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We don’t need nearly as much protein as we consume

Marketing Hype Around Protein

Protein has been associated with building our muscles. Resistance exercise tears up muscles, requiring protein to be rebuilt by the body. Protein supplement companies promote consuming their products post-workouts, but a majority of the consumers find it difficult to tell if there is any real effect.

A 2014 study found that protein supplements have zero impact on lean mass and muscle strength in the first few weeks of resistance training. Protein supplements are a marketing strategy for us to buy protein which we can adequately get (in a better way) in normal food.

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We don’t need nearly as much protein as we consume

We don’t need nearly as much protein as we consume

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20180522-we-dont-need-nearly-as-much-protein-as-we-consume

bbc.com

7

Key Ideas

Protein Intake

Protein intake is considered a no-brainer. As obesity rates have doubled over the last 20 years, this is what we have been told to eat. It is common knowledge that we have to avoid sugar, refined oils, and carbohydrates, and focus on eating protein, will be good for our health and help us lose weight. Many of us have, over the years, switched to brown bread and skimmed milk.

We also believe that we need to eat as much protein as we can.

Protein is Essential

A high-protein diet is essential for us to help our body grow and repair. We have been told to eat approximately 55 gm of protein daily for males, and 45 gm for females, based on average weights.

Not eating enough of protein can also have side effects like hair loss.

Health Fad

The protein supplement market had a valuation of USD 12.4 billion in 2016.

The way protein is packed in everything from candy bars to ‘high protein’ versions of staple products, it is becoming clear that it is an ongoing health fad. Many experts believe that products with ‘inflated protein’ are a waste of money.

Marketing Hype Around Protein

Protein has been associated with building our muscles. Resistance exercise tears up muscles, requiring protein to be rebuilt by the body. Protein supplement companies promote consuming their products post-workouts, but a majority of the consumers find it difficult to tell if there is any real effect.

A 2014 study found that protein supplements have zero impact on lean mass and muscle strength in the first few weeks of resistance training. Protein supplements are a marketing strategy for us to buy protein which we can adequately get (in a better way) in normal food.

Protein And The Aging Process

The elderly need more protein for the retention of muscle mass. Experts tell us that as we age, it is imperative that we consume more protein, even if our craving for it is curbed.

It is still not advisable for the elderly to get their proteins from supplements, as it has adverse effects on kidney, bones, and can also trigger symptoms like bloating, gas and stomach pain.

A Healthy Gut

Maintaining a healthy gut, with a variety of microbes, viruses and germs is crucial for our overall health.

Reducing carbohydrates in our diet severely impacts our gut health, so the carb-less Atkins-type diets are to be avoided.

Red Meat

... isn't’ as good as it seems. Eating large quantities of animal protein has adverse effects on our weight, with red meat linked to cancer and heart disease.

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Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet
  • Weight Loss.
  • Keto naturally lowers blood sugar levels due to the type of foods you eat.
  • Mental Focus: Ketones are a great source of fuel for the brain.
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  • Epilepsy: Keto diet has been used since the early 1900’s to treat epilepsy successfully.
  • Cholesterol & Blood Pressure: shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup.
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Do Not Eat on a Keto Diet
  • Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc.
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Best foods don’t have labels
Best foods don’t have labels

Because they are just one ingredient: avocado, lentils, blueberries, broccoli, almonds, etc.

There is no "best diet"

The “best” diet is a theme: an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and plain water for thirst. 

That can be with or without seafood; with or without dairy; with or without eggs; with or without some meat; high or low in total fat.

The "Age" of vegetables
The best vegetables are likely to be fresh and locally sourced, but flash frozen is nearly as good (as freezing delays aging). Those “fresh” vegetables that spend a long time in storage or transit are probably the least nutritious.

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Intermittent Fasting (IF)
Intermittent Fasting (IF)

The dietary practice of restricting your food consumption to a specific window of time. It is used as a supplement to your diet.
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Autophagy definition and benefits

The process by which the cell devours itself.

  • Non-essential parts like damaged proteins are recycled and invading microorganisms and toxic compounds are removed. 
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  • Autophagic processes can be initiated by fasting, protein restriction and carbohydrate restriction.

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Fiber gap

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Benefits of a fiber-rich diet

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Fiber doesn’t just help us poop better — it also nourishes our gut microbiome.

Processed foods and fiber

Instead of munching on fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds, more than half of the calories Americans consume come from ultra-processed foods. On any given day, nearly 40 percent of Americans eat fast food. These prepared and processed meals tend to be low in fiber, or even fiber free. 

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Your metabolism

It is in every cell in your body. It refers to a series of chemical processes in each cell that turn the calories you eat into fuel to keep you alive.

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How we burn energy

There are 3 main ways:

  • the basal metabolism, the energy used for your body's basic functioning while at rest
  • the energy used to break down food (also known as the thermic effect of food)
  • the energy used in physical activity.

Most of the energy you burn is from your resting metabolism.

Metabolism variations

Metabolism can vary a lot between people, and researchers don't understand why.

2 people with the same size and body composition can have different metabolic rates. One can consume a huge meal and gain no weight, while the other has to carefully count calories to not gain weight.

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Soya benefits

Soya has only been a common part of the Western diet for around 60 years. Soy products include soy milk, soy burgers and soy-based meat replacements, tofu tempeh, miso and soya sauce.

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The soya controversy

Soya contains a high content of isoflavones that have estrogenic properties. It means they act like estrogen, the primary female sex hormone, and bind to estrogen receptors in the body.

Estrogen can fuel the growth of some types of breast cancer, but it is not clear from research if isoflavones themselves contribute to cancer. 

Cancer protection

There is a 30% lower risk of developing breast cancer among women in Asian countries who are known for their high soya intake (compared to American women). Also, there is a 21% reduction in mortality among women with breast cancer who consumed more soya.

It is not certain why soya protects against cancer risk. It could be because its isoflavones can increase apoptosis (a genetically programmed mechanism that tells cells to self-destruct when they get DNA damage they’re not able to repair). Without this process, damaged cells can turn into cancer.

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Meanings of “protein”

Protein is a macronutrient, a family of molecules made of amino acids. It is found in many different food items like meat and legumes. Even grains and leafy vegetables have some. Plant-b...

Protein-rich foods from animals
  • They may have more saturated fatty acids (beef and dairy especially)
  • They may have more omega-3 fatty acids (fish especially)
  • They don’t contain any fiber or carbohydrates.
  • They tend to be very high in protein.

If you need a lot of protein in your diet, meat is a great way to satisfy that need.

“Plant protein”

Plant-based protein sources don't have as much protein. You can get enough protein through a plant-based diet, as long as it is well balanced. Plant-based protein sources:

  • They often contain fiber (especially legumes and whole grains).
  • If they contain fat, they are often rich in “good” fats (for example, the omega-3’s in nuts).
  • They contain plenty of starch as well, so it’s impossible to follow a low-carb diet if that’s a priority for you.

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Exercise and carbohydrate-rich diets
Exercise and carbohydrate-rich diets

In exercise, carbohydrate-rich diets are often recommended to promote recovery and maximise performance.

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Typical sport nutrition guidelines

Since late 1960, the energy status of muscles is deemed to be important in exercise performance.

Since carbohydrate is the preferred energy source for muscle contraction during intense exercise, sports nutrition guidelines recommend eating carbohydrate-rich food to maximise performance. The guidelines suggest eating one gram of carbohydrate for every kilogram of your body mass, each hour for four hours.

Nutrition affects performance and recovery
  • Recovery describes the processes inside the muscles that are stimulated by the stress of exercise sessions. These processes build up and result in increased endurance and muscle growth.
  • Exercise performance describes the ability to perform exercise at a specific intensity and duration.

The current nutritional recommendations for performance may not be ideal for promoting recovery.

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The Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet is an effort to go back to eating how we’re biologically designed to eat, allowing us to tap into our genetic potential and start living healthier immediately.

Lose weight on the Paleo Diet
  1. Eat fewer calories than you burn every day.
  2. Eat mostly real food if you want to be healthy.
  3. Do those two things consistently for a decade to KEEP the weight off.

When you only eat real food and avoid all unhealthy food, you’re more likely than not going to run a caloric deficit – and thus lose weight.

Eat the following:
  • Meat – GRASS-FED, not grain-fed. 
  • Fowl – Chicken, duck, hen, turkey.
  • Fish – Wild fish, as mercury and other toxins can be an issue in farmed fish
  • Eggs – Omega-3 enriched cage free eggs.
  • Vegetables – As long as they’re not deep-fried, eat as many as you want.
  • Oils – Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil – think natural.
  • Fruits – Fruits have natural sugar, and can be higher in calories, so limit if you’re trying to lose weight.
  • Nuts – High in calories, so they’re good for a snack only.
  • Tubers – Sweet potatoes and yams. Higher in calories and carbs.

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People struggle to keep weight off

Researchers have observed weight regain following weight loss across a range of populations and types of weight-loss diets.

Why long-term weight loss is so hard

The brain’s response to caloric restriction tends to be to increase cravings for foods that are highly rewarding and reducing our perception of being full. 

Diets frequently fail because they have an endpoint and are not a real lifestyle change. Maintaining a lifestyle that promotes a healthy weight and metabolism is often a lifelong journey. 

Maintaining weight loss

The actual food you eat isn’t the main thing that enables you to keep weight off.

Maintaining a weight-reduced state is a lifelong journey and many dietary approaches can work to facilitate weight loss and keep it off.