Protein may have gotten a bad rap in more recent years due to low-carb, high-protein diets. Some of those diets boasted that you could eat all the bacon, sausage, or steak you wanted and still lose weight. We now look at that behavior as wildly unhealthy. In fact, earlier this summer research published suggesting that low-carb diets are linked to heart disease. Protein is actually a very valuable nutrient, you should just be sure to recognize the difference between a healthy lean protein and a processed or fatty animal source.
Protein is an essential nutrient and many of us are not getting enough healthy protein in our diets. As well, our sources of protein aren’t nearly as diversified in our diets as they could be.
Why is protein so important? Madelyn Fernstrom is a TODAY contributor and the director of the Weight Management Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She has explained that protein is one of the big three macronutrients; carbohydrates and fats are the other two. Protein is essential for maintaining the body’s muscle mass and its normal growth. Furthermore, protein is vital in maintaining a healthy immune system, cardiovascular system, and respiratory system.
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