Is Too Much Protein Good or Bad for Your Liver
We want to feel like we have choices when it comes to living with a liver disease. The protein question is confusing. We know that protein is essential for most of our body’s processes. I had to make peace with protein. It has taken a lot of sleuth work, talking to my doctor, and trial and error to find out the facts. I tell all in my book about the Liver Loving Diet. With 200 pages of stories and insight and over 200 recipes, it’s a winner for anyone trying to heal their liver. Click Here to Learn More
Is Too Much Protein Good or Bad for Your Liver ? Let’s look at the answer to this important question.
Function of Protein – Our body is mostly made up of water. Protein is next. Every cell contains protein. It performs myriads of functions. The list is long and includes top line survival tasks like producing energy, and maintaining cells. It also healthy hair and nails! It helps to build muscles, organs, and your immune system. So you can see that getting good protein in your diet should be a major priority every single day.
There are some signs that you are not getting enough protein. Craving carbohydrates? You may be low on protein. Brittle hair and nails, fatigue, flabby muscles can all point to a protein deficiency.
Too much protein is fairly easy to recognize also. Brain fog, extra weight and high cholesterol may mean you are getting too much protein.
Processing Protein – What happens when you eat protein? The minute we eat or drink foods containing protein our digestive juices kick in and begin breaking them down into those amino acids. There are 22 of them and they form a chain that looks like a necklace. Each of those amino acid beads string together to form the proteins that your body can use. Out of the 22 amino acids, 9 of them MUST be supplied by your diet. They are essential to your health which is why they are called the essential amino acids.Find out more about how vital protein is.
Break it down – Here is where it gets tricky for someone with liver disease. Protein can be hard for the liver to break down. If there is extra protein that your body cannot digest easily, it creates nitrogen. That begins a chain reaction culminating in ammonia. The short version is that it create toxins. When your body gets a whiff of those toxins in your bloodstream, it can result in brain fog, lethargy, and Hepatic Encephalopathy. You can see why finding the right balance is crucial!
Pick Your Protein – Animal or plant based – Which is best?
Animal Protein – Some people believe that animal sources of protein are the best. That is because most animal based proteins can contain all 9 of the essential fatty acids. So a steak or cheeseburger will definitely supply what your body needs quickly.
Plant Protein – On the other hand, if you eat a vegetarian diet, you have to eat a wide variety of plant based proteins to get all the essentials. A peanut butter sandwich can also be considered a complete protein. Peanut butter alone is not, but when you add the bread, it is considered a complete protein meal. Beans are also good, but they need to be served with rice or another grain, such as quinoa to supply the 9 essential fatty acids needed to make a complete protein meal.
You Can Have It All – I personally go for a combination of both. I mix it up with both animal and plant protein food sources. The key is diversity. If I try and restrict myself to straight up plant protein, I get bored. By adding a little meat, I am able to enjoy the added flavor and variety. Remember, you do not have to eat a complete protein with every meal or snack. The main sources of protein in my diet are protein shakes, beef, fish, chicken, beans, eggs, cheese, yogurt, nuts, grains, and seeds.
Just switch it up! I drink a protein shake for breakfast that has a lot of amino acids. Then for lunch I go for a sandwich, protein bar, or salad with meat. Dinner is also a combination of both meat and plant protein such as a shrimp stir fry, bean burrito or tacos, or soup with lots of chicken and vegetables.
Protein is needed by the liver in order for it to heal. A good protein helps us to stay alive. In order to reverse fibrosis, protein is crucial.
We have learned about the science of how protein functions in our body at a cellular level.
We also talked about how we process it by breaking it down into amino acids.
Most important, we covered how finding the right combination of protein sources can help your liver to heal and even reverse the damage of scarring from fibrosis.
Is Too Much Protein Good or Bad for Your Liver?
Buy my ebook to learn more about planning your meals around healthy protein!
We’re always learning more about healing and making the right choices for our liver. I am your Best Friend in the battle against Hepatitis C and Cirrhosis. And I love you dearly, Karen:)
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