High Protein Diets

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Posted by Linda O'Byrne (Atkins Nutritionist)

High protein diets are often linked to bodybuilders intent on building muscle and losing fat. They have become more popular in recent times.

Our Atkins guides are intended to keep people informed about healthy diets and weight loss options. Many people still consider Atkins to be a high protein diet. However, Atkins isn’t high protein, yet is moderate in protein with a higher intake of dietary fat and reduced carbohydrates.

What is protein?

Protein is one of three macronutrients – the other two being fat and carbohydrates.  Its constituent parts are amino acids, commonly called the building blocks of protein. After consuming protein, they are metabolised by the body into amino acids which adhere to bone and muscle structure in the body and free flowing proteins like enzymes and hormones.

Why do we need Protein?

Protein helps keep the body functioning, with amino acids vital for growth, recovery and repair of muscle and other cells in the body. The body itself manufactures some amino acids for protein production but is reliant on protein foods for many essential amino acids.

What food contain protein?

Many foods are sources of protein for the body, these include fish, poultry, eggs, meat, tofu, soy beans, nuts and milk.

What is a high protein diet?

A high protein diet makes the consumption of proteins the key component of dieting, and this involves eating above recommended required amounts: 1-2g of protein per kilo of bodyweight generally seen as the minimum required intake.  Over 50% of your foods being from a protein source would lead to the designation of high protein diet.

Their contribution to weight loss pivots on the view that a high protein intake stops people feeling hungry and decreases their calorie intake. There are a number of popular versions of high protein diets which emphasise this consumption.