Why Protein?

Why Protein?


High in Protein – the new trend

For years, shoppers everywhere have been bombarded by facts and figures on calories, carbs, fat, omega 3. But now we are increasingly focusing on something else – Protein! We are looking for more and more of it in our diets and “High Protein” is emerging as a powerful angle.

But protein still has a certain mystique. While athletes have prioritized protein for some time, other consumers are paying attention, for a variety of reasons. Younger consumers look to it for energy and to build muscle. Older consumers often eat protein for general health reasons. But many are unaware of what protein is, its function and how much they need.

What is Protein?

Protein is the name given to a group of large, complex molecules that form the basis of tissues in living organisms. Protein forms part of every cell and aside from water, is the most abundant substance within our bodies.

The molecules that make up proteins are called Amino Acids and depending on how they are arranged, form different proteins. There are 20 amino acids but unlike plants, humans can’t form all of them within our bodies. There are 8 amino acids that we can only obtain through our diet. So, a healthy diet is essential for maintaining a sufficient level of protein in the body.

Why is it necessary?

For our bodies to function properly (or function at all!) protein is critical.

After we digest protein, our bodies use the resulting amino acids in a vast number of ways. Some amino acids are used to grow and repair cells, such as our muscles and are also vital to maintain healthy hair, nails and skin. Other amino acids are used to form hormones and enzymes that control essential functions within the body, such as our metabolism, fight infection and enable our internals organs to function.

Does your protein intake affect your sports performance?

Strength athletes have long looked to protein as a way to build muscle, with the idea being: more protein = more muscle. But is this really true?

The Recommended Daily Allowance for protein is 0.75g/kg/day in Ireland. The International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends between 1.4-2g/kg for “exercising individuals”. They recommend endurance athletes consume levels on the lower end and strength/power athletes consume levels in the upper ranges. However, they also point out that 0.8g/kg is generally accepted to be sufficient in (97.5%) of healthy men and women 19 and over.

Protein supplementation or the whole foods approach?

Nutritionists almost always insist that sufficient protein can be obtained from your diet and that protein supplements are not only expensive, but also unnecessary. On the other hand, the pro-supplement supporters will tell you that supplements are an easy and convenient way to boost your protein intake.

Even though both sides can be convincing, we believe that nothing beats a complete and balanced diet filled with good, clean and natural food.

Some great sources of protein in your diet that don’t contain a huge amount of fat include lean meats (such as chicken and turkey), fish and egg whites. Other vegetarian sources include beans, pulses like beans and chickpeas, and pseudograins such as buckwheat for example.

Take-away message:

If you’re a non-stop, always on the go kind of person, it is important to know that being on a balanced diet doesn’t necessarily have to be time consuming and complicated.

There are products available on the market to help you with your nutrients intake when you don’t have much time to cook.

For example, our new range of Pasta with Benefits that will be in the shops this Summer, is a complete meal high in protein, fibre, key minerals and vitamins…ready in a few minutes!

Curious? Stay tuned, more details coming soon!

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