Proteins have a key function in our bodies. It is the substance from which our body cells, enzymes and muscles are made.
More than a fat killer
Together with carbohydrates and fats, proteins comprise the three large macronutrient groups. At 4 calories per gram, proteins contain as many calories as carbohydrates. Proteins are responsible for our bodies’ structure, function and metabolism. They are found in every cell and are involved in all processes for our bodies’ formation and maintenance – in growth and regeneration after sport.
From a chemical standpoint, proteins consist of long amino acid chains. 8 of these amino acids are essential for life but cannot be made by the body itself. These so- called essential amino acids must be ingested with food.
Essential amino acids are best absorbed through natural food. Plant proteins are much easier to metabolize than animal proteins. Due to our bodies’ lower energy requirement when metabolizing plant protein, they have more energy for other metabolic processes. The plants with the highest protein content are nuts like almonds or cashews, legumes like lentils, (chick)peas and beans as well as their by- products soy and tofu.
Meat, fish, eggs and dairy products contain animal protein. Only about 50 percent of meat contains substances that can be used by humans, while plant-based food contains more than 90 percent. Vegetable proteins provide up to 20 different amino acids in contrast to animal protein sources.
Animal protein also has a very high proportion of purines (uric acid), which is why it contributes to our bodies’ over-acidification.
Proteins and metabolism
Shake or low carb diets promise faster weight loss through a high protein content. However, protein alone does not make you slim and one-sided diets even less so. If we want to lose weight permanently, we have to rely on low-fat foods. Because at the end of the day the total calorie balance and the type of calories we eat still determines whether we lose weight or not.
Fatty sausage, cheese and meat are in excess even rather harmful to health. To properly stimulate the metabolism, it is better to eat a balanced diet without starvation and dietary stress, where we eat healthy protein sources such as pulses or tofu in the evenings. Anyone who eats predominantly proteinous evening meals stimulates the production of HGH. This hormone promotes increased fat burning – virtually overnight during sleep.