Stop Eating Unhealthy Sources of Protein
Whether you’re looking to shed those extra pounds, build muscle, or simply nourish your body, proteins play a key role. In fact, they are the major building blocks of your body. As you may already know, proteins can be obtained from both plant and animal sources. But you’ll probably be surprised to find out that the type of protein you choose can make a remarkable difference in shaping your health and life expectancy. Recent studies have linked unhealthy sources of protein to an increased risk of cardiovascular illness—the number one killer disease worldwide. Therefore, selecting the right type of protein is essential to ensuring superior health and wellbeing.
Why Are Proteins So Important?
Proteins are essential for the everyday functioning of your body. Every single cell, tissue, muscle, organ, and hormone in your body is composed of protein. In addition, every part of your body uses the protein you obtain from food to grow and function properly. Therefore, including protein-rich foods in each meal is essential for preventing a protein deficiency. Extensive studies have linked high protein foods with numerous health benefits. Incorporating healthy protein sources into your everyday diet can help you improve brain function, enhance concentration levels, stabilize blood sugar, reduce brain fog, support strong muscles and bones, reduce brain fog, assist in efficient nutrient absorption, boost energy levels, and relieve your Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) symptoms.
Most people resort to calorie-counting diets believing this to be helpful and healthy. However, this can leave you deprived and fatigued. The best healthy eating technique is to consume a healthy high-protein diet to keep you fully satiated, curb cravings, improve your mood, boost your energy levels, stabilize blood sugar levels, and support a healthy metabolism. But even though you may already be including plenty of protein-rich foods in your diet, are you picking the right proteins? The type of protein you eat has a direct impact on your health and body. Recent studies have linked unhealthy sources of protein with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Studies Linking Unhealthy Sources of Protein and Cardiovascular Health
According to a recent collaborative study carried out by Loma Linda University School in California, AgroParisTech, and the Institute of National Agronomic Research in Paris, the type of protein you eat can have a significant effect on your cardiovascular health. The study revealed that red meat protein increases the risk of heart disease by 60 percent whereas seeds and nuts reduce your risk by up to 40 percent. People who included nuts and seeds in their diet were at a lower risk of developing heart disease that those who regularly consumed meat. This recent finding was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.
Fats have their own role in increasing the risk of heart disease but unhealthy sources of protein from meat are also contributing factors that until now have been largely overlooked.
The study involved 81 337 volunteers between the ages of 25 and 44 who were divided into meat eaters and vegetarians. During observations conducted from 2002 to 2007, researchers recorded the regular dietary patterns of participants including the amounts of nuts, veggies, grains, and meat consumed. Further, during the nine-year follow-up period, researchers closely examined the foods consumed by participants and noted the details of 2276 deaths resulting from cardiovascular problems.
Apart from sources of proteins, other dietary intake such as grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, and processed foods were also taken into account. However, researchers found no significant links associated with other dietary sources. The correlation between protein sources from ‘meat’ and cardiovascular health was strong. The study suggests that the source of protein is a significant factor in heart health. Plant-based proteins from nuts and seeds are heart-healthy compared to unhealthy protein from meat.
Based on an extensive period of study, researchers have also suggested that various types of nuts and seeds, when incorporated in small quantities into your everyday diet, can be helpful in lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol. Further studies are required to fully determine whether the amino acids in meats can contribute to heart disease and whether specific sources of protein can affect specific cardiac risk factors such as weight, blood lipids, and blood pressure.
Adverse Health Effects of Unhealthy Sources of Protein
High intake of unhealthy sources of protein such as meat has been linked to an increased risk of various life-threatening diseases. The presence of artificial growth hormones and antibiotics in meat can interfere with the normal functioning of your immune system and trigger your body’s stress response system. This can lead to inflammation and fatigue.
The NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response system is your body’s defense mechanism against stress, comprised of a complex network of various organs and six circuits: hormone, cardionomic, neuroaffective, metabolism, detoxification, and inflammation. The adrenal glands, cardiovascular system (CVS), and autonomic nervous system (ANS) make up the cardionomic circuit. Unhealthy sources of protein are high in bad cholesterol and saturated fat which can clog your arteries and obstruct the free flow of oxygenated blood to your heart. This causes an imbalance in your cardionomic circuit which can affect the other connected circuits and also leads to high blood pressure, thereby increasing your risk of a heart attack.
An unbalanced NEM circuit can directly impact your vital organs thus exerting additional stress on your body, which often results in fatigue.
Frequently experiencing extreme fatigue along with other symptoms such as low energy levels, brain fog, low concentration levels, insomnia, anxiety, constipation, stubborn weight gain, difficulty waking up, and cravings for salty and fatty foods could indicate Adrenal Fatigue. Unhealthy food choices can trigger the symptoms of AFS, therefore, minimizing your intake of unhealthy proteins is crucial to successful Adrenal Fatigue recovery.
A high intake of unhealthy sources of proteins has been linked to:
- An increased risk of cancer, especially colorectal cancer
- High risk of heart attack
- Increased risk of diabetes
- Increase in blood cholesterol levels
- High blood pressure
- Fluctuations in blood sugar levels
- Weak immunity
- Various foodborne diseases
How to Choose the Best Protein for Optimal Health
Since proteins are essential for the healthy functioning of your body, it’s vital to include protein in your diet every day. Dietary sources of protein include animal-based protein and plant-based protein. It’s important to keep in mind that the type of protein you choose can make a huge difference to your overall health. Here are some helpful tips for selecting the right protein to ensure great health.
Unhealthy Sources of Protein
Meat is a rich source of protein, vitamin B, zinc, and iron. Lamb, mutton, beef, veal, and pork are classed as red meat whereas poultry, such as chicken and turkey, is considered white meat.
However, meat is also high in cholesterol and saturated fat. Frequent meat consumption can adversely affect your health and has been scientifically linked to various health issues including cardiovascular disease and cancer. In addition, consuming large quantities of meat on a regular basis can increase your risk of high cholesterol, blocked arteries, obesity, constipation, early signs of aging, and colorectal cancer. Meat is not easy to digest and therefore exerts an additional load on your body triggering stress. The unhealthy effects of eating meat outweigh the benefits, thus making all types of meat unhealthy sources of protein.
Healthy Sources of Protein
Eating healthy proteins promotes great health. Healthy protein sources are those that are free from bad cholesterol and saturated fat. There is often a misconception that vegetarians and vegans have limited access to protein sources. However, in reality, plants are the healthiest sources of protein.
Besides being rich in healthy proteins, plant-based foods are also high in fiber, powerful antioxidants, and essential vitamins and minerals that are extremely beneficial to your health. Plant-based proteins can aid digestion, promote weight loss, alkalize the body, regulate blood sugar levels, support cardiovascular health, prevent constipation, boost your energy levels, and help fight cancer.
Plant-based proteins also help nourish your body, which can boost your energy levels and ensure optimal health. Therefore, AFS sufferers in particular should consider including healthy plant-based protein sources in their Adrenal Fatigue diet plan for accelerated recovery.
Here are the top healthy sources of protein you should consider going for.
Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds are reservoirs of healthy proteins, essential fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals, and therefore promote weight loss and heart health. These include almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia, hemp, sesame, and flax.
Lentils: These healthy protein-packed pulses are also rich in soluble fiber and various vitamins and minerals including vitamin B1, B6, molybdenum, manganese, phosphorus, folate, copper, and iron, which help boost energy levels, promote weight loss, and stabilize blood sugar levels.
Quinoa: This extremely nutritious gluten-free grain is rich in healthy protein, iron, fiber, magnesium, antioxidants, manganese, and phosphorus to help fight depression, cancer, constipation, low energy levels, obesity, and diabetes.
Spirulina: Spirulina is an excellent source of protein and also provides your body with iron, thiamin, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and powerful antioxidants that help detoxify your system, fight against cancer, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Proteins play an essential role in the healthy functioning of your body. A well-balanced healthy protein-rich diet may also be the key to achieving your fitness goals. For optimal health, selecting the right type of protein is crucial. Recent studies have linked unhealthy sources of protein such as meat with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. High cholesterol and saturated fats from meat can lead to clogged arteries thus causing an imbalance in your cardionomic circuit. Consuming large quantities of meat has also been associated with various health issues such as cancer, high blood pressure and blood sugar levels, increased cholesterol levels, weak immunity, and fatigue.
Plant-based foods are the healthiest sources of protein and also reservoirs of essential nutrients. Unlike meat, plant-based proteins help to nourish your entire body without causing any adverse health effects. For those suffering from Adrenal Fatigue, food sensitivities are common. So, it’s important to get an adequate intake of protein whatever way possible and you may respond better to a meat-based protein diet.
© Copyright 2019 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. Lam’s Key Question
Why should Adrenal Fatigue sufferers, in particular, stay away from unhealthy sources of protein?
Adrenal fatigue sufferers have a weak body, therefore staying away from potential stressors is vital. Eating unhealthy sources of protein may increase the risk of various health issues such as blocked arteries, heart attacks, high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, and cancer, which can further tax your adrenals by triggering your stress response system.