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Until very recently, high-protein diets were strictly the preserve of gym fanatics, who chugged down synthetic-looking ‘shakes’ that were inexplicably packed with as much of the muscle-building macronutrient as a whole roast chicken.
But not any more. These days, supermarket shelves heave with products claiming either to be ‘high’ in protein, or have it ‘added’ in some way. There is high-protein breakfast cereal, protein-enriched sliced bread, and protein-packed cheese – not to mention the yogurts, ice creams and even the high-protein Mars Bar.
Cup - Coffee - Glass - Water - Hype
Feeling parched? Try a cup of high-protein coffee, or a nice glass of high-protein water. And if the hype is to be believed, we can all benefit.
Extra protein, advocates claim, conquers hunger to keep us slim, keeps skin and hair looking healthy and aids better sleep.
Proteins - Compounds - Building - Blocks - Amino
Proteins are naturally occurring compounds made up of building blocks known as amino acids. In many different combinations, these help maintain and generate new muscle, grow bone, make vital hormones and produce enzymes that aid digestion and biological reactions in the body.
So, yes, together with carbohydrates and fats also found in all foods, they are essential.
Plethora - Products - Deficient
But such is the plethora of high-protein products that you’d be forgiven for thinking we’re all deficient in it.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Studies show that average UK intake of protein, from foods such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, soya, nuts and pulses, is above recommended levels.
Protein - Intake - Grams - Day
For most of us, the recommended protein intake is 50 grams a day.
But the National Diet and Nutrition survey shows average intake in Britain is 84.6g for men and 64.4g for women.
Protein - Potato - Tuna - Mayonnaise - Omelette
And protein isn’t hard to come by. You can get 50g from a baked potato with tuna and mayonnaise, or from a cheese omelette.
So why are we being fed the line that we need more?
Reason - Gym-goers
The reason gym-goers down copious...
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