Bad Sources of Protein

by November 9, 2013

We all know that protein is supposed to be good for us, but what does it do exactly? Protein is essential for a balanced diet, because it builds muscle and collagen. Protein is the building block of enzymes, hormones, immune factors and many other molecules that are critical to the body.

There is considerable debate over the amount of protein a person needs to consume per day, the current recommended daily intake (RDI) of protein is 46 grams for women aged 19-70 and 56 grams for men aged 19-70. Any excess protein consumed is turned into energy by the body, and it is controversial whether this excess protein causes a strain on the liver.

Since the late 1990s, the Atkins diet, and other fads, like the South Beach diet, have popularized high-protein, low-carb meal plans. As a result, consumption of protein-rich foods has risen dramatically. The Nutrition Business Journal in San Diego estimated that in 2004, Americans spent about $1.2 billion on protein supplements, and an additional $2 billion on protein bars.

The Department of Commerce reports that per capita consumption of fish is up 4.5%–as is beef consumption, which rose 25% between 1998 and 2004, according to the National Cattleman’s Beef Association.

But not all beef is the same: There is a world of difference between a fatty cheeseburger and a lean sirloin steak. But Americans are still making unhealthy dietary decisions. In fact, people in the U.S. have never been less healthy. With almost 70% of the population overweight, it seems people are more confused than informed about what they should be eating.

What makes a protein good is its nutrient base, how it was raised and farmed, its omega-3 fatty acid value and if it’s high or low in saturated fat.

Bad Sources of Protein

Here is some protein sources that you might want to avoid:

Sausage – is the first of the protein sources that you will want to be avoiding.  Not only is sausage high in saturated fat, but it’s full of nitrates that will harm your health and set you up for disease. Egg whites are a far better way to start your day in terms of high quality protein.

Sandwich meat – is full of sodium and additives as well and in some cases depending on the variety you choose, high in fat.  Instead, opt for your own lean sliced chicken or turkey meat, which will be far healthier for your body.

Bacon – is the next bad protein source that you want to make sure you aren’t eating regularly in your diet plan. Bacon, like sausage, is high in fat, high in calories, and won’t provide you with much lean protein either.  Turkey bacon would be a better choice, but eggs would be a superior option.

Hot dogs – Can you even call this a protein source? Some people might consider it one, but it’s definitely not one for those who want to stay lean. Avoid hot dogs at all costs. They are the epitome of ‘filler’ that you definitely do not want to put in your body.

Full fat dairy – avoid taking in full fat dairy products. While lower fat dairy products can be a part of a healthy diet plan, the full fat varieties are going to set you up for health problems due to their saturated fat content.  Lower fat dairy is a great source of protein.

The United States Department of Agriculture says the average American already consumes more than enough protein–sometimes much more, although there are no studies that indicate too much protein is bad for you. What can be bad, however, is how you ingest that protein. After all, any food consumed in excess–whether a protein, carbohydrate or fat–is unhealthy.

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