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The Balance of Protein
August 12, 2020 at 3:00 PM
by Simplistic Wellness

We believe the vast majority of people have common knowledge about protein being an important macronutrient our bodies need. Our Protein Pantry system stresses the importance of consuming the minimal daily requirement of protein. But, let’s dive a little deeper into the necessities of protein and the balancing act we are trying to play with this macronutrient.

When protein is broken down by digestion the result is 22 known amino acids. Eight are essential (cannot be synthesized by the body) the rest are non-essential (can be synthesized by the body with proper nutrition). The only way to get the eight essential amino acids is through foods that contain them. Most people understand that amino acids are important physiological regulators of metabolism and have an effect on building cells and repairing tissue. Besides this, amino acids form antibodies to combat invading bacteria and viruses, they make up many of our hormones, transport oxygen through our blood to cells, they are RNA and DNA in the nuclei of our cells responsible for the genetic code. Proteins are essential for the body structure being building blocks of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Aside from water, protein is the most abundant compound found in the human body. Protein is found in every cell and tissue, and along with certain fats, protein plays many critical roles in keeping you alive and healthy.

Some might wonder, if protein is so essential to life then why not try to consume as much protein as you can? Well, when your goal is to keep blood sugar under control and keep insulin production at a minimum, you can’t eat a limitless amount of protein. We teach our dieters how crucial it is to keep blood sugar regulated and insulin production at a minimum when trying to lose fat and improve overall health.

Protein does stimulate insulin release because one of insulin's jobs is to send amino acids into lean tissue such as muscle. When there is an excess of amino acids in the muscle cells, the surplus of amino acids enter the pathway of energy production. What this means is the excess amino acids are broken down and then leave the muscle cell, travel to the liver and get turned into glucose by the process known as gluconeogenesis. The liver will send the newly-synthesized glucose into the blood, where it will be taken up by the muscle cells and broken down once again.

The reason for explaining this energy cycle is to show why it is possible to have elevated blood glucose and elevated insulin while eating high protein low carbohydrate. Excess amino acids not only provide the raw materials for glucose synthesis in the liver but they also require additional glucose synthesis in the liver in order to allow certain amino acids to be converted into energy.

Protein Pantry is not a high protein diet. We give the minimal amount of protein required to support cellular structure. We utilize certain fats in our diet system to curb hunger and cravings. Fat consumption does not raise blood glucose levels or insulin levels. Also, the fats we have our dieters consume are essential for sustaining life and health. We have to control blood glucose levels and insulin levels in order to burn fat and improve overall health. This takes restricting carbohydrates and consuming the right balance of protein and fat.

Sources: The Journal Of Nutrition; Dr. Donald K. Layman, Ph.D.

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