Throughout your day, the protein you get in each meal will be coming from many different types of foods. For breakfast it may be yogurt or eggs while dinner is steak or fish. Unless you are supplementing with a protein powder, the protein you eat will also have fats. While all protein is the same, the fats are different depending on the animal or plants they come from. The amount of fat can also vary between protein sources. Both the quantity and type of fats you consume can make huge differences in how our body functions.
There are two types of unsaturated fats found in animal or plant protein. This is typically a mix of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and the ratios change based on the animal or plant they come from. Omega-6’s will increase the amount of inflammation produced by the body while Omega-3 reduces inflammation. While some inflammation is good for the body, it’s important not to let it get out of control. Having a good balance of Omega-6’s and Omega-3’s fatty acids in your diet will help keep the systemic inflammation at a healthy level.
Protein sources like chicken, steak, and peanuts all contain greater amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids. If these are your only protein sources, the overload of Omega-6’s will cause too much inflammation to occur in the body. Chronic fatigue, bloating, constant aches and pains are all side effects of inflammation that is out of control. Besides switching some of your protein to more fish based sources, consuming more grass fed beef can also be helpful in increasing your Omega-3 intake. In the United States, cattle are typically fed corn or soy; both of these contain mostly Omega-6 fatty acids, which are then transferred to the people that consume the beef. Cows that are primarily grass fed will have a higher amount of Omega-3 fatty acids and thus are healthier for human consumption.
Something to remember if you are keeping track of calories is the fat content of your proteins. A leaner protein will have less fat and therefore less calories. If you need to increase your protein while keeping your calories down, try a more lean protein source such as chicken breast or cod. Here at Rush-Henrietta Family Chiropractic, our nutritionist is here to help you implement these types of changes into your current dietary lifestyle. Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle, or just be healthier, give our Rochester, NY office a call and schedule your free consultation.
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