6 benefits of a high protein diet
Updated: Mar 15, 2019
The health effects of fat and carbs are controversial. However, almost everyone agrees that protein is important. But in India, most people are still unaware of the various benefits of following a high protein diet.
Numerous studies suggest that a high-protein diet has major benefits for weight loss and metabolic health.
Here are 6 science-based reasons to follow a high protein diet-
1. Appetite Reduces and Hunger Levels Decrease
Studies show that protein is by far the most filling. It helps you feel more full — with less food. This is partly because protein reduces your level of the hunger hormone ghrelin. It also boosts the levels of peptide YY, a hormone that makes you feel full.
If you need to lose weight or belly fat, consider replacing some of your carbs and fats with protein. It can be as simple as making your potato or rice serving smaller while adding a few extra bites of meat or fish.
To conclude a high-protein diet reduces hunger, helping you eat fewer calories. This is caused by the improved function of weight-regulating hormones.
2. Increases Muscle Mass and Strength
Protein is the building block of your muscles and hence eating adequate amounts of protein maintains your muscle mass and promotes muscle growth when you do strength training.
If you're physically active, lifting weights, or trying to gain muscle, you need to make sure you're getting enough protein.
Keeping protein intake high can also help prevent muscle loss during weight loss.
3. Reduces Cravings and Desire for Late-Night Snacking
A food craving is different from normal hunger. It is not just about your body needing energy or nutrients but your brain needing a reward.
Yet, cravings can be incredibly hard to control. The best way to overcome them may be to prevent them from happeneing in the first place.
One of the best prevention methods is to increase your protein intake. One study in overweight men showed that increasing protein to 25% of calories reduced cravings by 60% and the desire to snack at night by half.
Likewise, a study in overweight adolescent girls found that eating a high-protein breakfast reduced cravings and late-night snacking.
This may be mediated by an improvement in the function of dopamine, one of the main brain hormones involved in cravings and addiction.
4. Boosts Metabolism and Increases Fat Burning
Eating can boost your metabolism for a short while. That's because your body uses calories to digest and make use of the nutrients in foods. This is referred to as the thermic effect of food (TEF).
Although all are not the same in this regard. In fact, protein has a much higher thermic effect than fat or carbs — 20–35% compared to 5–15%.
Thus a high protein intake may boost your metabolism significantly, helping you burn more calories throughout the day.
5. Does Not Harm Healthy Kidneys
Many people wrongly believe that a high protein intake harms your kidneys. It is true that restricting protein intake can benefit people with pre-existing kidney disease. This should not be taken lightly, as kidney problems can be very serious.
However, while high protein intake may harm individuals with kidney problems, it has no relevance to people with healthy kidneys.
In fact, numerous studies underscore that high-protein diets have no harmful effects on people without kidney disease.
6. Helps Your Body Repair Itself After Injury
Protein can help your body repair after it has been injured. This makes perfect sense, as it forms the main building blocks of your tissues and organs.
Eating more protein can help you recover faster if you’ve been injured.