Should you use protein supplements?
Protein is important. It supports your organs, muscles, tissues, bone, skin and hair. It's become commonly associated now with fitness supporting you in gaining muscle. However, it's important to note that if you consume too much, it can turn into excess fat. We need to remember that the food industry is a huge business making billions every year. We are constantly marketed to on a daily basis with year on year food and nutrition trends. As you may have seen Protein products are advertised everywhere and if you've started out on a new fitness regime you may think you need to be taking protein shakes. Not necessarily, because what you're eating may be enough. The easiest and cheapest way to support your protein intake is through your food. Become aware of the level of protein your body needs and make sure you manage it through your nutrition plan. If it's important to your health plan, I would encourage you to research how much you should be consuming and understand why. I would suggest only using these products if you cannot access real whole foods. Some things to remember Reading Labels
If it has high protein on the label compare it with another label to see if there actually is a difference? Chances are it's no different or very little. For example, protein in Weetabix Protein Crunch compared to regular Weetabix is just 1.5g. And while regular Weetabix has just 4.4 grams of sugar per 100 grams, Protein Crunch has five times that amount – an incredible 22 grams.
Greek Yoghurt: same rule applies - go for 0% fat free it is naturally high in protein and doesn't need to state it on the label. Avoid anything low fat as it will be full of artificial sweeteners.
Food First Approach
Try to manage your protein intake through your diet of real whole foods and reduce the use of packaged, processed protein products.
If you're struggling to get the protein levels you need through real whole foods, try to research a protein powder that will be easy to have in a shake.
Try not to live your life by how much protein you're consuming because it's the in trade.
High protein intake also means ingesting excess calories and placing strain on your kidneys. Eating too much protein in one sitting over and over again can stress your kidneys which could lead to dehydration. Be careful of how much you're consuming.
Healthy Protein Sources
0% Fat Free Greek Yoghurt
Lentils, beans, pulses
Tofu, Tempeh, Edamame
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