What’s Your Protein-To-Carb Ratio?
Are you struggling to lose weight despite your healthy eating and exercise efforts? It could be your protein-to-carbohydrate ratio according to a study published in the American Society for Nutrition.
During this 6-month trial, women with PCOS followed either a high protein diet consisting of 40% or more energy from protein and 30% fat versus a standard protein diet of less than 15% protein and 30% fat. Both groups received monthly dietary counseling and could eat as much food as they wanted with the guideline to reduce or avoid simple sugars. In addition, the high protein group was encouraged to eat whole grain bread products.
The results: The high protein diet had greater weight loss (17 vs. 7 pounds), body fat loss (14 vs. 4.5 pounds), waist circumference, and improved glucose. No difference in lipids or sex hormones was found. According to the researchers, the women lost weight despite the lack of calorie restriction because protein foods are very satisfying and the women were likely less hungry and therefore, ate less food overall.
Benefits of Protein
- Fills you up so you aren’t as hungry between meals
- Preserves muscle and lean body mass which can keep metabolism up
- Aids in stabilizing blood sugar levels
- Helps you build muscle
Participants in the study had 40% or more calories coming from protein. That’s a lot of protein! Here’s what that equates to:
1,400 calories = 140 grams protein
1,600 calories = 160 grams protein
1,800 calories = 180 grams protein
2,000 calories = 200 grams protein
If you’re interested in improving your protein-to-carb ratio, choose lean sources of protein, low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Examples of Protein Foods
- Start the day with a high protein breakfast such as a protein shake or eggs.
- Spread your protein evenly throughout the day.
- Have protein with every meal or snack to stabilize blood sugar levels.
- If you’re vegetarian or just don’t eat a lot of protein-containing foods, try protein powder (look for one without sugar) to boost your protein-to-carb ratio. An average scoop of protein power contains 30 grams of protein. Protein powder is great in a smoothie for a quick breakfast on-the go or mid-day snack.Try our Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie recipe.
Bottom line: The optimal protein-to-carbohydrate ratio for women with PCOS remains unclear. This is only one study which shows favorable results in increasing protein when compared with carbohydrate amount. Protein does play a role in decreasing hunger and adds to satiety and thus, a high protein-to-carbohydrate ratio may benefit women with PCOS.
Source:Source: SÃ¸rensen LB, SÃ¸e M, Halkier KH, Stigsby B, Astrup A. Effects of increased dietary protein-to-carbohydrate ratios in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012;95(1):39-48.
Did you alter your protein or carb intake? What did you notice? Leave us a comment below!