Proteins: The Important Details

Proteins build our body: every cell in our body is made up of proteins including our skin, hair, and nails. Proteins play other important roles as well. You can find them in the immune system, hormones, enzymes, etc.

Proteins are made up of thousands of smaller units, called amino acids. These are all linked in long chains. The function of the amino acid depends on the structure of the chain. There are 20 different types of amino acids:

  • Essential Amino Acids - Nine of the 20 amino acids are essential. These must come from food, the body cannot make these.
  • Nonessential Amino Acids - Eleven amino acids are nonessential. These can be made by the body or come from food.

Which Foods Contain Proteins?

We can get our protein source from animal and plant-based foods. You can find a little bit of protein in almost everything, but our main sources are foods like: fish, beef, chicken, turkey, eggs, tofu, cheese, cottage cheese. 

How Does Protein Affect My DayTwo Score?

Protein (and fat) takes longer to digest which slows down the release of the blood sugar into the blood stream. This is why it is recommended to try adding a healthy protein (or fat) to a food or meal with a lower score.

Not all proteins are equal. You may find you have to try different proteins for different foods. Keep in mind scoring depends on the combination of the foods and how your body's blood sugar will react.


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