Monday, July 28, 2008

From Dr. Rubin

Most of us are aware that meats are proteins. Did you know, however, that proteins, one of the basic components of foods, help you feel more full than carbohydrates or fats? It is important, therefore, to eat adequate amounts of lean protein if you are wanting to help curb hunger and food intake.

Consuming meals rich in high-quality protein—preferably organic chicken, beef, lamb, dairy, eggs, and so on—will leave you feeling full and satisfied, which can support weight loss. Here’s why: chicken, beef, fish, and other high-protein foods slow the movement of food from the stomach to the intestine—and a stomach that slowly empties means you feel fuller longer and get hungrier later.

Even better, as it relates to weight management, is that grass-fed beef is high in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid that appears to modestly reduce body fat, while preserving muscle tissue, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine. Additional good news is that grass-fed animals have 3 to 5 times more CLA than grain-fed animals.

But that’s not all that healthy proteins can do. Protein’s gentle, steady effect on blood sugar avoids that quick, steep rise in glucose levels that can occur after eating a rapidly-digestible carbohydrate like white bread or a baked potato. What’s more is that proteins provide for the transport of nutrients, oxygen, and waste throughout the body and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of cells, tissues, and organs.

Healthy sources of protein are organically raised cattle, sheep, goats, buffalo, and venison. Grass-fed beef is leaner and lower in calories than grain-fed beef. Organic beef is higher in healthy omega-3 fatty acids and important vitamins like vitamins B12 and E, and is much healthier than meat from hormone-injected cattle that eat pesticide-sprayed feed laced with antibiotics.

Fish with scales and fins caught from oceans and rivers are also lean sources of protein and provide the essential amino acids. Supermarkets are stocking these types of foods in greater quantities these days, and of course, they are found in natural food stores, fish markets, and specialty stores. Consuming fatty fish—wild salmon, mackerel, and sardines—comes with additional benefits. They also provide healthy omega-3 fats.

Protein—especially meat raised organically—is an essential part of a healthy diet. So…got meat? If not, be sure to get some so that you get your protein needs met daily.

No comments: