Different Types of Protein | HealthiNation

Uploaded by HealthiNation on 16.02.2012

Proteins are an essential part of your diet. They’re found in a wide range of foods…everything
from burgers to beans. But not all proteins are the same. Some proteins are surrounded
by stuff that’s bad for you like saturated fats. That would be the burger. Other proteins
are coupled with good stuff like vitamins, minerals and fiber. Yes. I’m talking about
the beans. We want proteins because they play a critical
role throughout the body, helping it make and repair cells. Every one of your cells
contains proteins. They’re a major part of your muscles, bones, skin and hair.
The basic building blocks of proteins are called amino acids. Think of amino acids as
letters in an alphabet: just like our 26 letters can be arranged into hundreds of thousands
of words, the 20 basic amino acids can be arranged into tens of thousands of proteins.
And while the body can make most of these 20 amino acids, it can’t make 9 of them.
These 9 are called the “essential” amino acids, and we must get them from the protein
in our diet. Based on that, proteins in food are considered
either “complete” or “incomplete”. Animal proteins generally contain all the
“essential” amino acids. Those are “complete”. Soybeans are the only plant protein that is
“complete”. Proteins from fruits, veggies, grains and nuts are missing at least one essential
amino acid. They’re “incomplete”. This is an important point for vegetarians, who
need to be sure to eat a variety of foods with protein to make sure they get all of
their essential amino acids. Protein helps you feel fuller, and doesn’t
cause spikes in blood sugar.  And while it’s an important part of a healthy weight loss
plan, beware of high-protein diets. They are not balanced.
All protein sources aren’t the same and the trick is to pick out the healthy ones
in the right amounts. Here’s what I tell my patients:
Eat a mix of proteins because different sources offer different benefits. 
With animal proteins, you have to be careful because they often contain a lot of an unhealthy
fat saturated fat. Limit your intake of red meat and avoid processed meats, like deli
meats and hot dogs.  Both have even been linked to a higher risk of certain cancers. 
The best sources of animal protein are lean meats, like poultry without the skin and fish.
When it comes to dairy products, like butter and whole milk, look for low or non-fat options like
skim milk or low-fat yogurt. Proteins like those found in nuts, beans,
whole grains, and soy are a good choice. They are a terrific source of fiber, vitamins and
minerals.  Soy products also contain omega-3 fatty acids,
vitamins and minerals. Some even contain fiber. It’s still unclear whether soy protein plays
a role in preventing hot flashes or chronic disease. What is clear is that soy products,
like tofu or soymilk can provide a great alternative to less healthy proteins in your diet.
As an experienced nutritionist, I know a lot people avoid proteins because they are afraid
of the fat. Remember, some fats are “good” and so are some proteins. You need them both.
When they are eaten from smart sources and in sensible portions, they’re the foundation
of a healthy, balanced diet.