Protein plays a key role in important body functions such as balancing hormones, enzymes, and repairing and maintaining cells.
Because of this, people who exercise regularly, eat a high-protein diet that promotes more protein intake and fewer carbohydrates or fat.
While there are potential risks from consuming too much protein, diets high in protein can be beneficial in many ways.
This type of diet + strength training enables muscle building
Protein is the building block of muscle development.
Since your body is constantly breaking down and building muscle, a good intake of protein provides the body with amino acids, which in turn help the muscles to grow and repair.
A high protein diet along with muscle building programs such as weight training is recommended to increase muscle mass in the body.
A high protein content reduces hunger and unhealthy cravings
A good amount of protein will help you stay full and satisfied longer as it reduces levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone.
If overeating is causing problems like unintended weight gain, include more protein in your meals and snacks.
This can help you eat less throughout the day and leave less room for unhealthy food cravings.
Protein, along with calcium intake, is essential for bone health
High protein diets are actually great for your bones, contrary to the belief that they can weaken them.
A study that focused on the elderly found that those on a low-protein diet suffered greater loss of their bone density than those on a high-protein diet.
As long as there is enough calcium intake, protein can increase bone mass and even help with bone injuries.
Increasing your metabolism for weight loss is another benefit
As the body requires more energy and effort to digest proteins, your calorie burning capacity increases in a process called the thermal effect of food.
This in turn boosts your metabolism and helps you lose weight.
A high protein intake generally burns 80-100 more calories a day. In fact, research showed that a high-protein group can burn 260 more calories per day than a low-protein group.
The pros and cons of a high protein diet
This is how you can plan an effective high protein diet.
a] Choose good protein foods like soy protein, beans, nuts, and low-fat dairy products, as well as non-vegetarian options like eggs.
b] Avoid processed meat.
c] Don't cut out carbohydrates completely, as this can lead to nutrient deficiencies or insufficient fiber. Instead, choose nutritious, high-fiber carbohydrates like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.