Lots of people do but some of them do...for the wrong reason. I'm talking about those dubious high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets that were once and, in some places, are still all the rage. More about all of that later. In the meantime, I do want you to realize that protein is an important component of every cell in your body. Did you know your hair and nails are made up mostly of protein? Your body also uses protein to build and repair tissue. (Boy, that sounds like a really important job, doesn't it?) Protein is also an important building block of your bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and even your blood. So when I say lean on protein, you can see...I mean it! But now comes some more good news about protein.
Consuming more protein from beans, fish and chicken has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke by as much as 20%.
According to Consumer Reports magazine, consuming more protein from beans, fish and chicken, (but not red meats), has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke by as much as 20%. That discovery is based on a recent analysis of more than seven studies. In those studies, more than 250,000 people were involved and followed over a period of 10-18 years. Here's what they found out.
For every 20-gram increase in protein consumed per day, (about the amount in a one-third cup of kidney beans or a quarter of a chicken breast), the risk of getting a stroke was reduced by 26%. Wow! That's an impressive number and you may be wondering why that is. The studies speculate that this big reduction in stroke risk was thanks to the nutrients provided by those high protein foods, including potassium and magnesium. Both of these nutrients have been shown to help control blood pressure, the leading cause of most strokes.
So, how much protein is enough? Most of us are probably familiar with the myth that eating more protein builds more muscle. Well, that's just what it is, a myth. Wanna know what really builds more muscle? Easy...EXERCISE! Like I said, protein is part of your muscles but it doesn't actually build muscle. There's a difference, you know. Still, your body needs a modest amount of protein to function efficiently. And whatever you do, don't go loading up on protein at the expense of other important food groups, like carbohydrates! Like I said earlier, the high-protein diet was all the rage years ago. Body builders and body-builder wannabes were slurping as many protein shakes as they could. Dieters, working to lose weight were gulping down protein bars and running away from pasta in an effort to drop more pounds. Cut it out!
Your body needs a healthy, sensible mix from all six of the major food groups.
To lose weight, to maintain a weight-loss or to just plain live a healthier lifestyle, you're going to need a healthy, sensible mix from all six of the major food groups. Any weight-loss program that promises a weight-loss by loading you up on one food group while shunning another? Now that's what you should be running away from!
Yes, protein is good for you so make sure you're getting enough. And, as it turns out, if you're at high risk for stroke, it looks to me like you've got one more good reason to LEAN...on PROTEIN!