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Protein  101

By David Heber, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.N. Director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition
A  necessity  for  everybody

Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. It is an organic compound, composed of 22 amino acids, otherwise known as the building blocks of life. Protein is stored in muscles and organs and the body utilizes it to build and repair tissues, as well as for the production of enzymes and hormones. Proteins also make it possible for blood to carry oxygen throughout the body. Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is a “macronutrient,” meaning the body needs relatively large amounts of it. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences has concluded that our daily protein requirements should be 10% to 35% of our total caloric intake, with men needing slightly more than women. A lack of protein can cause loss of muscle mass, decreased immunity, as well as weakening of the heart and respiratory system.


How  protein  affects  your  weight

The widespread popularity of high-protein diets is due in large part to their ability to help manage hunger. When protein is absorbed, it sends a signal to the brain to decrease your hunger. Another benefit of protein is that it raises your resting metabolism by maintaining muscle mass. As we age, muscle mass decreases without exercise, so staying fit is a key to burning fat by keeping your metabolism high. Protein also leads to a much less rapid rise and fall of blood sugar and insulin, so you avoid the “sugar highs and lows” after eating sweets without adequate protein. Certain foods, however, provide a healthier resource for protein than others.


Consider  the  source

You can obtain healthy sources of protein without high levels of saturated fat. For example, soybeans, nuts and whole grains provide protein without much saturated fat and offer plenty of healthful fiber and micronutrients as well. If you’re looking for yet another great way to obtain healthy protein, vegetable sources of protein found in Herbalife’s Formula 1, are high-quality and have lower calorie levels with virtually no added fat. Herbalife® products personalize your daily protein intake to match your body’s needs. With a variety of shakes and snacks, the ShapeWorks® program helps you build or maintain lean muscle while providing healthy weight management support. Now that you’ve increased your knowledge of protein, you can effectively enhance your diet and allow good health to take shape.

 

Protein  Snacks  –  extracted  from  LA  Shape  Diet
By  David  Heber,  M.D.,  Ph.D.,  F.A.C.P.,  F.A.C.N.
Chairman  of  the  Herbalife  Nutrition  and  Scientific  Advisory  Boards

It is well established that the typical person eating a western type diet consumes more daily calories than he needs. High-calorie snacks filled with fats and sugars contribute to these extra calories. Protein packed bars, drinks, soups, and nuts are far superior to other snacks because of the inherent differences between protein and sugars and fats.

First off, protein is more satisfying than the other two macronutrients because of specific signals it sends to the brain. When we snack on protein instead of sugars and fats, the body feels more full which helps people control their appetite between meals, thus cutting calories and controlling their weight. Recent clinical research has supported this physiologic phenomenon.

A second reason for choosing protein as a snack is its thermogenic effect. This refers to the metabolic tax a food puts on the body after we eat it. This metabolic tax for protein is much higher than sugar or fat because the body uses more energy to digest it. This means that when you choose protein over the other two, you are burning more calories during the process of digestion. Having this higher tax rate is good because protein tends to be low in caloric content, so the body is working harder on fewer calories.

A third reason to choose protein snacks over sugars and fats is the body's need to replenish the building blocks of muscle tissue. Muscle is important for our daily activities and it determines our metabolism. So the more we maintain our healthy lean muscle mass, the higher we maintain metabolism.

So the next time you reach for a snack, choose a protein-rich bar, drink, or soup. Avoid high-calorie chips, cookies, candies and sweets. They are generally much higher in calories, and they offer little nutritional value to the body.

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