ARA) – Every year it seems there is a new dieting trend. Most recently, high protein, low carbohydrate (high-fat) diets have become all the rage. Some people swear by them while others are skeptical about their effectiveness and safety.
However, a diet based on increased (but not excessive) levels of protein has been shown in a number of studies to give an added boost to dieters by helping them increase weight loss, increase loss of body fat, and reduce the loss of muscle tissue. Many experts recommend a diet containing 25 to 35 percent protein for weight loss and between 20 to 25 percent protein for weight maintenance. In both cases, the protein should be high quality protein.
But how can people easily add more protein to their diets without overdoing it? Whey protein is one great option to consider.
“Whey protein is a high quality, complete protein source with little to no fat that can help control hunger and weight,” says Dr. Julie Miller Jones, a professor of nutrition at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minn.
Usually found in a powdered form, this concentrated dairy protein can easily be added to many foods and recipes. One form of whey protein, whey protein isolate, contains less than 1 percent lactose and is often recommended for vegetarians and for those who are lactose or gluten intolerant.
Let's take a look at four ways that whey protein can help with weight loss.
1. Protein requires more energy to digest than other foods (called the thermic effect of food). This helps use more calories and hence may help with weight loss.
2. Also, high quality proteins such as whey protein help to preserve lean muscle tissue while you lose fat. If your body doesn’t get enough protein and the important essential amino acids on a daily basis it will “steal” them from existing muscle tissue.
3. Protein also helps to slow down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. This in turn reduces hunger by reducing insulin levels and making it easier for the body to burn fat.
4. Protein has a greater ability to promote satiety than do fat and carbohydrates. Whey protein contains a special component called glycomacropeptide, or GMP. GMP helps promote the release of CCK, which is an appetite-suppressing hormone. This may help you feel full and hopefully stop eating sooner.
In addition to weight loss, another important side benefit of whey protein is its ability to support the immune system. It promotes the formation of glutathione, an anti-oxidant, which plays a key role in supporting the immune system. This is especially important during periods of stress and disease and for individuals who exercise aggressively or smoke.
Here are some ways to easily incorporate protein (using whey protein) into your diet.
* Turn your morning smoothie into a satisfying "fat burner" by combining whey protein, skim milk and fresh or frozen fruit. The dairy calcium provided by the milk makes it even more of a plus in regards to weight loss. Blend and enjoy!
* Make a healthy “home from school” snack by mixing together 1 box (4 serving size) of regular or sugar-free instant JELL-O(R) pudding with 2 servings of natural, vanilla, or chocolate whey protein powder. Add 2 1/2 cups skim milk and mix according to the directions on the box. Refrigerate for 15 minutes and serve.
* Prepare a delicious whipped topping for fruit and desserts. This recipe was created by Dr. Richard Ya Deau, a retired oncology surgeon.
40 grams of unflavored, unsweetened whey protein powder
16 ounces low fat milk
8 crushed ice cubes
1 tablespoon sugar or artificial sweetener, such as Splenda(R)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and mix until stiff peaks are formed. Use as a replacement for the higher fat version of whipped cream.
Whey protein is readily available in health food stores, natural food stores, and many fitness centers. For more recipes and information contact the Whey Protein Institute at www.wheyoflife.org or call their toll-free number, (866) WHY-WHEY.
Courtesy of ARA Content