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High Protein Diet: The Best Weight Loss Diet For Meat Lovers

High Protein Diet: The Best Weight Loss Diet For Meat Lovers

If you work out or visit health sites on the web, chances are good that you have probably come across a lot of people promoting a high protein diet as a way to lose weight and build up muscle. And you’re also probably wondering if these diets really work — or even if they are safe.

Read on to find out more about the pros and cons of the high protein diet.

If you want to know more about weight loss, you can’t miss the following article that provides all useful tips you need:

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Weight Loss Plan And Program: Create Your Own One

Just What is a High Protein Diet?

A high protein diet is one which emphasizes the consumption of high-protein foods (both from plants and animals) in order to replace some of the calories that you spend on carbohydrates during the day. While there are many variations of this diet, some of the most popular examples of this include the Atkins, the Paleo, the Dukan and the Zone diets.  All of these have gained some serious attention in the media in recent years.

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    What Foods Can You Eat?

    A high protein diet does allow some variety of foods (though such diets are not as broad-based as many other diets). While there is a lot of variation in what these diets will allow, some of the most common recommendations include:

    • Meat, including beef, pork, poultry, fish and seafood
    • Eggs
    • Dairy products
    • Nuts and seeds
    • Non-starchy vegetables (like broccoli, asparagus, bell peppers or leafy green vegetables)
    • Oils like olive oil
    • Some fruits (though not all allow fruits)

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      What Foods Should You Avoid?

      Again, there is a lot of variation in what high protein diets will allow or forbid. However, some of the most common foods that these eating programs avoid include:

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      • Grains, including both refined and whole grain products (this includes all foods made from or with wheat, corn, rice or other grains)
      • Sugar and natural sugar substitutes like molasses, honey or maple syrup
      • Starchy vegetables (like potatoes, sweet potatoes or corn)
      • Legumes (like peas, beans or lentils)
      • Most or all fruits

      As you can see from the list above, some versions of these high protein diets can be very restrictive — which can make them harder to follow in the long term. However, as you will see from the following section, there are very good reasons why these foods are restricted in regards to weight loss.

      What are the Pros of a High Protein Diet?

      To begin with, there do seem to be a number of advantages to a high protein diet. They can help you if you are bodybuilding or working out since a lot of protein is necessary to build up muscles and achieve a lean and toned body.  Proteins are the building blocks of muscles and if you are working out a lot or just very physically active, you will need the protein to support this muscle growth and develop lean body mass.

      These diets have also been proven to help you shed extra pounds – and since obesity is a growing problems not only the U.S. but around the world, this can offer people a way to achieve their weight loss goals.

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      How does it work?

      It’s actually fairly simple. Your body can use carbohydrates or fats for fuel.  If given the choice, it will burn carbs first because they are easier and quicker to break down into glucose. But when you eat a diet that restricts carbohydrates — like those found in starchy vegetables, grain-based products, sugars and legumes — your body turns from carbs and begins to burn fat instead.  This is why weight loss on a low carb diet can be quite rapid.  There have been several studies done where low carb, high protein diets were more effective for weight loss than were diets that were low in fat and allowed moderate carb intake.

      What Drawbacks Should You Be Aware Of?

      However, there are some drawbacks that people should be aware of before deciding on this kind of diet. In some cases, restrictions on certain foods are so severe that they can lead to malnutrition and to low levels of certain nutrients (like most essential vitamins and minerals) in the body. Also, it is a diet which can be low in fiber if not followed carefully — and this can lead to problems like constipation and even colon cancer in the long run. Lots of protein can also be tough on the kidneys and can make it easier to form painful kidney stones.

      However, there are ways to reduce these risks.  Making sure that you are eating plenty of low-carb but high-fiber vegetables  (like cauliflower, asparagus, or leafy green vegetables, for instance) can help you get enough fiber while still sticking to your plan. Also, if your eating plan is really restrictive, talk to your doctor about which dietary supplements might be helpful to avoid any nutrient deficiencies. These two simple steps can make any high protein diet much safer.

      In short, while there many proven benefits to a high protein diet, including weight loss and the building of muscle mass, there are some health risks to take into consideration, too. If you are someone with a history of kidney or heart disease, you should definitely discuss it with your doctor before beginning this kind of diet. However, that same advice applies to any eating program. And for many people who are struggling to shed extra pounds, high protein diets can help them to achieve weight loss goals and lead an overall healthier life.

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      Brian Wu

      Health Writer, Author

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      12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

      12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

      Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

      But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

      I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

      Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

      1. Nuts

      The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

      Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

      Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

      Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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      2. Blueberries

      Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

      When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

      3. Tomatoes

      Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

      4. Broccoli

      While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

      Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

      Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

      5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

      Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

      The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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      Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

      6. Soy

      Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

      Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

      Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

      7. Dark chocolate

      When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

      Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

      15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

      8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

      Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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      B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

      Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

      Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

      To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

      9. Foods Rich in Zinc

      Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

      Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

      Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

      10. Gingko biloba

      This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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      It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

      However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

      11. Green and black tea

      Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

      Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

      Find out more about green tea here:

      11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

      12. Sage and Rosemary

      Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

      Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

      When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

      Reference

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