All about Protein and Protein Supplementation
Protein is an essential macronutrient in the diet along with fats and carbohydrates. Getting enough protein is necessary for bodily function and maintaining good health. Protein is an essential building block for muscles, but it has a wide variety of uses in the body; getting enough protein is critical, but how you get protein in your diet is also important.
High protein diets have been popular for a while, mostly since the popularization of the Adkins Diet, which is a high protein/high fat diet. This has happened as we have learned the many negative effects that high carbohydrate diets can have in the body. More and more, diets rich in simple carbohydrates and added sugar are implicated in many different kinds of diseases. Conversely, high protein diets are thought to promote health rather than detract from it.
So how do you get protein in your diet? Meat, poultry, fish and eggs are notorious for being high in protein, and these are likely some of the best sources of protein available. Other foods rich in protein though are certain cheeses, legumes, nuts, seeds and even broccoli, spinach and other vegetables. Or Protein Supplementation.
Amino Acids and Protein Supplementation
Protein is comprised of smaller components known as amino acids. There are 20 amino acids that form the buildings blocks of protein in the body. Of these, 9 are essential, meaning our body cannot synthesize them, and they must be gleaned from the diet somehow. These include histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Foods that contain these 9 essential amino acids are called complete proteins, because these are sources from which all necessary amino acids for survival can be gleaned. Most animal sources of protein are considered complete proteins, but many plant sources are complete proteins, as well, including: spinach, certain beans, chickpeas, chestnuts, pumpkin seeds, avocados, quinoa and spirulina.
The Kaufmann Diet, of course, is often thought of as a high protein diet. As an anti-fungal diet, the Kaufmann Diet seeks to eliminate many foods rich in carbohydrates and sugar, including grains, corn and starchy vegetables, because these are the foods thought to feed an underlying fungal infection in the body. Instead, an abundance of protein (and healthy fat) is encouraged. On The Kaufmann One Diet (the more restrictive version of the Kaufmann Diet), most of your protein should come from high quality sources of meat, poultry and fish; eggs; nuts; seeds; and some from vegetables. Quinoa is permitted, as well. For those who follow a vegetarian or vegan version of The Kaufmann Two Diet, be sure to include lots of beans (like black beans, white beans, French beans), seeds (like pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, etc.) and nuts.
How Much Protein Do you Need?
Naturally, with the Kaufmann Diet, you should be getting enough protein in your diet. But how much protein do you need? Many practitioners recommend around one gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. In other words, if you weigh approximately 150 lbs, you should aim from approximately 150g per day (about 675 calories) of protein, or around 1/3 of your daily recommended caloric intake. Individual needs vary, and be sure to consult your doctor before making any dietary changes, especially if you have health problems.
Should I Supplement with Protein?
Many people choose protein supplementation via powders or supplements, and this can be an easy and beneficial way to get enough protein in your diet. There are many good types of protein that are permissible on The Kaufmann Diet. Egg white protein and hemp protein are acceptable options. Most dairy is excluded on The Kaufmann One Diet, but since lactose (milk sugar) is eliminated, whey protein may be a good option. If you opt for whey protein, look for sources derived from cows not fed hormones or antibiotics; organic and grass-fed cows are preferred.
There are some products you should definitely avoid when it comes to picking a protein supplement. Avoid protein supplements derived from foods not permitted on the Kaufmann Diet. These include soy, grains (gluten), rice, and myco-proteins. You should also avoid protein supplements with added sugar or sweeteners not permitted on The Kaufmann Diet; opt for products that use stevia or xylitol instead. Artificial flavoring and coloring should be avoided too.