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Are Proteins Fattening?

by Georgia Ede
Published: Last Updated on

Proteins, source of energy

First of all we are going to talk about the main nutrients in our body so that you know how they work and affect our body. The protein along with carbohydrates and fats are the main macronutrients necessary for our body.

Our body needs these nutrients to obtain the necessary energy to develop and carry out daily activity. While it is true both three provide energy to our body but not in the same way, or in the same amount.

Next we will explain to you how our body works in the face of the contribution of nutrients so that you make a correct choice of the nutrients you need and we will also deal in depth with the subject of proteins so that you know what their main functions and benefits are in our body.

The theory tells us that the macronutrients that we have talked about previously, are those that provide the most energy to the body and in a clarifying way we will say that:

  • 1 gr of Proteins gives us 4 kcal.
  • 1 gr of Carbohydrates gives us 4 kcal.
  • 1 gr of Fat gives us 9 kcal.

As you already know, calorie consumption is related to weight gain , since if we eat more calories than we burn, we will gain weight. Looking at these data, we could say that proteins provide us with the same calories as carbohydrates but do they make us fat? Next I will explain why the theory does not always respond to reality, but first we will talk a little more about the functions of proteins .

What are proteins and what are they for?

Proteins are the building block of our body, that is, they are the bricks and cement of our building. Protein metabolism is a complex process carried out by our body, known as protein synthesis. The proteins are an essential nutrient that the body is unable to generate, therefore we provide the protein through food.

Proteins are a combination of amino acids , some of them can be synthesized by the body, but others are obtained only from food and new ones are generated by combining them. That is, foods that contain proteins are broken down into amino acids and these are combined to create others to generate new proteins that we use to build and repair tissues .

What foods contain protein?

There are two types of proteins, the protein of plant origin and that of animal origin , both are important for the correct development of our body and therefore we must combine their consumption to do it in equal parts, always bearing in mind that animal proteins are of high biological value and they provide us with more fat than vegetables, which in turn provide us with more dietary fiber and less fat content.

Foods that contain proteins of animal origin are: meat, fish, eggs, dairy products and their derivatives; while those of vegetable origin are legumes, soybeans, nuts (especially peanuts or pistachios).

Are proteins fattening?

Although it may seem, according to the data that we have previously provided on calorie intake, that proteins make you fat the same as carbohydrates since they provide the same amount of energy, in practice this is not mathematically so.

This is not the case because not all calories are used for the same metabolic processes. The main function of carbohydrates is to serve the body with energy, lipids or fats have the function of serving as an energy reserve, and proteins a repairing function of tissues and muscles.

Therefore, taking into account the function of each of these macronutrients, not all the calories they provide are used in the same way or for the same function, therefore, we can conclude that carbohydrates and fats will always make us fatter. than proteins. In fact, proteins help us maintain muscle mass and it has been shown that in combination with a correct dose of carbohydrates it helps to increase resistance to exercise and reduces muscle recovery time .

Although previously it was believed otherwise, new studies have been able to verify that proteins do not become fat in our body , except in a few cases, even if you eat them in excess since the digestion of proteins occurs in the stomach and intestine slim. Larger proteins are broken down into amino acids, which pass into the blood and liver. The liver uses these amino acids to make the proteins with which your body regenerates and they do not accumulate enough to be reserved as fat because the liver uses them.

Despite all this, no type of macronutrient can be discriminated, it is always necessary to carry out a balanced and healthy diet. We recommend that you read our article on the protein diet , a diet rich in protein that may be of interest to you if you want to lose weight without losing muscle mass .

Are protein shakes advisable?

In addition to taking care of your diet, as you already know, there are proteins specially designed to increase muscle mass and complement the diet mainly for high-intensity athletes who require greater amounts of protein.

We always recommend using proteins from natural foods, but if you need supplementation because you do intense physical exercise, it is convenient that you inform yourself about the type of protein shake that best suits your needs. To do this, we recommend that you read our post on the types of protein shakes .

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