What is dietary protein?
Protein is something that everyone’s heard of, but how much do you actually know about this staple source of energy? Protein is a major building block of the human body, found in every single cell! It’s also a macronutrient, meaning that it is one of the key nutrients humans require to thrive.
Why do we need dietary protein?
Proteins are large molecules that are essential to maintain human health. They power the body’s cells and are required for the formation, repair and operation of our bones, muscles, tissues and organs. Without protein, we simply couldn’t function!
Protein also plays a role in our immune system, creation of key hormones and promotes proper development as we grow.
Unlike carbohydrates and fats (the other two major macronutrients) the body is unable to store unused protein. Because of this, we need to make sure we are taking in protein through our diet every day!
How much protein do we need?
Throughout our lives, protein is important for growth, development and sustained health. To check out how much protein is recommended for you, refer to the below Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand.
Where can we get protein?
Protein can be sourced from both animal and plant-based foods. Animal-based proteins, such as meat, eggs and dairy, are ‘complete’, meaning they contain all 9 essential amino acids that humans need but are are unable to make within the body. The majority of plant-based proteins, such as tofu, nuts and pulses, are made of ‘incomplete’ proteins and a variety is required to cover off all the important amino acids!
Protein’s role in Keto and Low Carb Diets
On a keto diet, taking in the right amount of protein is key! A moderate amount will preserve body mass and muscle, without kicking you out of ketosis. The minimum that we recommend is 0.8g per kg of body weight, but those who are active and interested in building muscle may find 1.5 - 2g per kg of body weight more appropriate.
For those interested in weight loss, protein is a helpful lever to achieve your goals. A serving of protein at each meal will help keep you from feeling hungry, stop weight loss plateaus and prevent increases in stress hormones which will lead to weight retention and binging.
Luckily for keto-ers, the easiest way to get enough protein in your diet is through animal products - most of which are more than suitable! However, when it comes to convenience, it can be difficult to track down options that are low carb friendly! Not to mention appealing to sweet-tooths!
Our Top Protein Picks
We couldn’t wrap this article up without mentioning some of our favorite high-protein products! Meet your macros the tastiest way possible with these delicious options.
Feel Good Protein Water
Feel Good Protein Water is crafted from high-quality collagen, so it's perfect for those with dairy intolerances, and supports the health of your skin, hair joints and bones. With refreshing flavours like Watermelon, Strawberry Kiwi and Pina Colada, you'll be transported to summer all year long!
Wholesome Provisions Protein Chips
Wholesome Provisions chips are every bit as tasty as deep fried and greasy alternatives, but these low-carb snack chips provide 14 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber in every perfectly sized single-serving bag!
Locako Protein Brownie Balls
Locako’s Protein Brownie Balls are a delicious low carb protein hit for whenever you are craving something sweet! The combination of collagen, healthy nuts and pre/probiotics makes Brownie Balls perfect for an everyday treat.
Tasteless Protein Collagen
Tasteless Protein by Feel Good is a 100% natural collagen protein powder. It is clear when mixed with water and has absolutely no taste or smell, meaning you can add it to nearly anything! Smoothies, baked goods, soups - the possibilities are endless...
FeelGood's Tasteless Protein formula has been revamped and now includes all 9 essential amino acids. That means you're getting a complete protein source in every scoop! Found naturally in our bodies, collagen delivers protein but also supports our skin, joints, and ligaments.
Low Carb Haven are dedicated to sourcing some of the best low carb protein products available so you don’t have to miss out! If you want to add more protein into your diet, but are keen to keep the carbs low, check these out!
Why you’re there, why not take a read of our Cookies and Cream Protein Mug Cake recipe - we bet you’d love it!