Smart Food Choices

What is Protein

Proteins are essential nutrients for the human body. They are one of the building blocks of body tissue and can also serve as a fuel source. As a fuel, proteins provide as much energy density as carbohydrates: 4 kcal per gram; in contrast, lipids provide 9 kcal per gram

Victoria Middleton

Victoria Middleton

RD
Registered Dietitian
New York City, NY
Yumna Khan

Yumna Khan

RD
Registered Dietitian
Burlington, ON
Margarita deGraaf

Margarita deGraaf

RD
Registered Dietitian
Burlington, ON

Sarah Ware, BSc (Hons), RD, CDE, discusses Good Protein for Great Nutrition.

Quiz: Do You Understand Protein?

Test your knowledge by answering the following questions:

Questions
True
False
1

Your protein intake does not have any impact on your mental health.

Explanation:
Many studies have shown that what you eat has a big impact on your mental health. Protein contains amino acids, which make up the chemicals your brain needs to regulate thoughts and feelings. A protein-rich diet can reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) levels and improve serotonin (sometimes called the 'happy hormone') production.
2

Protein can help repair and rebuild your muscles after a workout.

Explanation:
Vigorous exercise actually causes the proteins that make up your muscles to break down. Protein has an important role in the body after exercise: repairing and rebuilding these muscles.
3

A high-protein diet can help keep you feel fuller throughout the day.

Explanation:
Protein takes more time to digest, so it can help us feel full longer. Eating a protein-rich diet may help you avoid unhealthy snacking throughout the day or overeating at meal times.
4

Protein is a micronutrient.

Explanation:
Protein, like fat carboyhydrates and fat, is a macronutrient. There are seven macronutrients, which are the nutrients we use in the largest amounts.
5

Protein is only found in animal sources such as meat, fish and eggs.

Explanation:
There are plenty of plant-based proteins. Some examples of plant-based proteins are tofu, tempeh, lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, potatoes, kale and nutritional yeast.
(Answer all questions to activate)

Good Protein for Great Nutrition

Protein has many different roles in the body.

Protein is involved in the growth and maintenance of tissues such as our skin, bone and muscles. It’s also involved in hormone processes, our immune system, and occasionally our body will use protein for energy.

Protein comes in a complete form, mainly found in animal products, such as your meat, poultry, dairy, fish. Protein can also be found in plant sources as well, but it’s not considered complete. So, if you are going to rely solely on vegetables and plants for your protein source, you do want to make sure that it’s going to complement and ensure you’re getting all the amino acids you need for good health.

If you have more questions about protein and a healthy diet, contact your local dietitian or medical professional. Local Registered Dietitians

Presenter: Ms. Sarah Ware, Registered Dietitian, North Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Registered Dietitian

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