Protein can help you feel fuller for longer. Protein may have many health benefits, this includes an increase in muscle mass.
While most people consume enough protein to avoid deficiency in their daily diets, some people would benefit from a higher intake.
Numerous studies have shown that high-protein diets are beneficial for metabolic health and weight loss.
Here are 10 reasons to eat more protein:
1. It reduces hunger and appetite:
Your body’s three macronutrients — carbs, fats, and proteins — have different effects.
Research shows that protein is the most filling food. Protein helps you feel fuller, even if you eat less.
Protein lowers the levels of the hunger hormone, ghrelin. You also feel fuller when you eat protein.
These effects can have a powerful impact on your appetite. A study found that increasing protein intake by 15% to 30% of overall calories made overweight women taking in 441 less calories per day, without restricting any other food.
You can replace some of your carbs or fats with protein if you are looking to lose weight. You can make your potato or rice a smaller serving and add a few more pieces of meat or fish.
2. Increases muscle mass and strength:
Protein is the building block for your muscles.
Consuming adequate protein can help you keep your muscles strong and grow when you are doing strength training.
Numerous studies have shown that protein intake can increase strength and muscle mass.
You need to ensure that you get enough protein if you are physically active or lifting weights to build muscle.
High protein intake can help to prevent muscle loss when you lose weight.
3. Good for your Bones:
A persistent myth persists that animal protein is bad for your bones.
This theory is based upon the fact that protein can increase acid load, which causes calcium to leach from your bones to neutralize the acid.
But, most of the long-term research shows that protein, even animal protein, is important for bone health.
People who consume more protein have a better chance of maintaining their bone mass as they age. They also have a lower risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
This is particularly important for women who are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis following menopause. It is important to eat plenty of protein and keep active to prevent this from happening.
4. This reduces cravings and the desire for late-night snacking:
A food craving can be different than normal hunger.
Your body needs energy and nutrients, but your brain also requires reward.
However, it can be difficult to control cravings. It is possible to avoid cravings from ever happening.
Increasing your protein intake is one of the best ways to prevent heart disease.
A study of overweight men found that increasing protein intake to 25% reduced cravings by 60%, and night snacking by half.
A study of overweight teenage girls showed that high-protein breakfasts reduced snacking and cravings.
This could be due to an increase in dopamine function, which is one of the major brain hormones that are involved in cravings or addiction.
5. Boosts metabolism and fat burning:
For a brief time, eating can increase your metabolism.
This is because your body needs calories to digest and use nutrients. This is known as the “thermic effect of food”.
Studies have shown that high protein intake can significantly increase metabolism and reduce calories burned. This could translate into an additional 80-100 calories per day.
Some research shows that you may be able to burn even more calories. One study found that a high-protein group burnt 260 calories more per day than a lower-protein group. This is equivalent to one hour of moderate intensity exercise each day.
6. Lower Blood Pressure:
High blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes and chronic kidney disease.
It is interesting to note that higher levels of protein have been linked to lower blood pressure.
A review of 40 controlled trials found that protein intake decreased systolic (the highest number) blood pressure by 1.76 mm on average, and diastolic (the lowest number) blood pressure by 1.15mm Hg.
A study showed that high-protein diets not only lower blood pressure but also reduce LDL (bad), cholesterol, and triglycerides.
7. Helps Maintain Weight Loss:
People who eat a high-protein diet tend to lose weight quickly because they feel more energetic and have fewer cravings.
One study showed that obese women who consumed 30% of their calories from proteins lost 11 pounds in 12 week — even though they were not trying to restrict their diet.
Intentional calorie restriction can also lead to fat loss by using protein.
A 12-month study of 130 overweight people who were on a restricted calorie diet showed that the high-protein group lost 53% more fat than the normal-protein group.
Losing weight is only the beginning. It is much more difficult for most people to maintain weight loss.
Consider increasing your protein intake if you are looking to lose weight.
8. Does not Harm Healthy Kidneys:
Many people mistakenly believe that elevated levels of protein can harm your kidneys.
People with pre-existing kidney disease may benefit from a reduced protein intake. This is important so do not take it lightly as kidney issues can be very severe.
High protein intake can be harmful to those with kidney problems but it is not relevant to healthy people.
Numerous studies have shown that high-protein diets are safe for people who don’t have kidney disease.
9. Your body can heal itself after an injury:
After an injury, protein can aid in the body’s repair.
It is the building block of your tissues and organs, so it makes sense.
Many studies have shown that eating more protein after an injury can speed up recovery.
10. Keep Fit as You Age:
One consequence of aging is the gradual weakening of your muscles.
Age-related sarcopenia is the most severe form of this condition. It is one of the many causes of frailty and bone fractures in older adults.
Increased protein intake is one of the best ways you can prevent muscle deterioration due to age and sarcopenia.
It is important to stay physically active. Lifting weights and doing resistance exercises can be great ways to do this.