• Janet Perry RHN, CSNC

The Skinny On Protein.


Protein doesn’t really need an introduction, most people know it’s one of the three macronutrients that make up their diet. Fat and carbohydrates being the other two.


Protein is involved in the development of organs, building and repairing tissue, muscle growth, bone health, healthy brain function, balancing hormones, supporting the immune system, plus it can help with managing weight, slowing down the signs of aging, and stimulating healthy hair, skin, and nails.


Albumin and globulin are two types of protein in your body. They’re both found in your blood. Albumin helps transport small molecules through the blood, as well, it plays an important role in keeping the fluid in the blood from leaking into the tissues. Globulins play an important role in liver function, blood clotting, and fighting infection.


We often hear the statement that people need to eat more protein. Want to lose weight, eat more protein. Trying to build more muscle at the gym, increase your protein intake. However, while it’s essential, not all food sources of protein are created equal, and you may not need as much as you think.


Indicators of too much protein include mental confusion, dehydration, edema, fatigue, joint aches and pains


Not enough protein can have a significant impact on your health, it may compromise immune function, leaving you more vulnerable to infections, and it makes maintaining lean muscle challenging.


Protein is made from over twenty building blocks called amino acids. There are nine essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are those which our body cannot synthesize therefore we must get through food.


Biological value is a measure of the proportion of protein converted from food which becomes incorporated into the proteins in your body. When a protein contains all of the essential amino acids in the right proportion, it has a high biological value.


Some proteins found in food are “complete,” meaning they contain all twenty-plus types of amino acids. Others are incomplete, lacking one or more of the nine essential amino acids, which our bodies can’t make.


Proteins can be found in both animal and plant-based foods, such as eggs, fish, poultry, beef, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds. Animal-based proteins typically have all of the essential amino acids, plant-based foods often lack one or more amino acid, but in combination with other plant-based foods can form a complete protein.


One of the tests Metabolic Balance uses which goes towards generating your personalized meal plan is the Total Protein Test. The test measures the total amount of protein in your blood and specifically looks for the amount of albumin and globulin. The results of this test will be used to determine which sources of protein, sometimes as specific as the cut of meat, and in which quantities are going to give your body exactly what it needs.


While most people consume a lot of protein, it’s the quality of the proteins containing a high biological value that helps keep us healthy.


I originally wrote this post for Maliya Women's Wellness Centre which is located in Cochrane, Alberta. https://www.maliya.ca/blog/the-skinny-on-protein

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