Most people know that protein is important for muscle growth and repair. But what many don't realize is that protein is essential for women as well. In fact, protein has unique benefits for women that make it especially important to include in their diets.
Here's why protein is so important for women:
Protein helps maintain lean muscle mass.
As women age, they tend to lose muscle mass. This process, called sarcopenia, can lead to frailty and a decrease in overall strength. Protein helps to counteract sarcopenia by preserving lean muscle mass. In one study, postmenopausal women who supplemented with protein lost less muscle mass than those who didn't supplement with protein.
Protein helps with weight loss.
If you're trying to lose weight, protein can help. First, protein increases satiety, or feelings of fullness. This means you're less likely to overeat and pack on unwanted pounds. Second, protein helps preserve lean muscle mass during weight loss. When you lose weight, you want to lose fat, not muscle. Third, protein has a high thermic effect, which means your body burns more calories digesting it than other foods.
Protein helps manage blood sugar levels.
Blood sugar fluctuations can be a big problem for women, especially those who have diabetes or are at risk for developing diabetes. Protein helps to stabilize blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. In one study, women who ate a high-protein diet had better blood sugar control than those who ate a lower-protein diet.
Protein improves bone health.
Bone loss is a common problem for women as they age. This can lead to osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and brittle bones. Protein plays an important role in bone health by helping to build and maintain bone mass. In one study, postmenopausal women who supplemented with protein had greater bone density than those who didn't supplement with protein.
Protein helps reduce the risk of heart disease.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. Diet plays a role in heart health, and protein is an important part of a healthy diet. Protein helps reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In one study, women who ate a high-protein diet had a lower risk of developing.
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