Everyone’s jumping on the keto or low carb diet train. It seems that eating more protein, higher amounts of good fats, and cutting out carbs and sugar is all the craze in the dieting community. Could there be something to adding more protein to your diet that helps you to maintain better health?
Protein deficiencies aren’t commonly discussed, but many people are consuming inadequate levels for their bodily functions. The problem tends to be commonplace for cutting calories to the bare minimum and engaging in intermittent fasting. The real question is, what can happen to your body when you don’t get the adequate amount of protein that you need?
First, you need to understand what protein does for your body before comprehending why a deficiency is such a big deal. Your body needs protein to act as fuel to help with your system’s functions. It helps with the following things:
•Stabilizing glucose levels
•Keeping you fuller for more extended periods
•Growing healthy nails
•Growing healthy hair
Staying Within the Required Limits
When you have a protein deficiency, it can drastically affect many functions. You might notice a decline in your mood as well as an increase in your weight. According to Harvard’s Health Publishing, you need about .36 ounces of protein for each pound you weigh.
If you weigh 170 pounds, you need to eat at least 61 grams each day. How much are you consuming, and is it adequate according to medical guidelines? The goal would be to split that protein level up into three meals.
If your goal is 60 grams a day, you should have at least 20 grams at each setting. It doesn’t hurt at all to go a bit over your goal, just as long as you reach the recommended daily requirement. However, you can overdo it on protein too, which can cause other problems.
When you consume the proper amount, you will not only have more energy to make it through your day, but you will also feel full and satisfied. So essentially, by adding more protein to your diet, you will eat less and feel fuller. Isn’t this what most dieters want to accomplish anyway?
Seven Signs Your Body is Protein Deficient
What if you’re not eating the right amount of protein for your body? What if your body is protein deficient, and it’s causing functional problems? Thankfully, there are some signs and symptoms that will let you know that it’s time to pack on the protein. Here are some red flags to watch out for:
1. You Can’t Get Rid of Stubborn Belly Fat
You go to the gym faithfully, and you even do exercises that were created to target your midsection and belly fat. Sadly, no matter how much you work in this troubled area, you still have an unsightly bulge. The reason could be that you are protein deficient.
After any workout, you need protein to help repair and strengthen your muscles you’ve strained. During an extensive session at the gym, you take your muscles to the breaking point. Rather than having the right amount of protein to repair them, yours become broken down.
You can’t lose weight in your belly if your body is taking all the energy it can muster to keep your systems going. Sadly, your physique will hold onto that fat.
2. Your Cravings for Carbs and Sugars Are Out of Control
If you regularly consume carbs and sugars, then it’s only natural that you will crave them. Did you know that protein helps you to keep your cravings for sweets under control? If you’re not getting enough, then your supper won’t fill you up, and you will turn to the snack drawer.
Your body needs things like chicken, wild salmon, and red meat. If you’re vegan, you can also get protein from many plant sources, including tofu and yogurt.
3. Your Skin Is as Dry as An Alligators
There’s nothing worse than dry, flaky skin. It can get so bad that you will leave a trail of skin flakes wherever you go in your home. Winter is the worst time for dry skin as heating sources take extra moisture from your skin.
However, if you notice that your dry skin is terrible or occurring outside of the expected times, you may be protein deficient. Did you know that your body needs protein to help your hair and nails grow, as well as keep your skin hydrated? Now it makes sense why your nails are brittle and breaking, and your hair is lackluster.
4. You’re Hungry Right After You’ve Eaten
How many times have your kids got up from the table only to say they’re hungry 15 minutes later? Better yet, how many times have you done the same thing? The real problem is linked to the meal you consumed.
Many folks complain of this phenomenon after eating oriental foods, specifically when they’ve consumed a lot of rice. Rice is a grain, but it can fall into the category of a simple or complex carb. If you eat the white processed variety of rice, it’s a simple carb. The body doesn’t get much fuel from it, and it turns to sugar.
If you eat wild or brown rice, you are consuming a complex carb, which is more beneficial to the body. According to Perfect Keto, the carbohydrates in rice are too high, which is why you are probably hungry shortly after eating it.
Now, if you add a chicken breast to the rice, then you have something more substantial that can help to fill you. Most kids and many adults fill up on rice and yum-yum sauce and skip the protein. No wonder they feel hungry afterward.
5. You Have Brain Fog
There are many interpretations of brain fog. Generally, it’s a feeling of exhaustion where you cannot focus. You may feel as if your head is in the clouds.
The Central Clinical School in Melbourne, Australia, studied celiac disease and the brain fog caused by wheat products. If you consume pasta, bread, and other high carb foods, it can cause you to feel off-kilter. Your body needs protein more than it needs simple carbs, and the brain fog is telling you to fuel your body with what it needs.
5. You’re Losing Hair
There’s nothing more terrifying than brushing your hair and pulling out a hand full of your locks. Even worse is looking in the shower drain and seeing your tresses collection. Your hair will fall out if you don’t have the nutrients your body needs.
As stated above, your body needs more proteins and fewer carbs to fuel the internal processes. Keratin is a protein your hair requires, and without consuming the proper amount of protein, your body cannot make this vital nutrient.
6. Your Moodier Than Usual
Have your moods been off lately? Do you seem cranky, irritable, and those around you are complaining about your grumbling nature? What’s eating you could be what you’re eating.
If your diet is full of processed junk foods and pasta, bread, and other starches, then your body could be protein deficient. Many types of protein have essential amino acids that help the body to help keep depression at bay. When you lack these amino acids, your mood can fluctuate.
Is it any wonder that so many people say that they have mental clarity when they are on the keto diet? They focus on protein and fats while ditching sugar and carbs. What you eat is a significant indicator of how you will feel. According to an article published in the US National Library of Medicine, the keto diet almost always works for those with epilepsy.
What you eat has such a profound effect on your brain’s chemicals and can help or hurt you. So why couldn’t this diet help you to combat depression?
7. You Can’t Fend Off Sickness
Another fascinating thing about having more protein in your diet is that it helps to fend off sickness. Most people don’t think that they’re boosting their immunity when they sit down to a juicy piece of steak. However, the lack of protein in your body can make you more susceptible to getting sick.
Those who are continuously fighting off things like sinus infections, colds, and other bugs might be protein deficient, and that’s what’s causing the issues. Another consideration is that high protein foods usually have elevated zinc levels, which is known as an infection fighter. If you don’t want to eat meat, you should try something like Greek yogurt or brown rice.
The world is crazed with low carb living. Nevertheless, while they spend most of their time focusing on reducing sugar and carbs, they should be more focused on why you need healthy fats and protein for your bodily functions. If enhancing your protein levels can stop epilepsy in its tracks, then what can it do for your immunity, weight loss efforts, and moods?
People are quick to think that eating protein means red meat, and some are against such nourishment. Yet, you can get a healthy helping of protein from things like nuts, legumes, and even yogurt. Everyone is jumping on the protein wagon, and you can even buy cookies packed with these essential nutrients.
The bottom line is with so many options out there today. There is no reason why anyone should be protein deficient and deny their body what it needs.