Thursday, July 26, 2012

Protein, health and vegetarianism

It's with great pleasure that I present guest article this week! Philippe, our gourmet vegetarian, we explained clearly and precisely what proteins are, what we need and how we get them, regardless of the type of power we have.

Philippe is a vegetarian for years (he explains himself) and revenues of his blog (all excellent and I heartily recommend!) Are also, of course! He is regularly confronted with the question of possible protein deficiency, which could suffer vegetarians and answered long ago, he who is doing better than ever It gives us the straight goods on real needs and provides information on a subject so unfairly, but so well recovered by the food industry and the meat trade.

Open your eyes and sharpen your memory: this item is a gift that makes us a specialist vegetarian intelligent, informed and quality ...

Each knows that protein is essential for the construction and functioning of our body; however, many misconceptions about them, often wrong, do not always help in the adoption of eating behaviors most favorable to health.

At the invitation of my friend Bernadette Gilbert, author of the living and eclectic blog on which I am pleased to speak today, "Flavour Cooking Health satiety", I would try to shed some light on several important aspects related proteins.

On purpose, I will not go into too much scientific detail, but I'll stick to the rather broad conclusions being validated by the most authoritative official bodies in the areas of nutrition or dietetics.

I draw your attention to the fact that I do not suggest you substitute for consultation with a physician or dietitian (not) if you have any doubt or problem concerning your health or nutrition ...

Having personally made the choice to be the vegetarian for several years being very athletic, truly healthy, it is with a smile that I often hear of, everything and anything about how best to meet our protein needs, about possible deficiencies in vegetarians one or the other essential nutrients, about a supposed inferior quality vegetable protein from animal proteins, the need complementation, etc....

The smile which I refer is not a smile of "sufficiency" is that just the ideas die hard, while the lack of foundation for many of them has already proved long ago .. .

Definition and role of protein

Schematically, we can say that proteins are complex molecules composed of chains of amino acids, which are themselves compounds containing Carbon, Hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sometimes sulfur.

According to the order of amino acids and their interactions with each other, proteins take particular conformations that are essential for their functionality (helices, sheets ...). Each species has specific protein substances.

During digestion, the amino acids constituting the proteins are separated. The body then uses the recombining them to form new proteins. Among the twenty amino acids commonly found in animal and vegetable proteins, there are eight that the human body cannot manufacture, and therefore, it must be provided by diet: what are the essential amino acids (tryptophan, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, valine, leucine and isoleucine, which list can be added to the infant essential histidine)?

Proteins play a fundamental role in many biological processes:

They have a structural role in the formation of skin, bones, hair (e.g., actin, keratin);
muscle contraction, transmission of nerve impulses, the immune system depended on the protein;
enzymes that are vital to metabolism are proteins;
many hormones are proteins (e.g. insulin);
proteins in specific cases can also be sources of energy ...

It recommended protein intake in.

According to ANSES (National Agency for Food Safety, environment and labor), the contribution of protein to total energy intake should be 11 to 15% ... how the desirable level of complete intake that is established?

The recommended dietary energies are calculated from an energy expenditure basis, i.e. they take into account:

Basal metabolic rate (energy used at rest for the functioning of organs like the brain, heart, gastrointestinal tract, etc.... this is the main component, 60 to 70% energy expenditure);
physical activity (energy used during travel, sports, household, business, etc.).
dietary thermogenesis (energy used for digestion, intestinal absorption, food storage, 10% of total energy expenditure)
plus expenses related to special physiological situations (growth, pregnancy, breastfeeding, etc.....).

In adults aged 20 to 40 years of regular practice, the majority of the population, the recommended daily energy intakes are 2200 kcal for women and 2700 kcal for men.

Knowing that the recommended dietary allowances are (by convention according to the standards set by the handles in France) 130% of median requirement, we can say that the average energy is about 1700 kcal for women (2200/1 , 3) to about 2100 kcal for men.

If we return to the proteins, it means that the average daily intake of protein (for the population category above) should represent:

Between 11 and 15% of 1700 kcal, between 187 and 255 kcal for women ... or knowing that 1 gram of protein provides 4 kcal, approximately 47 to 64 g of protein per day for women;
between 11 and 15% of 2100 kcal, between 231 and 315 kcal for man who are about 58 to 79 g of protein per day for men.

These figures corroborate that in general there is agreement currently recommended (see, for example, the very serious Harvard School of Public Health) or the ingestion of about 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day: according to these criteria and under conditions representative of the average person should eat 60 kilos 48 grams of protein per day, and one of 80 pounds should eat 64 grams.
protein health benefits

Thus, insofar as these quantitative levels are met, a non-vegetarian, in principle, could "be quiet" (if we stick strictly to the diet), for the satisfaction of its protein needs (the proteins of meat, fish and eggs usually contain all the essential amino acids) ... you read: "could, in principle" because it is a "but" (see the second part in the procession of comments on the disadvantages that usually accompanies these animal proteins ...).

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