The Truth about Protein – Part 2
This is the 2nd part of the series of articles covering protein and how you should utilize the vital nutrient into your diet. Last week I covered what protein essentially is, why we need it and how much is optimal. If you haven’t checked out part 1, take a look here.
Where your protein comes from it just as important, if not more, than much protein you eat. Protein has been measured for its bioavailability, which is how ‘available the protein is to your body and how efficiently your body uses it. Protein with a poor bioavailability index rating is considered an incomplete protein, meaning that the protein content is used very well by the body. Consuming foods with a much higher bio index, will give you more protein and better value for your investment. Of course, more protein also means more fat loss and muscle gains! Here is the biological value table of protein sources:
Egg (Whole) 100
Cow’s Milk 91
Egg (White) 88
Now, the quality of these sources is also a factor to consider. You could make a huge mistake buying grain-fed chicken and consuming this as your main source of protein. The same goes for eggs if you’re buying non-organic farm raised eggs, you may be doing your body more harm than good. This goes for pretty much all protein sources, in particular whey protein. Too much of anything is not good, remember that.
To help you pick the highest quality and best protein sources, here are the most important things you need to know:
- Opt for grass-fed organic beef and red meat. When you buy steak, beef, venison etc, always buy grass-fed organic. This will be free of many nasty hormones, anti-biotics and inflammatory substances that your body doesn’t need. The grass-fed option is worth the investment.
- Opt for pastured, organic chicken and poultry. When you buy turkey, chicken and pork, try to buy pastured organic. This is free of pesticides and other nasties you could do without. If you eat a lot of chicken, make sure its organic.
- Eat organic free-range eggs or even better, omega-fed eggs. Eggs are one of the most contaminated foods if the hens are fed on GM grains and unnatural foods. If they’re from a poor source, this is a big problem. Make sure they’re organic.
- Choose wild fish over farm raised. Avoid too much tuna, which is very high in mercury. Wild salmon, trout and cod, sardines, mackerel and herring are all excellent sources of protein and brain nutrients. But, if they’re farm raised, the quality goes way down. With salmon make sure it’s not farmed.
- Use whey protein isolate. Isolate is a better source of protein than concentrate, in contains virtually no lactose and is usually cheaper. This is the best quality whey protein you can buy. There are a few companies in the UK which now sell grass-fed whey protein, which is actually a waste of money. Grass fed whey is the same as a good quality whey.
- Game meat is amongst the best sources of protein known to man. The meat is very lean, it is natural, which means it hasn’t been raised on a farm eating grains and cereals. And, there are many different meats to try, which makes it interesting. Amongst them, pigeon, venison, pheasant and rabbit.
- Animal protein (Beef,Chicken,Venison,etc) contains about 22g of protein per 100g of weight. Remember this when your planning your meals.
- Protein from plants such as nuts and seeds are generally considered incomplete sources. However, this doesn’t mean they should be eaten and are an excellent source of protein for a quick snack during the day or to add to your meals. In 100g of almonds there is about 24g of protein.
If you take on even half of this information, then you’re on your way – good job. Look out next week for the third and final part of this article series.