Now this is where it gets interesting. As noted before, the media is?all over fats and carbs and their influence on losing weight and being healthy. Given less media attention, however,is the research on the effect of protein in a diet. An interesting article about energy balance noted that protein plays an important role in body weight regulation (1). It increases satiety, for example. A different article?focused on energy expenditure found that proteins as?25-30% of calories boost metabolism, resulting in an increase in calories burned per day (2). And perhaps the most noteworthy research on the topic was done by the Rowett Research Institute. Researchers compared 3 groups of people overeating either carbs, fat, or protein. Subjects from the last?group felt significantly more full and less hungry relative to the other groups?(3).
Of course, the sports-related character of protein is not just a story, but seeing protein just for muscle growth seems too limited. The power of protein extends much further.
Now let’s relate food to something very dear to most of us: sustainability. Increased awareness for sustainability is affecting the food industry more and more, and there are serious concerns?about the future of animal sources of protein. The impact of livestock on the environment is an especially sensitive area.
The accusations are getting pretty serious here. Livestock is contributing more to the greenhouse gas emission than even cars. The antibiotics used for livestock are creating killer viruses. The production of food from livestock is costing more gallons of water than we can handle in the future. It’s clear the world is concerned with livestock because of its impact on the environment. Since meat is one of the main sources of protein for most of us, where will’that leave us in the future?
Some say we might end up consuming a different, protein-rich class of animal: insects. In many Asian cultures, this is already very common. The western world seems a bit more hesitant, but let’s be realistic. June Jo Lee, Vice President of Strategic Insights at The Hartman Group, stated: Protein, sustainability and health concerns about antibiotics are all hot topics, and insect consumption addresses all of these issues. As a protein source, insects don’t have a lot of health baggage.?
As seen in the picture above, insects score a whole lot better on the water consumption scale. But are there…