One of the most important macronutrient is protein. It is essential for the healthy growth and maintenance of tissues throughout the body. Our hair, nails, skin, muscles, bone structure, formation of blood cells and antibodies, all require sufficient protein for a healthy formation.
List of Basic Protein Foods
Protein Use of the Body
Our body uses protein all the time. About half the protein we eat is used for making enzymes. These are catalyst molecules which help us to:
- digest food
- create new cells
- aid in producing energy for our cells to function properly
Protein is also used for making neurotransmitters, special chemicals that send messages to other parts of the body via nerve cells. Without neurotransmitters we wouldn’t be able to see, hear, think or move.
Once our body has used dietary protein for any specific function, it can break down the remaining components
and produce more glucose for energy provision. Protein can also contribute to energy needs as well as for structural growth. As for any macronutrient, we can still become overweight by consuming too much protein in the diet.
Our body will use more protein in a day than what we consume from food. This means we need to provide a regular supply in the diet to maintain normal protein synthesis. If our diet doesn’t contain sufficient protein, the body will start to break down the proteins in muscle which slows down the metabolism rate.
Calories in Protein
The amount of calories in protein is generally low, at 4 calories per gram, but this doesn’t always mean that it’s best to eat protein foods to lose weight. Many protein sources contain medium to high amounts of fat, and this adds extra calories to the diet. For losing weight it requires ingesting fewer calories overall.