is PROTEINS are the building blocks for our bodies.

Stay tuned…....

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