Protein is very important to our bodies. It isn’t just for bodybuilders who use them to gain muscle mass. Those who are sick use them to rebuild damaged tissue and even in normal states, our body uses it for many different tasks.
Protein is made of amino acids that are folded together. There are essential amino acids – those that our body cannot make, and non essential amino acids – those that our body can make. Proteins that are made up of all the essential amino acids are said to be complete while those that lack in one or more essential amino acid are incomplete. Complete protein comes from sources such as meat, eggs, cheese, dairy and soy. Incomplete proteins come mainly from vegetable sources with the one exception being soy.
The ideal source should be complete proteins. For most people that isn’t a problem. If you are worried about fat intake, try lean cuts of beef, chicken and turkey. For vegetarians whose main source comes from incomplete proteins, getting a variety of vegetables and whole grains throughout the day will ensure that all essential amino acids are consumed. Also, using soy protein (which is the only complete vegetable source of protein) is very beneficial.
It’s important that you get protein with every meal. It stimulates glucagon, glucagon is what balances out the effect of glycogen. It also mobilizes fat from storage and utilizes it for energy. When you eat a meal without protein, your body does the opposite and stores it as fat aka stored energy.
Studies have shown that people who skip protein in meals were more fatigued throughout the day. There were more prone to higher levels of stress, depressed, and less physically fit. General guide lines are to get about 1/3 your body weight in protein per day. I would say that is on the lower, less active end. But to try to get around at least 20-35 grams depending on your weight and activity level per meal. With your snacks having half those numbers. So like 10-20 grams of protein even in your snacks.
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