PROTEIN

The mighty nutrient

WHAT IS A PROTEIN?

Proteins are large compounds made by combining smaller amino acids. Proteins in the diet are known as macronutrients, and contribute energy to the body. Protein is also used as an enzyme, which starts reactions within the body, including metabolism, and gene growth & repair. Proteins are also used by the body to carry signals from one part of the body to another and to form structures, including muscles.

MAJOR SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Sources of protein include meat products (hamburger, fish, chicken), dairy products (cheese, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese), eggs, tofu, lentils, and soymilk.

EFFECTS OF TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE PROTEIN

If you eat too much protein, the excess is just excreted by the body, thrown away as waste basically, as we don’t ‘store’ protein (like we can store fat). If you eat too little protein then the body will look to itself to meet its needs for amino acids (the building blocks of protein). The body has to have amino acids to make all sorts of things, like muscles and hormones etc., If there are not enough provided in the diet, the body will start to break down its own muscle (which is a protein) to get amino acids.

INTERESTING FACTS

1. The word “protein” is from the Greek word proteios, which means “primary” or “holding the first place.”

2. Protein, like carbohydrates and fat, is a macronutrient. Macronutrients are nutrients that provide calories or energy.

3. The lifespan of most proteins totals two days or less.

4. While beef is the most popular meat in America, its protein content is low compared to poultry.

5. Proteins can have bizarre names. For example, the protein Pikachurin is a retinal protein that was named after a Pokémon character Pikachu. The protein Sonic Hedgehog was named after Sonic the Hedgehog. A blue protein is named Ranasmurfin, after the Smurfs

6. Without a protein called Albumin, the entire human body would swell.

7. The protein in eggs is the highest quality of protein found in any food.

ACROSTIC POEM

Proteins can still be acquired if you vegetarian or vegan

Ranasmurfin is an actual protein named after the smurfs

Often times proteins last two days or less

Too much protein, the body excretes it

Eggs have the highest quality of protein

If there isn't enough protein, the body breaks down your muscles

Nutrients are important