Proteins and the Ideal Macronutrient Balance

The body contains many types of proteins. A complete protein would have all of the essential amino acids. Complete proteins comprise all animal proteins and soy. Incomplete proteins are missing one or more essential amino acids. Examples of incomplete proteins include beans, nuts, grains, and vegetables.

The Benefits of Proteins

Some proteins are enzymes.

Enzymes are needed to speed up chemical actions such as the breakdown of carbohydrates or the synthesis of cholesterol by the liver. Enzymes raise the rate of chemical reactions so much that it’s caused to be catastrophic to not have them. It can cause genetic defects.

Some proteins are hormones.

Hormones are made in one part of the body and carry messages to other organs of the body.

Some proteins provide structure. 

Collagen provides structure to the bones, teeth, and skin whereas keratin does the same for hair and nails.

Some proteins are antibodies,

The immune system is unable to defend the body against bacteria, viruses and other invaders without adequate protein. Antibodies or blood proteins attack and nullify these invaders.

Proteins maintain fluid balance.

Fluid is present in the cells (intracellular fluid), blood (intravascular fluid) and between cells (interstitial fluid). Fluids also move between these spaces. They’re kept in balance by proteins and minerals. Proteins are too big to pass freely across the membranes separating the different parts of the body. However, since proteins attract water, they help to maintain proper fluid balance. An improper fluid balance can lead to swelling or oedema.

Proteins transport nutrients and other compounds. 

Some proteins pump compounds in and out of a cell set from inside the cell membranes. Others tether themselves to nutrients or other molecules to be carried to different parts of the body.

Proteins maintain acid-base balance.

Blood that is too acidic or too alkaline is fatal. The body is able to control its acid-base balance very tightly. When conditions in the body are too acidic, negatively-charged proteins pick up positively charged hydrogen ions. When conditions in the body are too alkaline, the hydrogen ions are then released.

 

Proteins are constantly broken down and re-synthesized in the body.

The recommended daily dietary allowance of proteins for adults is 0.8g/kg of body weight.

The recommended daily dietary allowance of proteins for children is 1 1/2 g/kg of body weight.

The recommended daily dietary allowance of proteins for  pregnant or lactating woman is 1.1g/kg of body weight.

 

The Ideal Macronutrient Balance

A diet that doesn’t have a macronutrient balance can result in fluctuations in a person’s appetite, which then leads to overeating, or binge eating. For example: in an attempt to get what the body needs, it will force you to eat all the time If your diet does not contain enough of any one macronutrient. A strong imbalance of macronutrients will also increase the chances of contracting chronic illnesses. Nonetheless, there is no set rule for finding a proper macronutrient balance.

Macronutrient ratios will change depending on many factors. There is no ideal ratio to suit everyone. A person’s macronutrient ratio will change based on various factors in their life. As a general rule, more carbohydrates should be consumed on the days when you are more active and proteins should be consumed on more sedentary days.

The best thing to do when trying to find your ideal ratio is to focus on balance, prioritize whole foods and watch your portion sizes. You can also try different macronutrients targets in order to determine what works best for you.

Here are some examples of macronutrient ranges:

Standard diet: Protein: 10-35% of calories

Carbohydrates: 45-65% of calories

Fat: 20-35% of calories

Low carb diet: Protein: 20-30% of calories

Carbohydrates: 30-40% of calories

Fat: 30-40% of calories

Keto diet: Protein: 20-25% of calories

Carbohydrates: 5-10% of calories

Fat: 70-75% of calories

 

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