Protein: The body builder

Protein: The body builder



It is a well known fact that protein is very essential in the body. Protein accelerates growth rate and maturation. Studies have shown that adults require only about 30 grams of protein every day. The human body often and effectively recycles and harvests its own protein. Many a time, the only protein the body
loses that needs replacement are those that the body cannot retrieve such as skin, hair, fingernails, and toenails. The daily recommended intake of protein has been set at 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. This is more than the 30 gram minimum requirement per day. Children need extra protein especially during the period of rapid growth. It has been shown that children eating high protein foods tend to grow bigger and develop faster.
Proteins are made up of 20 amino acids. It has been shown that the body can manufacture 12 of these building blocks on its own and eight of the remaining amino acids are demonstrated to be very vital in adults. And these remaining eight amino acids have to be provided through diet. It is a usual belief by individuals that they have to eat meat and consume dairy products in order to supplement for these vital amino acids. The obvious fact is that these diets or foods are very high in fat and cholesterol and lack fibre and have been found to be very dangerous to health in the long run. Plant foods that contain amino acids are often recommended because these foods are low in fat, full of nutrients, high in fibre, free of cholesterol and they have plenty of protein. These kind of plant foods include: legumes like soy beans, beans, chickpea etc. Vegetables like carrots, cabbage, potatoes, green pepper, spring onions etc. Grains like oatmeal, wheat etc.
WHAT PROTEIN CAN DO?
Most of the protein being consumed by developed and developing countries comes from animal products and is loaded with cholesterol and fat. Because of the fact that fat is well hidden, many people don’t realize that dairy products, sausages and meats contribute to 60 to 85% of their calories intake. Too much fat particularly saturated fat are one of the known causes of narrowing, hardening and increase of plague in the vital oxygen carrying arteries. Protein can result in the following:

  1. Excess protein places a huge burden on the kidneys. This has been noted to be the leading cause of kidney diseases in both developing and developed nations. 
  2. High protein foods are often associated with osteoporosis (a disease of the bone that causes weakening of the bones). The processing of excess amount of protein by the kidneys requires calcium which is taken from the bones thereby reducing the amount of calcium in the bones leading to osteoporosis. 
  3. Excessive intake of protein has been associated to the etiology of different kinds of cancers. 
  4. Increased intake of meat which is an animal protein leads to late sexual maturity in girls, in contrast to what is obtainable when plant proteins are more consumed. 
  5. A high protein diet reduces or decreases one’s endurance. That is why athletes now give more preference to complex carbohydrates rather than protein.

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