Monday, December 19, 2016

Is Protein Your Go To Diet Food?

When dieting, people tend to load up on the protein.  Why not? It is filling and feels satisfying, so the dieter won't feel as tempted to snack or fill up on unhealthy carbohydrates.  Eating more protein is frequently recommended for weight loss because it does help reduce appetite and it slows down digestion which prevents harmful blood sugar spikes. Further, the body certainly requires protein as the amino acids from protein are the primary building blocks for muscles, bones and enzymes. Aging and pregnancy make consuming sufficient amounts of high-quality protein especially important.

Ayurveda teaches about balance because extremism has negative drawbacks.  Excess protein has significant health risks. There is an upper limit to how much protein a body can actually use, and anything exceeding that requirement will speed up the aging process and cause related health problems like increasing the risk for cancer, kidney disease, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases.

Protein tends to make cells multiply faster, which is beneficial in early life when a child is growing.  But, when cell growth is not needed, it can be a huge negative.  Excess unnecessary cell growth is a risk for cancer.  Cancer is the growth of unwanted, diseased cells.

The body only digests and absorbs a certain amount of protein at every meal, which is about about 20 to 40 grams.  The recommended RDA is 46 grams of protein for women and 56 for men.  This can be easily met with a cup of cooked chicken being 44 grams of protein.

The excess protein your body cannot absorb or use isn't handled well by the body.  In Ayurveda, this excess waste is called ama which is a root cause of many illnesses.  In modern terms, the excess protein will convert into sugar and then into body fat. This is very similar to what happens with a high carbohydrate diet.

There are other healthy options that can give the body abundant nutrients and energy like whole grains, fats, fruits and vegetables.  Real foods in balanced amounts are what both Ayurveda and modern medicine recommend.

Stay healthy & well,

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