In this brief guide, we’ll address the query:” What are low-calorie, high-protein foods?” Also, we’ll explore where calories are sourced from, what proteins are, why you should avoid eating too many calories, and what foods to avoid if you’re on a low-calorie diet.
What are low-calorie, high-protein foods?
Foods that are low-calorie, but high in protein are those that are lean and contain very sugars and starchy carbohydrates.
Notable examples of these foods include white meat fish, nuts, lean cuts of meat (such as beef, as other livestock have more fat marbled into their flesh), white poultry meat that has had the skin removed, tofu, low-fat cheese, greek yogurt, beans, peas, and some types of seafood.
However, some of these foods may be higher in calories than others on the list, and therefore, we encourage our readers to consult with a certified nutritionist, who will help them discern what their specific needs are.
Where are calories sourced from?
Calories allude to units that measure the energy that our body needs for its everyday functions. These can be sourced from carbohydrates such as sugars, starch, fats, and proteins. Calories can also be sourced from alcohol.
For reference, one gram of fat contains 9 calories, one gram of alcohol contains 9 calories, one gram of protein contains 4 calories, and one gram of carbohydrates provides 4 calories.
However, our cells source energy from these molecules using different substances, such as glucose (in the case of carbohydrates), and ketones (in the case of fat and protein). In the case of alcohol, our body can source energy directly from alcohol.
What are proteins?
Proteins are large, complex, carbon-based molecules. They are made up of long chains of amino acids, which are joined to each other by chemical bonds known as peptidic bonds.
Proteins are essential biomolecules, as they are important components of cellular structures, they catalyze (regulate) chemical reactions, and they can break down other molecules, or help build them using other chemical building blocks.
Using 20 different amino acids (similarly to how an alphabet is used to spell words), several proteins can be made and used to carry out all of the essential functions cells, tissues and entire organisms require.
When we consume proteins, we break them down in our digestive system, and source essential amino acids, to generate other proteins that our body requires for it to properly function.
The word protein comes from the greek word –proteios- which means principal, or main. This alludes to the fact that proteins make up around 45% of a cell’s dry weight.
Why should I avoid eating too many calories?
You should avoid eating too many calories, due to the potentially detrimental effects it may have on your health.
Namely, and depending on where your calories are sourced from, it made lead to obesity, insulin resistance, an increased risk of heart disease, circulatory problems, and other disorders.
It’s also important for our readers to avoid empty calories; these are foods that are rich in sugars such as high-fructose corn syrup, and they can have severely impairing effects. Namely, fructose cannot enter most cells, and it requires the liver function to be assimilated.
A person’s liver may experience strain from having to metabolize fructose, along with other carbohydrates such as starch and biomolecules such as fat and protein.
Carbohydrates that are not consumed as a source of energy may be converted to glycogen, and as a result, may build up in the liver. They can also be stored as adipose tissue throughout the body, and inside a person’s blood vessels, along with waste, cholesterol, and other substances.
What foods should I avoid if I’m on a low-calorie diet?
If you’re on a low-calorie diet, you should avoid foods that are high in carbohydrates, especially refined sugars, and fat.
As we’ve stated above, one gram of fat equates to 9 calories, and 1 gram of carbohydrates contains 4 calories. However, carbohydrates are more easily come by in a diet, and often, they’re a source of empty calories.
This means that our readers who have been indicated to curb their calorie consumption should eschew deep-fried foods, and made with refined sugars.
Foods made with whole grains and derived products are preferable, as these contain protein and fiber, which can create a more lasting feeling of fullness, that in turn, can help an individual cut back on calories throughout the day.
We encourage our readers to be mindful of their specific caloric needs and to consult with a general practitioner, and/or a certified nutritionist. Both can provide tailored guidance and orientation that will help them achieve their health goals.
In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the query:” What are low-calorie, high-protein foods?” Also, we’ve explored where calories are sourced from, what proteins are, why you should avoid eating too many calories, and what foods to avoid if you’re on a low-calorie diet.