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Proteins

Protein is a component of every cell in the human body and is necessary for proper growth and development, especially during childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy. Protein is made up of hundreds or thousands of smaller units, called amino acids, which are linked to one another in long chains. The sequence of amino acids determines each molecule’s function in the body. Protein helps your body build and repair cells and body tissue; it is a major part of your skin, hair, nails, muscle, bone, and internal organs. Especially, protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass. Protein is also found in almost all body fluids, and it is important for many body processes, such as blood clotting, fluid balance, immune response, vision, and production of hormones, antibodies, and enzymes.

Enough protein through the day helps satisfy your hunger and keeps you full for hours; animal proteins are most common, but beans, peas, nuts and seeds, tofu, tempeh and other soy products, yogurts and cheeses are very effective sources. And you may mix proteins; mixing part of your serving from one choice and part from another.

The Daily Value established for protein is 50 g per day. This is based on a 2,000-calorie daily meal plan— your Daily Value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. An ounce of protein equivalent should have 4 to 7 grams of protein. Animal proteins meet this easily, grains and vegetable proteins are often lower. Mix two or three vegan proteins together; cannelloni beans plus edamame plus barley for instance, or lentils, quinoa, and kale.

Most protein foods also contain some fat. This is excellent because protein and fat slow down the rate of absorption of sugars and simple carbohydrates, thereby reducing cravings and that “roller-coaster “feeling.

I find that my clients, people with food addiction and other compulsive eating disorders, often need more protein (and fat) than is normally expected. The amount of protein you need is related to your age, height, weight and stature; that is the width of your body. The body needed to create more muscle, bone, and organ cells if you are very broad framed, overweight or exercise a lot. Some recommendations are 0.8 to 1.0 gram of protein per kilogram body weight. (1 kg = 2.2 lb.) I think many of my clients may need more or less than that; I calculate it individually. And it does not have to be exact and it does not have to be perfect at every meal. The body can adapt. But if your food plan says 3 ounces of protein, that means you need 15 to 21 gm protein. (for 4 oz protein that is 20-28 gm)

Look at the amount of protein per serving in each food you buy. Is this amount appropriate for your needs and for the position of the food in your plan? Does one brand, that is your protein source, have more grams of protein than another? What does your body need from this food?

This ends the box on the food plan label. Now I want to show you how to evaluate this with the ingredient list.  We will talk about that next week, and we will put all these facts together! Stay tuned.

And a wonderful Purim message from my friend Zippi went out to everyone yesterday.

And…… Have you heard about the new food plan book? It is ready for you now!!!!  You can order it on our website sanefood.com.

Blessings to you,

Theresa

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