Are you getting enough protein?

by Glen Depke The simple truth is that we need all the macro-nutrients; protein, fat and carbohydrates. The challenge for most is that our overall cultural diet is actually very heavy in carbohydrate consumption and most often deficient in protein. So how big of a problem is this and are you getting enough protein in daily for optimal health and happiness? According to an article from the National Institutes of Health, ingestion of approximately 25–30g of protein per meal, maximally stimulates muscle protein synthesis in both young and older individuals. To read the full article visit this link. Please understand that this is a generalized number and this would differ based on weight, overall activity levels, age and other factors. Some people may need more than this amount and others slightly less but we will use this 25-30 grams goal as our measuring stick. So what would you have to consume in a meal to reach this goal?
  • A quarter pound of beef is only 22 grams
  • Half pound salmon filet is about 40 grams
  • One full cup of diced chicken meat is approximately 35 grams
  • One serving of the Depke Wellness Prime Protein Plus Vanilla or Chocolate with nut butter is between 26-28 grams
  • One full cup of chickpeas is about 39 grams
  • One full cup of alfalfa sprouts is near 33 grams
  • A 12 ounce top sirloin steak is approximately 69 grams of protein
So why is this protein ultimately so important? Understand that proteins are used to make most everything in our body but here is a list of some of these primary factors.
  • Hormones
  • Neurotransmitters
  • Oxygen transport
  • Cellular repair
  • Binding and transport of nutrients
  • Movement
  • Holding genetic information
  • Structural proteins
  • Enzymes
  • Conversion to fuel
The protein you consume is digested and converted into amino acids. There are 22 amino acids that we recognize of which 9 are essential. When I mention essential, this means that they have to be ingested through our diet. The other non-essential amino acids can be produced in the body. The 9 essential amino acids include histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Remember, the 9 essential amino acids need to come from our diet. The best source of all our essential amino acids would be from eggs. Unfortunately many people have a sensitivity to eggs, thus removing this as a good source for many. After eggs would be flesh protein or meat products. Those that focus on plant based choices would have to be on top of their game nutritionally because plant based foods are not complete proteins, meaning they do not contain all the essential amino acids. These individuals would need to combine their food choices properly to get the correct balance of the essential amino acids. Thankfully the Prime Protein Plus contains all the essential amino acids at your finger tips in a low food sensitivity, plant based form. Beyond eating the correct foods there are other factors that tie into your protein needs.
  1. Quality of your protein sources
    • Focusing on complete proteins such as egg, meat or the prime protein plus will provide the essential amino acids as well as other essential nutrients.
    • Obviously organic, grass fed, wild caught, free range, ect., is going to be better than conventionally raised.
    • Low temperature cooking such as a Crock Pot on low will maintain a higher level of your protein.
  2. Your own individual digestive processes
    • The use of pre/probiotics, digestive enzymes and even stomach acid goes a long way in assisting the digestive system in properly processing your proteins.
    • Keep your water content low and at room temperature when eating your meal.
    • Eat while relaxed because stress will hinder your digestion. Usually about 3-5 deep belly breaths before you eat will help this shift for you.
    • Assess and eliminate any food sensitivities because these will lead to chronic inflammation and poor digestion.
    • If you have chronic health challenges it would be a good idea to confirm that you are not living with some sort of a gut pathogen because this can often be the cause of poor digestion.
  3. Liver congestion
    • If your liver is congested this can lead to poor protein synthesis.
  4. Nutrient deficiencies
    • Zinc, selenium, chromium, bio-available manganese and other nutrients can also lead to poor digestion and synthesis of your protein.
Also when we look at this from a bio-chemical individuality standpoint, based on your Nutritional ID, you may need more or less protein depending on whether you would be considered a Veggie Type, Mixed Type or Protein Type. Here is the breakdown of general protein volume need for each specific Nutritional ID.
  • Veggie Types require approximately 25% of the volume of their meal from protein (Preferred lower fat flesh protein, eggs and plant based)
  • Mixed Types require approximately 30% of the volume of their meal from protein (Preferred as a combination of high and low fat flesh protein and some plant based)
  • Protein Types require approximately 40% of the volume of their meal from protein (Preferred to be mostly from higher fat flesh protein and small amounts of plant based)
If you do not know your Nutritional ID, you can get your free assessment here. So in the end, we can see that protein consumption is essential and we have to consume foods that provide all our essential amino acids. There are also many other factors that tie into this that is beyond protein consumption alone and we are all individuals, so our protein needs will potentially vary from one person to another. If you have any comments or questions in regard to this article, please leave this below and we will address this personally.    

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