6/8/2023 8:22:48 AM
The Worlds Science
See the bottom of this page for the ingredients highest in protein
What is protein?
A ‘macronutrient’ that is a vital component of every cell of the body. All enzymes are proteins and therefore they control every chemical reaction in the body. They also form a major part of every structure in the body including bones and muscles whose formation and health they are responsible for.
Proteins are large biological molecules (‘biomolecules’) that are formed from ‘subunits’ (building blocks) called amino acids. The structure of proteins is determined by the DNA present in cells and is extremely complex. They often contain may thousands of amino acids, all of them joined together in a complex three-dimensional structure1.
What are amino acids?
Amino acids are, themselves, important biomolecules. There are twenty-two that exist in nature and most living organisms (plants, fungi and bacteria) can produce all but one of them. However, most animals (including humans) cannot. In fact, humans are unable to produce nine amino acids. Therefore, these are referred to as ‘essential’ (EAAs) and must be obtained from the diet instead2.
Why does it matter to me?
From a chemical and biological perspective, proteins are by far the most structurally complex and functionally sophisticated molecules known. They are used in every aspect of the body’s physiology, from exquisitely complex intra-cellular functions such as energy creation3 to maintaining the structural integrity of bones and muscles4.
Protein contributes to the growth and maintenance of muscle mass.
There are three types of muscle in the human body (cardiac, smooth and skeletal) and they are each composed of protein. Therefore, it follows that consumption of the required amounts of protein is essential to ensure the development and maintain the health of all the muscles present in the body.
Interestingly, protein requirements may vary with age. For example, older adults may become protein malnourished due to an inadequate intake of protein and a reduced ability to use available protein, because of age-related changes in metabolism, immunity, hormone levels and hormone sensitivity5.
Therefore, it has been recommended that older people may benefit from increasing the proportion of protein in their diet6.
Protein contributes to the maintenance of normal bones
Protein makes up roughly fifty percent of bone volume and about one third of its mass. It has been suggested that consumption of protein in quantities that exceed the European Food Standard Agency recommendation7 may be beneficial to bone health.
What if I don’t get enough
A recent comprehensive meta-analysis suggests that increasing the level of protein in the diet may reduce the risk that post-menopausal women suffer hip and other fractures due to reduced bone mineral density (osteoporosis)8.
How much do I need?
The RDAs for protein are based on 0.8g/kg of body weight, for the CYF RDAs the average weight of a man is 70kg and 57.5kg for a woman. If you are heavier or lighter you need to add a percentage accordingly.
Top 6 ingredients for Protein taking into account portion size and cooking retention factors
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