Protein Benefits For Body: Eating protein can make you feel full longer. It may provide many health benefits, including increasing muscle mass.
The health effects of fat and carbs are controversial. However, almost everyone agrees that protein is important.
Protein Benefits For Body, Most people eat enough protein to prevent deficiency, but some individuals would do better with a much higher protein intake.
Protein Benefits For Body, Numerous studies suggest that a high-protein diet has major benefits for weight loss and metabolic health.
Here are 8 science-based reasons to eat more protein.
1. Reduces Appetite and Hunger Levels
Protein Benefits For Body, The three macronutrients — fats, carbs, and protein — affect your body in different ways.
Studies show that protein is by far the most filling. It helps you feel fuller — with less food.
This is partly because protein reduces your level of the hunger hormone ghrelin. It also boosts the levels of peptide YY, a hormone that makes you feel full.
Protein Benefits For Body, These effects on appetite can be powerful. In one study, increasing protein intake from 15% to 30% of calories made overweight women eat 441 fewer calories each day without intentionally restricting anything.
If you need to lose weight or belly fat, consider replacing some of your carbs and fats with protein. It can be as simple as making your potato or rice serving smaller while adding a few extra bites of meat or fish.
2. Increases Muscle Mass and Strength
Protein Benefits For Body, Protein is the building block of your muscles.
Therefore, eating adequate amounts of protein helps you maintain your muscle mass and promotes muscle growth when you do strength training.
Numerous studies show that eating plenty of protein can help increase muscle mass and strength.
Protein Benefits For Body, If you’re physically active, lifting weights, or trying to gain muscle, you need to make sure you’re getting enough protein.
Keeping protein intake high can also help prevent muscle loss during weight loss.
3. Good for Your Bones
Protein Benefits For Body, An ongoing myth perpetuates the idea that protein — mainly animal protein — is bad for your bones.
This is based on the idea that protein increases acid load in the body, leading to calcium leaching from your bones in order to neutralize the acid.
Protein Benefits For Body, However, most long-term studies indicate that protein, including animal protein, has major benefits for bone health.
People who eat more protein tend to maintain bone mass better as they age and have a much lower risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
Protein Benefits For Body, This is especially important for women, who are at high risk of osteoporosis after menopause. Eating plenty of protein and staying active is a good way to help prevent that from happening.
4. Reduces Cravings and Desire for Late-Night Snacking
A food craving is different from normal hunger.
Protein Benefits For Body, It is not just about your body needing energy or nutrients but your brain needing a reward.
Yet, cravings can be incredibly hard to control. The best way to overcome them may be to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
Protein Benefits For Body, One of the best prevention methods is to increase your protein intake.
One study in overweight men showed that increasing protein to 25% of calories reduced cravings by 60% and the desire to snack at night by half.
Likewise, a study in overweight adolescent girls found that eating a high-protein breakfast reduced cravings and late-night snacking.
Protein Benefits For Body, This may be mediated by an improvement in the function of dopamine, one of the main brain hormones involved in cravings and addiction.
5. Boosts Metabolism and Increases Fat Burning
Eating can boost your metabolism for a short while.
Protein Benefits For Body, That’s because your body uses calories to digest and make use of the nutrients in foods. This is referred to as the thermic effect of food (TEF).
However, not all foods are the same in this regard. In fact, protein has a much higher thermic effect than fat or carbs — 20–35% compared to 5–15%.
High protein intake has been shown to significantly boost metabolism and increase the number of calories you burn. This can amount to 80–100 more calories burned each day.
Protein Benefits For Body, In fact, some research suggests you can burn even more. In one study, a high-protein group burned 260 more calories per day than a low-protein group. That’s equivalent to an hour of moderate-intensity exercise per day.
6. Lowers Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a major cause of heart attacks, strokes, and chronic kidney disease.
Protein Benefits For Body, Interestingly, higher protein intake has been shown to lower blood pressure.
In a review of 40 controlled trials, increased protein lowered systolic blood pressure (the top number of a reading) by 1.76 mm Hg on average and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number of a reading) by 1.15 mm Hg.
Protein Benefits For Body, One study found that, in addition to lowering blood pressure, a high-protein diet also reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides.
7. Helps Maintain Weight Loss
Protein Benefits For Body, Because a high-protein diet boosts metabolism and leads to an automatic reduction in calorie intake and cravings, many people who increase their protein intake tend to lose weight almost instantly.
One study found that overweight women who ate 30% of their calories from protein lost 11 pounds (5 kg) in 12 weeks — though they didn’t intentionally restrict their diet.
Protein also has benefits for fat loss during intentional calorie restriction.
Protein Benefits For Body, In a 12-month study in 130 overweight people on a calorie-restricted diet, the high-protein group lost 53% more body fat than a normal-protein group eating the same number of calories.
Of course, losing weight is just the beginning. Maintaining weight loss is a much greater challenge for most people.
A modest increase in protein intake has been shown to help with weight maintenance. In one study, increasing protein from 15% to 18% of calories reduced weight regain by 50%.
Protein Benefits For Body, If you want to keep off excess weight, consider making a permanent increase in your protein intake.
8. Does Not Harm Healthy Kidneys
Protein Benefits For Body, Many people wrongly believe that a high protein intake harms your kidneys.
It is true that restricting protein intake can benefit people with pre-existing kidney disease. This should not be taken lightly, as kidney problems can be very serious.
Protein Benefits For Body, However, while high protein intake may harm individuals with kidney problems, it has no relevance to people with healthy kidneys.
In fact, numerous studies underscore that high-protein diets have no harmful effects on people without kidney disease.