Vitamins and minerals in the diet

Proteins are essential organic compounds. They are an integral part of each cell and are essential for the health of the body.

The basic units of all proteins are amino acids. Proteins are carriers of numerous physiological functions in the body:

-many proteins are building parts of cells and tissues
-are necessary for the growth and renewal of the organism
-no protein no muscle contractions
-biological catalysts-enzymes are proteins
-many hormones (e.g. insulin, glucagon…) are proteins
-antibodies, as an essential part of the immune system, are proteins
-much of the hemoglobin- a substance needed to transfer oxygen to the body, are proteins
-opsin is a retinal protein necessary in the vision process
-proteins play a role in the transport of nutrients to the
-ensure normal distribution of water in the body
– maintain acido-base balance
-serve as a source of energy (however, it is recommended to settle energy over carbohydrates and fats )

From all of the above it is clear that the lack of proteins entered can cause growth cessation, loss of muscle mass, weakened immunity, weakness of the circulatory and respiratory system, and as an end result death.

Protein classification

There may be a number of protein divisions, however, from a nutritional point of view, the most grateful is the division into:

– proteins of animal origin
– proteins of plant origin

The most common source of animal protein is meat, fish, milk and eggs. These foods contain full-value or complete proteins, which means that they contain all essential amino acids in sufficient quantities and are considered to be much more valuable than proteins of plant origin, which very often lack one or more essential amino acids. The consequence of the lack of essential amino acids in the diet is the inability of the cell to synthesize proteins.

Important sources of protein of plant origin are legumes and grains. It is important to note that by appropriately combining protena of plant origin it is possible to ensure adequate intake and essential amino acids. However, in order to achieve the full value of proteins of plant origin, it is necessary to knowingly combine the proteins of various plants to ensure the necessary amino acids in sufficient quantity.

Can you get too much protein in?

Consuming a lot of protein, such as that, for example, is a way to make a lot of people’s money. case in the so-called protein diets with low or no carbohydrate intake, is harmful. Among other things, such a diet extracts calcium in the urine and that means extracting calcium from the bones. Such a long-term diet can weaken bones.

Protein intake recommendations

When talking about proteins it is desirable to stick to some guidelines:

-you enter a variety of proteins- a daily balanced and varied diet will ensure all essential amino acids

-take care of what comes in the protein pack – many foods with protein also contain a high fat content. When consuming meat, stick to fat-free parts or avoid visible fat. An excellent choice is fish, poultry meat and skimmed milk.

-balance your carbohydrate and protein intake

Proteins and diets

diet with eggs weight loss

The popularity of diets with high protein intake and low carbohydrate intake (e.g. Atkinson and South beach diets), requires to look at the health impacts of such a diet.

The popularity of diets with high protein intake and low carbohydrate intake (e.g. Atkinson and South beach diets), requires to look at the health impacts of such a diet.

In a balanced diet, the main source of energy for the body is carbohydrates. By drastically limiting carbohydrate intake, the body begins to use its own fat supply to gain energy. However, in the deficiency of carbohydrates by breakdown of fats, ketone bodies are formed that accumulate in the blood, resulting in ketoacidose.

In ketoacidososis, the feeling of hunger is impaired, meaning that food intake is also reduced, so weight loss is possible. However, there is also an increased risk of a number of health problems such as the onset of kidney stones and renal failure.

In addition to ketoacidosis, long-term practicing diets with high protein intake and low carbohydrate intake have other negative health effects:

-osteoporosis: a protein-rich diet extracts calcium from the bones excreted in the urine, resulting in an increased risk of a decrease in bone density after long-term consumption

-elevated cholesterol: food rich in animal protein is rich in saturated fatty acids and cholesterol, which increases the risk of circulatory diseases over a long period of time, as well as diabetes and some cancers

In addition to all of the above, you should not forget that this restrictive diet is often poor with vitamins and minerals, micronutrients essential for health.

Protein malnutrition

Protein-calorific malnutrition (PEM) is a common name for a number of deficit-related, malnutric conditions that occur predominantly in underdeveloped and developing countries, most commonly in children.

The two most common conditions discussed are kwashiorkor (kvašiorkor) and marazam.

Kwashiorkor is a condition in which there is primarily a protein deficit, while total energy intake can be ensured by increased carbohydrate intake. Due to a lack of protein, the liquid moved outside the cells into the interstitial areas, which manifests itself as edema. Children suffering from kwashiorkor are malnourished, their faces and stomachs swollen, they are left growing, they are anaemic. Their hair is easy to fall out of, and there are pigmented and unpigmented areas on the skin. In the case of infection with bacteria, viruses or parasites, the condition deteriorates. The disease is deadly if not treated.

Marazam occurs due to reduced energy intake caused by partial or complete starvation, although the protein content may be within normal limits. It occurs earlier than kwashiorkor, in the first year of life in infants fed diluted cow’s milk instead of breast milk. Patients look like “skin and skin”, muscles are atrophied, diarrhoea is common. Children are crying and irritable. In the case of various infections due to protein degradation the condition can be converted into kwashiorkor. Marazam can also occur in elderly people who are emassed due to inadequate nutrition.

In order for children with protein-calorie malnutruence to recover and grow properly and develop, medical treatment, adequate nutrition, but also good hygiene conditions is necessary.


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