Protein gets a lot of attention in the health and nutrition space, however, there are a lot of mixed messages surrounding this important macronutrient. In this week’s blog we’ve decided to debunk some common myths so that we can learn the truth about protein!
1. Protein is more important than carbohydrates for exercise
Myth! Both macronutrients play an equally important role. While protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, carbohydrates are the body’s main source of fuel as well as helping to meet our fibre requirements which is important for gut health and digestion.
2. Vegans and vegetarians don’t get enough protein
Myth! While vegans and vegetarians generally consume less protein than those who eat animal products due to differences in the way that plant protein is digested, it’s not true that they cannot meet the recommended daily protein intake of 0.8-1g/kg body weight. For vegans and vegetarians, it’s more important that you choose a variety of protein sources across the day as most plant-based sources contain lower amounts of one or more essential amino acid (i.e. amino acids the body can’t produce by itself). For example, pulses and lentils contain different amounts of amino acids but combined together make up a complete protein source, like our saag aloo chickpea curry!
3. We need to take protein supplements to reach our daily intake
Myth! The average person can reach their protein intake from a varied, balanced diet. The recommended intake for the average adult is actually 0.8-1g of protein per kg body weight. For example, for a 57kg woman this equates to 46-57g protein per day which is easily achieved by eating a variety of protein rich foods during the day. Take a look at the protein content of a typical Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner meal plan in our Fuelwizard as an example! Protein intakes can increase to 1.2-1.6g/kg of body weight to build muscle and even reach 2g of protein/kg of body weight for athletes and bodybuilders, so in some cases, a protein supplement might be needed for these individuals if intake from diet is not sufficient.
5. Skipping meals won’t have any impact on my protein intake
Skipping meals means you're missing out on a window of opportunity to nourish your body with the nutrients it needs including protein. Our bodies utilize protein best when its spread across the day and included in all of our main meals; breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Eating foods high in protein has many benefits, including muscle building, weight loss, and feeling fuller after eating. However it's important not to focus just on protein but instead on getting a balance of nutrients from a healthy varied diet.
If you'd like to understand more about your protein requirements, why not book in for a nutrition consultation with one of our registered nutritionists in order to get your macros on track ahead of the festive season! Don't forget, we offer gift certificates which can be a perfect Secret Santa present for a health conscious loved one!