WebMD stated recently that high-protein diets have become a popular way to lose weight because emerging research has hinted that protein may be able to satisfy hunger better than either fats or carbohydrates.
RESEARCH BEHIND THE CONCEPT
Participants in a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported greater satisfaction, weight loss and less hunger when fat was reduced to 20% of the total calories in their diets, protein was increased to 30%, and carbs accounted for 50%. The study participants ate some 441 fewer calories a day when they followed this high-protein diet and regulated their own calorie intake.
Another study, reported in the Journal of Nutrition, showed that a high-protein diet combined with exercise enhanced weight and fat loss and improved blood fat levels. Researchers suggest that higher-protein diets help people better control their appetites and calorie intake.
Diets higher in protein and moderate in carbs, along with a lifestyle of regular exercise are often purported by experts to reduce blood fats and maintain lean tissue while burning fat for fuel without the dieters becoming sidetracked with constant hunger.
Researchers don't understand exactly how protein works to turn down appetite. They surmise that it may be because a high-protein diet causes the brain to receive lower levels of appetite-stimulating hormones. It may be due to eating fewer carbs and/or the specific protein effect on hunger hormones and brain chemistry.
HOW MUCH PROTEIN DO WE NEED?
We need protein at all stages of life, for a variety of bodily functions. It is the major component of all cells, including muscle and bone. It is needed for growth, development, and immunity to fight off infections and protect the body.
The Institute of Health's Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) recommendations allow for a wide range of protein intake - anywhere from 10% to 35% of total calories - for normal, healthy adults. For example, on an 1,800 calorie diet, you could safely consume anywhere from 45 grams (that's 10% of calories) to 218 grams (35%) of protein per day.
However, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 56 grams a day for men and 46 grams a day for women. Most Americans have no problem getting this much, but would struggle to take in enough protein to make up 35% of total calories.
That said, is it possible to eat too much protein? There are no dangers associated with higher intakes of protein - unless you have kidney disease. To get the potential weight loss benefit, experts advise aiming for around 120 grams of protein a day. If you want to increase your protein intake, do it slowly over the course of a week. To be on the safe side, check with your doctor before adding large amounts of protein to your diet.
HOW WELL DOES JERKY DIRECT STACK UP?
Ok – We all agree that Jerky Direct products are delicious and hard to put down but let’s examine how the numbers stack up. A serving of jerky is one ounce and most bags contain four ounces or four servings. Let’s look at five key factors - protein, carbs, fat, calories and sodium.
PROTEIN – Jerky Direct Beef, Buffalo and Turkey Jerky all provide between 11 and 12 grams of pure protein per serving. Most of us can usually finish off a bag by ourselves so that is 44 – 48 grams of protein in one shot. Is there a more well established or natural protein source on earth? It makes whey shakes and soy bars pale in comparison!
CARBS – The Jerky Direct product line falls between 5 and 7 grams of carbohydrates per serving depending on the flavor. This represents only 2% of government established Daily Value and is a perfect fit for the diets we have been discussing here.
FAT – An extremely low fat value of just 1 gram per serving is the norm on most all of the Jerky Direct products but some such as the Turkey BBQ come in with zero grams of fat. It should be noted that none of the products contain any saturated or trans fats.
CALORIES – All three types of jerky – beef, buffalo and turkey – could be considered low calorie/high protein snacks with calorie counts coming in between 60 and 90 calories per serving.
SODIUM – Sodium content has long been a concern for salt-conscious consumers of jerky and Jerky Direct has taken that concern into consideration. A nationally known producer of beef jerky has consistent sodium values in the range of 600 mg per one ounce serving which constitutes 26% of the aforementioned daily value. If a person was to consume an entire four ounce bag of this company’s jerky, he would have over 100% of his daily sodium in just one snack. Jerky Direct has made a concerted effort to remedy this situation and keep sodium levels under 390 mg per serving with many as low as 270 mg per serving such as the Organic Beef BBQ Jerky. That represents only 11% of the daily value which leaves room for other salt in your day!
So what do all these numbers really mean? In a nutshell, it helps to reassure us that Jerky Direct products ARE a healthy and tasty snack.