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Eggs, A Source Of High Quality ProteinProtein

Protein functions as the primary structural component of the human body.  In addition, it is a key component in our immune system, blood, and countless other vital systems.  All proteins are comprised of a combination of amino acids.  Although there are 22 amino acids in the human body, only 20 of these actually form combinations to make complex proteins.  Of these 20 amino acids, 9 cannot be manufactured in the human body and are therefore essential in our diet.  These are appropriately named “essential amino acids” and any protein source that lacks any of them is an incomplete protein.  However, two or more incomplete protein sources can provide complete protein if their combination provides all of the essential amino acids.  A good example of this is the combination of beans and whole grains.  However this is not as efficient as high quality complete protein sources such as egg whites which provide all of the essential amino acids in proportions that are similar to what the body needs.  High quality proteins can satisfy the needs of the body with a smaller amount needed to do so.

Although protein is an important structural component, it makes a very poor fuel source.  This is because amino acids must first be deaminated before their carbon skeletons can be oxidized in the Krebs cycle, or used to make glucose, ketones, or fat.  Deamination is the process where the amino group is stripped from the amino acids.  The problem is that the amino group will join with other ions to become ammonia which is obviously very toxic.  The liver, where deamination mostly occurs, will turn as much of the ammonia as possible into uric acid which is less toxic than ammonia.  However, uric acid is still toxic enough to cause gout so the kidneys will work overtime to flush it out of the system.  This will cause a significant loss of water along with important electrolyte minerals such as calcium.  In addition, severe stress will be placed on the kidneys which will have to do extra work.

The minimum recommended daily amount of protein for a sedentary person is about half of a gram for every lb of mass (.8g per kg).  The maximum daily amount of protein (that has shown no added benefit for increased dosage) for strength athletes is about .82 grams per lb (1.8g per kg) of mass.  Above this amount, any additional protein is likely to either be excreted or turned into empty calories.  These empty calories will either be oxidized instead of body fat or be converted into body fat.  There are many sources who recommend much larger dosages.  However, if you trace any of these recommendations back to the origin, you are likely to find an entity that sells protein in one form or another.

Protein sources such as meats and eggs should be properly cooked and milk should be fresh and pasteurized.  This is because some microbes that feed on protein may not care whether the protein comes from eggs or human tissue.  This is why bacteria such as salmonella are so extremely dangerous. 

Excellent protein sources include chicken breast, egg whites, skim milk, and fish.  Vegans can combine legumes with whole grains in order to get complete, low fat protein.  We need to avoid processed high fat sources such as hot dogs, bacon, ice cream, etc.

Find foods that are low in fat and high in complete protein.



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