Protein is a very inexperienced subject for me, and one that I have no real knowledge about what so ever. The main reason being is that I’m vegetarian. Now, don’t get me wrong; I have no problem with others eating meat, but do you really need it three meals a day, plus snacks? My moral is; that if I can kill it – I’ll eat it. I can fish a fish – so I’ll eat it. But there is no way I’ll be able to kill a bird let alone a cow, so you’ll defiantly won’t see me munching on a chicken salad or a lean bun-less burger!
But. My individual opinion is beside the point. What I’m trying lead on to is that, being someone who only eats fish and eggs, am I getting enough protein within my diet? With only being limited to two main protein sources into main meals, is that enough variation to reach optimum health? Then I was thinking, for those who do eat meat – does eating too much affect their optimum health? Is the way they cook it affect the protein? So I decided to look further into the subject and deepen my knowledge about one of the three main macronutrients. The only problem is that this is such an in-depth subject, one that varies to each individual and gender that I can only explain so much in such a short blog.
The first mistake is variation. You may have heard of a “Complete Protein”? A ‘Complete Protein’ is one that provides all nine amino acids essential to life, and unsurprisingly is best for weight loss and muscle growth due to the amino acids that are involved, a prime example being Chicken. It’s said and thought to be that chicken is one of the leanest meats and is the first option when an individual chooses the ‘healthy’ way of living, but hold up! Like anything there needs to be variation. Even with all nine essential amino acids, ‘Complete Proteins’ come with different blends of vitamins, minerals, fats, and carbs, which you need for a wide array for optimal health, weight loss, and fitness gains, so by sticking to just one source you’re actually limiting other nutrients that are collectively are just important.
The second mistake is the increased intake some individuals consume. As with everything you eat, more protein isn’t better. Consuming excess protein is just like consuming an excess of anything. Too much will harm your performance, the carcinogen acrolein causes your mitochondria to become inefficient, slowing you down. So even though your steering clear of the chocolate and biscuits – don’t over do it on the chicken and fish!
The third and final mistake I’m going to touch on is very common in a ‘fitness environment.’ Stereotypically, ‘fitness freaks’ and gym addicts’ are so caught up on the fact that protein aids muscle build, that they grab the easiest yet the most expensive option – Protein shakes and alternatives! With a lot of controversy attached with store-bought protein shakes, smoothies, and bars, they actually come loaded with sugar with many not containing as much protein as we’d like to hear. And although they are very convenient, some are almost no better than a candy bar. Without getting in too deep, Your best bet is to stick with natural food such as nuts, seeds, and hardboiled eggs, that are all just as convenient as protein bars but contain naturally occurring protein along with other beneficial nutrients.