Do YOU believe these protein myths?
Myths are hard to shake.
Once one gets in the collective “mind,” people believe it, share it, and are often hard to convince otherwise. Even when faced with the facts.
When it comes to protein, I think we’re generally in a pretty good place. Most folks understand it’s important to good health.
And people get that as we age, we often need more than what we’re getting.
But when you get into the specifics… it’s a world of confusion. So, I thought it would be a good idea to take today to blow up a few myths.
At least when it comes to protein, it’s time to focus on facts, not falsehoods.
- Myth: Protein’s just for muscle development. While it’s true that protein is vitally important to maintain your muscle strength, the power of protein goes far beyond that. Protein is a component of bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, hair, antibodies and enzymes. It supports a healthy immune system, helps you stay fit, & helps you maintain healthy blood sugar. Simply put, it goes WAY beyond your muscles.
- Myth: Cutting protein is a good way to lose weight. If you don’t get adequate protein, it can actually make it even harder to lose weight. That’s because protein helps keep you full, and your metabolism humming. And if you do lose weight without enough protein in your diet, you’re likely losing muscle mass, not fat.
- Myth: Too much protein is hard on your kidneys. Healthy kidneys are very good at expelling any extra nitrogen that comes with a lot of protein in your diet. Unless you have underlying kidney or liver problems, this “danger” is a total myth. And not many people have to worry about “too much” vs. not nearly enough.
- Myth: It’s impossible to get too much protein. While few people need to worry about getting too much protein each day, you CAN get too much in one sitting. A rule of thumb is no more than 30 grams each time you have protein, so your body can digest and utilize it properly.
- Myth: You can’t get enough protein from plants. Look, I follow a diverse, balanced diet. Which includes meat, eggs, poultry and fish. But there are plenty of options for protein that are plant-based. And if you have a variety of them in your diet, you’re likely getting the essential amino acids you need.
- Myth: As long as you get enough protein daily, it doesn’t matter when you consume it. People tend to get most of their protein at lunch and dinner. But to maximize your body’s use of protein, you should be getting protein at each meal. So enjoying eggs or a protein smoothie at breakfast, or Greek yogurt or cheese as a snack, will help keep your protein levels steady during the day, and also keep you feeling full too.
- Myth: Some protein sources are bad. Everyone looks for scapegoats and things to point fingers at. But the truth of it is, a variety of proteins get a bad rap and don’t deserve it. Eggs are completely healthy. Grass fed beef is actually very beneficial to your diet. Even soy, like edamame or tofu, isn’t bad for you, if that’s your thing. Quit worrying about the source so much, and focus on getting enough, and a variety of proteins that you enjoy in your daily diet.
The bottom line on protein is this. It’s critical to make it a regular part of your diet. It’ll help you maintain your weight, keep you strong, and support your body from your hair to your joints, and many points in between.
Those are the facts.