Protein: Misunderstood and Underutilized in the Typical American Diet

By Coach Josh Workout Comments Off on Protein: Misunderstood and Underutilized in the Typical American Diet

Your body needs protein to build and repair muscle tissue after a workout. Even if you’re not looking to ‘bulk-up’ your body still needs to repair itself. Protein is underutilized by so many people because quantity and sources are not understood. If you make protein a regular part of your diet you will sustain lean body mass and less body fat which are generally accepted positive health metrics. Those things lead to more efficient metabolism, more energy, better sleep, and less aches and pains.

Generally people don’t like to eat protein because they’re not fans of meat or dairy. I personally love meat and dairy, but I know why they’re not popular. They’re tough and chewy. Lean protein sources especially are not as tasty because they can be dry and don’t have as much salt and fat (think of plain old chicken breast). Salt and fat in ANYTHING will make it delicious, just look at Bacon, or Cheesy Eggs. Mac and Cheese. The list goes on. Read Michael Moss’s book “Salt Sugar Fat: How The Food Giants Hooked Us” or Michael Pollan’s book “In Defense of Food” and you’ll see. Lean protein sources also tend to require more cooking time, are more expensive in the store (quality meat is at least $7.99/lb here on the island), and they just don’t feel as good while you’re eating. We have less emotional connection and get less satisfaction out of a lean protein source. A burger or a steak cooked in lots of salt and butter sound way better (salt and fat again, you see what I mean?).

The typical American diet is low on protein, and high in carbs and fat.Consider a typical breakfast: Oatmeal with blueberries and walnuts, two fried eggs, and coffee with milk. Oatmeal: Carbs. Blueberries: Carbs. Walnuts: Fat (Although walnuts have a little protein in them, their dominant proportion is of fat). Check out the info here. Two Fried Eggs: Mostly fat. Eggs are similar to Walnuts. Both are amazing super foods. Full of healthy nutrients. However neither count as a lean protein source because the fat portion is much larger than the protein portion. Coffee with Milk: negligible nutrients. But again, mostly fat depending on the milk. Most folks would look at this meal and say: “Oatmeal has protein in it. Nuts have protein. Eggs have protein.”

True but it’s not enough. Eating nuts for the protein is like drinking beer for the water. Sure there’s SOME but you don’t drink beer to hydrate, and you don’t eat peanut butter for the protein. So many people could experience substantial health and wellness gains simply by plucking the low hanging fruit of adding a lean protein source into every meal!

Thanks for reading,

VashonStrong Coaches!

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