Health & Fitness: Finding the Missing Link

By Ashley Aragona on September 30, 2012 from Health & Fitness via Connect-Bridgeport.com

Let’s play a little game called “Find the Missing Link.” See if you can figure out what connects these three lists together:
  1. Okinawa, Japan, Symi, Greece, Campodimele, Italy, Hunza, Pakistan and Bama, China.
  2. Growth repair, hormone function, and immune system function
  3. Meat, Fish, Eggs, Dairy, and certain vegetables.
 
Think you’ve got it figure out? The answer is of course:
 
PROTEIN
 
Now, you may understand why it’s correlates with lists two and three, but what about one? Well, one is from one of my favorite books: 50 Secrets of the World’s Longest Living People by Sally Beare.
 
The link with this book, and list above is that locations listed are the five most remarkable longevity hotspots, and they all have one key thing in common (among many other things) the amount of protein they take in and that type.
 
Wait..woah.. type? There are different types? Why yes there are, but no fear, by the end of this post you’ll be one step closer to knowing the secret way to the fountain of youth like the Okinawans.
 
Protein- anyofa large group of nitrogenouscompounds of high molecularweightthatareessentialconstituents of all living organisms.Theyconsistofoneormorechainsofamino acids linkedbypeptide bonds and are folded intoaspecificthree-dimensional shape maintained by further chemicalbonding.
 
WHAAT?? Let’s try this…These little sausage linked molecules (one of my favorite examples of how to think of proteins) are responsible for building and maintaining muscles, organs, skin, and blood. They assist in energy metabolism and cell processes and protect your body against disease through immune function—Cough Cough, list two…
 
Now, I mentioned different types of proteins. Here’s how easy that is.
  1. Complete Proteins- They contain eight of the essential amino acids your body needs. (Amino Acid- that’s another blog topics, but for now, there are 25 of them, but eight are essential to life, but your body can’t produce them- hence why protein is important)
  2. An Incomplete Proteinis any protein that lacks one or more essential amino acids in correct proportions. These can also be referred to as partial proteins. Even if the protein contains all the essential amino acids, they must be in equal proportions in order to be considered complete. If not, the protein is considered incomplete.
Aside from complete and incomplete proteins, the other “test material” to take from this post, is the term LEAN PROTEIN
Lean protein has less than 3 g of fat and around 50 calories per serving, according to both the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute and the Mayo Clinic.
 
Lean protein, as opposed to just protein helps lower cholesterol levels and decreases the risk of developing heart disease and other life-threatening illnesses. ßHere’s a shout out to last weeks blog, The Heart and if you didn’t read it, you should absolutely check it out while eating yourself some lean protein.
 
 My top picks for lean protein:
  1. Chicken
  2. Turkey Breast
  3. Tuna
  4. Salmon
Finally, if you belong to a gym, or are GNC savvy, you may be use to seeing the term protein shake, or, you might be use to seeing this shaker to the left.
 
So what about those powder proteins? Well, let’s discuss.

Protein powders are basically a powder supplement form of protein; they are also a COMPLETE PROTEIN giving these protein shakes a good bang for their buck.
 
The two most common forms of protein powder are:
 
SOY- Soy protein powder is derived from soybeans, making it ideal for vegetarians or those who are lactose intolerant.
 
WHEY- Whey protein is derived from cow's milk, and it makes up about 20 percent of the total protein content in milk, according to McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
 
Where do I stand on this form? I’m Pro Protein all the way. These shakes are a convenient and efficient way to supplement your daily protein intake; which should be, for the average adult, about 10 to 35 percent of their total daily calories. Now, that number obviously changes depending on the individual, their goals, and their health, but the average the Mayo Clinic goes with is about 10-35 percent.
 
So, there you have it. The rundown on Protein- I can’t stress enough how important this topic is for me, especially in the fitness industry. It is KEY to your goals.
 
So your homework for this week is to figure out how much of your daily caloric intake is protein, and then figure out what kind of protein you are consuming. Try to switch out some incompletes for some completely lean goodness and while your at it, take another page from the 50 Secrets Book and take a second to enjoy life and family, because after all, isn’t that what being healthy and able is all about?
 
Until Next Time,
Yours in Health and Fitness
Ashley
 


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