I'm often asked by my clients if a high protein diet is really all that is necessary in order to achieve the lean physique most of them are looking for.
Fact is that for to many of us, a diet high in protein seems to be a reversal from the norm.
Having been taught as youngsters to follow the Food Guide Pyramid, which tells us to base our diet mostly on bread, cereal, and rice, the typical North American diet is low in protein and high in carbohydrates. Does that make it right? Well here are some facts before I answer:
- Over half of North American adults are considered overweight.
- Nearly one-quarter of North American adults are considered obese.
- From 1960 to 2004 the prevalence of obesity increased from 13.4 percent to 26.3 percent. Most of this increase took place in the last decade of the study.
- From 1991 to 2004, obesity increased throughout both genders, and all age groups.
- About 11 percent of children aged 6 to 17 were overweight from 1988 to 2004.
Is the low protein/high carbohydrate diet working? Did forcing God out of our schools and hoping that there would be less violence work– “No It Does Not Work”.
Two studies published in February's 2006 Journal of Nutrition state that an increase in dietary protein helps to stabilize our blood glucose level, resulting in a reduced post-meal insulin response, therefore having positive effects on our overall body composition and blood lipids.
In both studies, a group of women were assigned either to a high protein/moderate carbohydrate diet or a low protein/high carbohydrate diet. Weight loss in the high protein group was significantly higher compared to the low protein group. This study demonstrates that increasing the proportion of protein in ones diet has positive effects on body composition.
We need to re-think our diets.
However, just because these studies say a diet higher in protein is healthier and more beneficial for fat loss doesn't mean you should eliminate your carbohydrates all together. In order to tip those scales in your favor, stick with the healthier fruits and vegetables while substituting some of the carbohydrates you currently eat with a high quality protein.
Some great protein choices are:
- Chicken breast
- Turkey breast
- Extra lean ground beef
- Egg whites
- Fat-free cottage cheese
- Round steak
- Sirloin steak
Just as our soul needs to feast on the Bible, our bodies need to feast on the proper nutrients, which God has provided for us. These sources of protein are readily available to most people and are relatively simple to prepare. Some natural protein sources like nuts are ready to eat. That is nothing high-tech or complicated. Discover the God-designed power of protein today.
Derek Beech holds an Associates Degree in Health & Nutrition and has authored a number of books related to this very same subject. Currently, he is working as a human resources manager and personal trainer in Campbell River, BC. Along with his wife he has competed in numerous bodybuilding competitions however, having placed first at the Northern Canadian Bodybuilding Championships earlier this year, he has now decided to take a couple of years off from the competitive scene in order to spend more time with his children, Chris (17) and Kaila (11). If you are interested in learning more about the books he has written or personal training, you may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org