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By Dr Srilatha
Dietician
Published on 29/11/2022

Do you intend to switch to a high-protein diet? But you are worried about whether the body suits you or not!

No need to worry. Let's clarify everything!

Many people who want to lose weight choose to eat a high-protein diet. Consuming protein makes one feel satisfied, which may cause them to consume fewer calories overall. In general, high-protein diets contain a lot of protein and a small amount of carbohydrates.

To meet the physical requirements, a high-protein diet should be consumed daily. High-protein diets include poultry, fish, eggs, soy and many more. It increases metabolism, curbs appetite, and alters hormones that control weight. A diet rich in protein usually has very little fat or carbohydrate. People frequently experience reduced hunger, which makes losing weight comparatively easier. Proteins should be consumed with other necessary nutrients to maintain body health, but the goal is to consume more protein to help with weight loss.

Why is protein important?

There are numerous reasons why we should include protein in our diets. Here are a few:

  • Protein helps with the growth and maintenance of muscle mass. As we age, our muscle mass decreases. Therefore, it's critical to consume adequate protein to maintain muscle strength. While younger persons require closer to 0.54 grams per pound, older adults need at least 0.36 grams per pound of body weight daily.
  • Protein helps tissue growth and repair . This is crucial for athletes who could have injured themselves or strained their muscles while exercising. Getting enough protein can help wounds recover after surgery or cuts to the body as well!
  • Protein contributes to the synthesis of hormones and controls blood sugar levels. Without enough protein for these processes, it could lead to problems like diabetes mellitus (high blood sugar), which can be quite harmful if left untreated over time. Hormones are molecules generated by the body that work as messengers between cells, instructing them what to do.
  • Protein expands satiety, increasing the feeling of being full. Especially when dieting or attempting to lose weight, this is beneficial.

High protein diet and weight loss:

  • The hypothalamus in the brain controls the feeding and energy expenditure ( weight ). A higher protein intake reduces hunger hormones ghrelin while increasing satiety hormone levels.
  • Proteins are difficult to metabolise and digest. Therefore, they take longer to digest, making people feel less hungry throughout the day. As a result, people will consume fewer calories.
  • Because of the high thermic impact and other factors, protein is responsible for increasing metabolism. A diet rich in protein has a metabolic advantage over low-protein diets as they cause the body to burn more calories.
  • Protein can suppress appetite and hunger. We eat less without monitoring calories all day or regulating portion size actively.
  • Eating enough protein can prevent muscle loss and elevate metabolism as you lose fat.

High protein foods one should include in the diet to lose weight:

  • Soy: It is a popular dish among vegans and vegetarians. Tofu includes approximately 9 grams of protein and no carbohydrates per 100-gram serving. A daily intake of 50 grams of soy protein can assist in preventing cardiovascular disease.
  • Eggs: Adding eggs to the plate can make the diet extremely healthy and protein-rich. One boiled egg has about 7 grams of protein and no carbohydrates, and eggs are one of the less expensive protein sources.
  • Pulses and legumes: Lentil sprouts contain vitamins A, B, C, and E, along with the minerals iron, calcium, and phosphorus. They are 26% protein. These fiber-rich foods will keep you satisfied for hours.
  • Milk and milk products: Dairy foods such as milk, curd,yoghurt, lassi are high in protein and calcium. Many of them are vitamin D-fortified. To keep teeth and bones strong and to help avoid obesity, choose to skim milk or low-fat dairy. Curd is a popular choice among fitness enthusiasts. In a 100-gram serving, it has no carbs and 3 grams of protein.
  • Oatmeal: Oatmeal is the healthiest food ever, with high-quality fiber and around 13 grams of protein per 100 grams.
  • Fish and poultry: Fish is an excellent source of lean proteins because it contains no carbs and approximately 12 -19 grams of protein per 100-gram meal. It includes a lot of omega-3 fatty acids. The white meat of poultry is a good source of lean protein, so have it in the diet. Dark meat contains more fat cholesterol and high saturated fat, hence should be consumed in limited amounts.
    So, now that you understand the significance of protein in the diet, what are you waiting for? Start incorporating high-protein foods into the meals right away! Remember to check with a dietician if you have any questions or concerns.

Should I worry about protein? Does consuming too much protein pose any risks?

Some people might fear that consuming high protein could be bad for them. Most healthy individuals may consume high-protein diets with little chance of experiencing adverse side effects. High protein diets have raised some questions regarding their safety, especially regarding how they may affect bone, kidney, and heart health.

Consider working with a qualified healthcare dietitian to boost daily protein intake or adhere to a high-protein diet. They can assist in making sure the diet meets your needs and is nutritionally sufficient.

Conclusion

People who want to adopt a high-protein diet can follow an existing diet plan or modify their protein consumption to meet their specific needs. On the other hand, people who desire to boost their protein intake should aim for 25-30 g of protein in each meal.

For the best benefits, people should consume a balance of plant-based proteins and lean animal proteins and. Anyone with kidney disease should consume a low-protein diet.