Eating Whole Healthy Foods Helps In More Ways Than One!

At Paula’s Healthy Living we often discuss the health and weight benefits to cooking and eating whole foods versus processed foods. Processed foods are loaded with fillers, salt, sugar and hydrogenated fats to add flavor and extend shelf life. Eating fresh, and when available, seasonal fruits and vegetables, whole grain carbohydrates, lean dairy products, lean meats and seafood and green tea, coffee or water gives your body the fuel that it needs to be energized, focused and hard working. Protein also helps muscles repair itself after the natural damage that occurs during exercise. Many trainers recommend chicken, turkey, eggs and whey protein.

Another benefit of consuming a high-protein diet, of approximately 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight (0.72 grams per pound), is that it helps maintain lean muscle during weight loss. The U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine compared fat loss and lean mass during weight loss and weight maintenance in participants that consumed twice and three times the recommended protein intake described above. The study found that doubling or tripling the recommended amount did not increase the benefits. (The FASEB Journal, published online June 5, 2013). quoted this about the connection be protein and weight loss:
“More research is needed before experts can make sweeping recommendations that people boost the protein in their diets, according to the American Dietetic Association.”

But some new research hints that protein may be able to satisfy hunger better than either fats or carbohydrates.  For example, in a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people were put on a diet in which:

Fat was reduced to 20% of calories
Protein was increased to 30% of calories
Carbs made up 50% of diet
People on that diet reported that they:

Were more satisfied
Less hungry
Lost weight

Another study in the Journal of Nutrition combined a high-protein diet with exercise. People in that study had:

Enhanced weight loss
Improved blood fat levels

Protein helps you feel satiated, so you can manage portion control and binge eating, but it also needs to include fresh fruits, vegetables, water and a moderate amount of heart-healthy fats to realize long-lasting weight changes. Not eating any of the foods just mentioned fried is critical to say the least. When you cook the foods at home, you control the salt, sugar and saturated fats versus being at the mercy of a restaurant.

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