How are we today, this sunny Friday?
I’m exhausted and I have period cramps (bad ones), but apart from that I feel quite good. I feel new but at the same I know that there are some things I’m trying to figure out. Life is good, I mean there are so many good things I should be thankful for but I’m that type of person that cannot remove myself from the reality. Small events in life that take huge amounts of space in my head, trying to not let them demand too much.
Anyway, I wanted to talk about food actually. Protein and carbs, and their structure. I’m not going to lie and say that I have the best diet, mostly but I do go crazy and lack of inspiration sometimes. I try to always feed myself with good nutrients, create my own seed mix tailored after my body. This is something I have started to do, because I know that my body is unique. My body doesn’t agree on a lot of things when it comes to food.
My thoughts are focused on all of this hype about HIGH protein and low carbs. We are eating too much protein, and we can’t even understand the damage we do ourselves and the rest of the nature. I have read so much about proteins, how much we really need and do we really need animal protein? Do we really know what protein is?
Let’s talk about its role and how protein is set up.
Protein is an important energy-yielding macronutrient, with that saying it provides us with calories or energy. Proteins build muscle and make up haemoglobin, which transports oxygen to our muscles. Proteins also have functional structural roles building and repairing tissues. This is just a summary and a very basic knowledge. I went in the whole chemistry and as much as I understand it I find it hard to explain it via a blog post.
A lot of people question whether animal protein or plant protein can do the same for us, in order to have the right efficiency of protein. There are some amino acids that we only obtain from the food we eat, meaning they are not produce in our body. They are called essential amino acids.
Animal protein have a complete package of these essential amino acids, while plant proteins may be missing one or two. However, because we eat different plant protein, what one is missing, another provides. Eating wild rice with a legume will provide with a full set of amino acids. Tadah!
There are foods that contain certain nutrients that creates a protein package.
For example animal proteins contain heme iron, which is easier available to use. Plant source have non-heme iron, which is less available for use. Although, eating foods that contain Vitamin C or other heme-containting foods along with non-heme protein enhances the iron bioavailability.
The good about plant proteins is that: contain fiber, but animal proteins don’t. Dietary fiber improves digestion and promotes satiety. Animal proteins are higher in fats, particularly saturated fat, which is associated with heart disease and other chronic diseases. At the same time that seafood contains heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Most plant proteins are very low in fat or contain healthier oils.
Both animal and plant sources of protein have a variety of important minerals and vitamins. B-12 is the only vitamin available solely in animal foods, but to have it in your system with a plant based diet, you need to add B-12 supplement.
How much protein do we really need?
It vary from person to person depending on their health, activity and body composition. Protein needs are higher during growth, pregnancy or healing, during an exercise or weight lifting program, and when overall calories are depleted. Also, eating moderate protein throughout the day – starting at breakfast – increases the efficiency at which protein is utilized to build muscle. Mostly for athletes and those who trying to lose weight. In my case as I trying to gain weight, I would add heavier protein late evenings (which is something I rarely do as I don’t fancy often heavy food before bed), but I think I just eat like I’m about to perform haha. Changes need to be done soon.
And now onto carbs. We all love carbs, don’t we?
You all have heard about High Fats –Low Carbs, this is one of the most popular diets in order to lose weight. I have tried it once (one day) I think, and I’m not a big fan because I don’t feel the need to lose weight. I have always added carbs in my diets, today mostly good carbs. I have never thought about removing my carbs, because they are needed. If you exercise or perform any kind of sports, you will need carbs for your gains and faster recovery. All of these of course with balance.
Carbs provide the energy necessary for intense workouts and are more efficiently than any other energy source. Protein needs carbohydrates to work.
Eating carbs won’t necessary make you put on weight, carbs are needed as protein is relatively expensive (and inefficient) energy when it is compared to carbohydrates. As much as we hate the sugars and starches in carbs, these carbohydrates are your body’s most important fuel source. Your body breaks them down into simple sugar glucose. Glucose is either directly consumed by your cells for energy, or it’s stored as glycogen in the muscle or liver for later use when you energy demand requires it. It is just simple and accurate facts.
If you want to build and create muscles, carbs and fat are needed.
A good way to get everything in one with a plant based diet: Add avocado or any type of good fats, add legumes, add fiber, and add carbs. You get all in one.
If you are restricting the amount of carbs you eat, you will need to increase the amount of fat in your diet to help maintain energy levels and spare protein. And if you are eating normal levels of carbs, reduce the amount of calories you eat from fat. Fat provides with twice as much energy (calories) as carbohydrates. These are just simple basics, an overall look into how protein and carbs works hand I hand with each other.
Why we shouldn’t avoid fats:
Most notable of the effects of healthy fats is reducing inflammation, increasing heart health and lowering blood cholesterol. These fats goes under the category: Poly and mono-unsaturated fats, they are never solid in room temperature.
Ps. In order to grow muscles you have to have some good fats.
There are so much to add into this post, but I thought I put together the basics. Just simple facts for us to understand and have in mind. We do not have to constantly over consume protein, everything with balance. Even the amount of plant protein people are fighting about. CHILL!
And remember that every human being has different genes and their system works completely different. Some people can eat crap food and gain amounts of weight, I can only gain weight from eating healthy. If I eat bad foods, I lose weight and it is just very strange how my body works. If I say this to ten people they will look at me thinking what? Have you heard or know anyone with similar situation like me, maybe yourself?
Any questions or anything you want to add, please comment.
Have a great Friday reading.