~Ditch the Diet~
As I mentioned in a previous post macronutrients are nutrients that provide calories (or energy). There are three macronutrients: Protein, Carbohydrate, Fat.
Today I want to specifically talk about the macronutrient protein.
One of the first things that I learned about in nursing school was that amino acids are the building blocks of life. Proteins are made up of amino acids.
Some amino acids are nonessential which means that our body can make them. Others are essential which means that we need to get them from our diet.
What do we need protein for?
Making essential hormones and enzymes
Preserving lean muscle mass
Where can you find protein?
Protein is found in meats, poultry, fish, cheese, milk, nuts, legumes, and in smaller quantities starchy foods and vegetables.
When we eat these types of foods, our body breaks down the protein that they contain into amino acids to be used to rebuild our bodies and create new cells.
The protein that comes from animal sources contains all of the essential amino acids that we need. Plant sources of protein, on the other hand, do not contain all of the essential amino acids.
While everyone’s body is different the USDA recommends that 10% – 35% of daily calories should come from protein. You can easily meet this need by consuming a balanced diet.