Researchers Identify Genetic Mechanisms For Protein Decline In Modern Maize
by Chinese Academy of Sciences
Teosinte, the wild ancestor of maize, has three times the seed protein content of most modern maize strains. Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters tracked down the mechanisms responsible for the declining seed protein content in maize hybrids and inbred lines. Their findings open up new avenues for maximizing seed protein content and quality for future maize breeding, with implications in nitrogen-use efficiency and food security.
The researcher’s findings were published on Nov. 17 in Nature.
“There is economic and environmental pressure to maintain high-yielding maize while reducing the level of nitrogen applied to the soil,” said study author Wu Yongrui from the CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. “Therefore, it is crucial to identify genetic factors that increase nitrogen-use efficiency.”
Over millennia, plant breeders genetically altered plant species to create seeds with greater proportions of metabolites to improve nutritional value and utility. As corn became a major source of feed for livestock, plant breeders prioritized starch content and yield while protein content and flavor became secondary concerns. The use of nitrogen fertilizer further reduced the importance of seed nitrogen content. Consequently, modern maize hybrids contain only 510% protein by contrast, teosinte has a protein content of 2030%, according to the study.
Top 10 Foods Highest In Protein
Protein is a macronutrient that forms the building blocks of the human body. It is necessary for the growth and repair of all tissues, along with many other functions including forming hormones and enzymes. A deficiency in protein leads to muscle atrophy and impaired functioning of the body in general.
High Protein Snacks That Are Healthy And Portable
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When you live a busy lifestyle, snacks can be useful when hunger hits and you dont have time to prepare a meal.
However, many snack foods available today are high in refined carbs and sugar, which can leave you feeling unsatisfied and craving more food.
The key is to make sure your snacks are nutritious and contain protein.
Protein promotes fullness because it signals the release of appetite-suppressing hormones, slows digestion, and stabilizes your blood sugar levels .
Here are 30 high protein snacks that are healthy and portable, so you can enjoy them even when youre on the go.
Jerky is meat that has been trimmed of fat, cut into strips, and dried. It makes an excellent and convenient snack.
Its very high in protein, containing an impressive 9 grams per ounce .
Beef, chicken, turkey, and salmon are often made into jerky. It can be found at most grocery stores, but keep in mind that store-bought versions are typically high in added sugar and artificial ingredients.
Your best bet is to make your own jerky, using only meat and some seasonings.
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Strategies For A Consumption Shift: Towards A More Plant
Protein consumption and production shifts go hand-in-hand. When influencing consumer behavior, we often focus on the responsibility of individual consumers or on the development of innovative food products, such as meat substitutes. But is that the most impactful way? And how much can policy impact diets? After all, the choices consumers make are “free choices. What are effective policy instruments in this regard?
Mon 5 December 2022 13:00 to 14:00
|Venue||Online, Microsoft Teams|
In this session WUR experts will reflect on the complexity of this influence process, in order to then move on to high impact policy instruments. Socioecological models show that the process of influencing behavior is a complex interaction between various factors. At the individual level, consumers are driven by food and taste preferences. At the same time, they are influenced by many factors, from social norms, changing behavior in different social networks, the food environment to policy measures.
Protein Shakes Powders And Supplements
Protein shakes, powders and supplements are unnecessary for most Australians health needs. According to the most recent national nutrition survey, 99% of Australians get enough protein through the food they eat.
Any protein you eat on top of what your body needs will either be excreted from your body as waste, or stored as weight gain.
The best way for you to get the protein you need is to eat a wide variety of protein-rich foods as outlined in the Australian Dietary Guidelines, as part of a balanced diet. But if you are still interested in using protein shakes, powders and supplements, talk to your doctor.
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Bioactive Peptides Naturally Generated From Food Proteins
Proteins in foods contain sequences that can exert a physiological effect when consumed. These sequences are inactive when present in the parent proteins but can exert its bioactive effect if the respective peptide is released. The generation of peptides in food systems can occur:
R.K. Owusu-Apenten, in, 2004
How To Get Your Protein Needs
Your daily protein needs can easily be met by following the Australian Dietary Guidelines. The Guidelines group foods into 5 different food groups, each of which provide key nutrients.
The 2 main food groups that contribute to protein are the:
- lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans group
- milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives group.
As part of a healthy diet, the Guidelines recommend particular serves per day from each of the 5 food groups.
The human body cant store protein and will excrete any excess, so the most effective way of meeting your daily protein requirement is to eat small amounts at every meal.
Daily recommended serves of lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans and milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives for adults
|Person||Recommended average daily number of serves of lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans||Recommended average daily number of serves of milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives|
|Men aged 1950 years||3|
So, what is a serve? A standard serving size of lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans is one of:
A serve of milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives could include:
- 250 ml fresh, UHT long life, reconstituted powdered milk or buttermilk
- 120 ml evaporated milk
- 40 g hard cheese such as cheddar
- 120 g ricotta cheese.
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Protein Helps You Maintain A Healthy Appetite
Several studies have shown that protein plays an important role in keeping hunger at a healthy level. One 2004 study by the American College of Nutrition showed that of the three macronutrients — protein, fat, and carbohydrates – protein is the most filling, leaving you feeling more satisfied.
Another 2006 study by the American Society for Clinical Nutrition found that protein reduced levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, while simultaneously increasinging levels of peptide YY, which makes the body feel full.
In other words, eating more protein can help you feel more full after a meal, so that you don’t run the risk of overeating.
Proteins Are Made Of Amino Acids
Proteins are made up of building blocks called amino acids. There are about 20 different amino acids that link together in different combinations. Your body uses them to make new proteins, such as muscle and bone, and other compounds such as enzymes and hormones. It can also use them as an energy source.
Some amino acids can be made by your body there are 11 of these and theyre known as non-essential amino acids. There are 9 amino acids that your body cannot make, and they are known as essential amino acids. You need to include enough of these in your diet so that your body can function.
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Why Do We Need Protein
Protein is an essential nutrient, responsible for multiple functions in your body, including building tissue, cells and muscle, as well as making hormones and anti-bodies. Everyone needs protein in their diet, but if you do endurance sports or weight training, you may benefit from increasing your protein intake, as well as factoring it into your training routine at specific times to reap its muscle-building benefits.
Studies also suggest that as we get older we may benefit from eating more protein because it helps minimise the muscle loss associated with aging.
Eat Your Protein First
When eating a meal, eat the protein source first, especially before you get to the starches.
Protein increases the production of peptide YY , a gut hormone that makes you feel full and satisfied .
In addition, a high protein intake decreases levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and increases your metabolic rate after eating and during sleep .
Whats more, eating protein first can help keep your blood sugar and insulin levels from rising too high after a meal.
In one small study, people with type 2 diabetes were served identical meals on different days. Blood sugar and insulin rose significantly less when they consumed protein and vegetables before eating high carb foods, compared with when the order was reversed .
Eating protein first at meals can help you feel full and keep your blood sugar and insulin levels from rising too high.
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Know Your Total Calorie Goals
Eating more protein is thought to support weight loss, muscle gain, and improved health a number of different ways, but if you arent eating the right amount of calories protein intake isnt going to make much difference.
In other words, the first step in evaluating your food choices is calorie content. Learn how many calories you need to eat each day and then find foods that help you hit that goal consistently.
The easiest way to determine if a meal or snack is the right calorie fit is to plan out your day in advance. This is much easier than it sounds.
Take your total calorie needs and divide by the typical number of meals you have each day. If you need 2000 calories and eat three times a day, youd need roughly ~600 calories per meal with 200 calories to spare. Then use any remaining calories to account for snacks and wiggle room as needed.
Then use this amount to judge whether or not that high protein food is actually benefiting your overall diet.
Meat Poultry And Fish
Meat, poultry and fish are excellent sources of protein. Varieties with little to no fat, such as skinless chicken breast, deli style turkey breast or canned light tuna, are strictly protein foods. Generally, a 3-ounce portion of meat, poultry or fish contains approximately 21 grams of protein and 0 grams of carbohydrate. Fat content can vary depending on the animal source and cut, but if you desire pure protein without the fat, look for cuts labeled “loin” or “round” and choose white skinless poultry.
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How Much Protein Do You Need Each Day
- Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet and can help us lose weight too.
- The recommended amount of protein for adults is 0.36 grams per pound or 56 grams per day.
- We should get more protein if were pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to build muscle mass.
- Protein comes from many different sources meat, eggs, dairy products like milk and cheese, beans, and legumes like chickpeas and lentils.
- If you dont eat any animal products at all then your only source of protein will be plant-based foods such as tofu or soybeans.
The Protein Content Of 230 Common Foods
Last Updated on November 4, 2021 by Michael Joseph
We all have different protein needs, but it can be difficult knowing precisely how much protein common foods contain.
For this reason, this guide provides a simple overview of the protein content of 230 common foods.
The source of the data is the USDAs food composite database, and all foods are per 100 grams raw .
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Beef Pork Veal And Lamb
Its best to limit your intake of red meat which is often higher in saturated fat and processed meats like ham, bacon and hot dogs which are often higher in saturated fat and sodium. If you decide to have these, choose the leanest options, which are:
- Select or Choice grades of beef trimmed of fat including: chuck, rib, rump roast, round, sirloin, cubed, flank, porterhouse, T-bone steak or tenderloin
- Lamb: chop, leg or roast
- Veal: loin chop or roast
- Pork: Canadian bacon, center loin chop, ham or tenderloin
How Much Protein Do You Need
While protein is such an important nutrient to eat, that doesn’t mean that you should be eating loads and loads of the stuff every single day. The amount of protein you need depends on a few factors, including your weight, age, sex and health status.
Generally speaking, most healthy adults require 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of weight. This equates to around 55 grams per day for a sedentary man of average weight and 45 grams per day for a sedentary woman of average weight. Protein needs may increase due to various factors, including whether a person is extremely physically active, whether they are pregnant or lactating, or if they are recovering from certain injuries or surgeries.
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Vegetarian Choices In The Protein Foods Group
Vegetarians get enough protein from this group as long as the variety and amounts of foods selected are adequate. Protein sources from the Protein Foods Group for vegetarians include eggs , beans, peas, and lentils, nuts and seeds , and soy products . For more information on beans, peas, and lentils, see Beans, Peas, and Lentils are Unique Foods.
Getting More Protein Into Your Day Naturally
If youre looking for ways to get more protein into your diet, here are some suggestions:
- Try a peanut butter sandwich. Remember to use natural peanut butter with no added salt, sugar or other fillers.
- Low-fat cottage or ricotta cheese is high in protein and can go in your scrambled eggs, casserole, mashed potato or pasta dish. Or spread it on your toast in the morning.
- Nuts and seeds are fantastic in salads, with vegetables and served on top of curries. Try toasting some pine nuts or flaked almonds and putting them in your green salad.
- Beans are great in soups, casseroles, and pasta sauces. Try tipping a drained can of cannellini beans into your favourite vegetable soup recipe or casserole.
- A plate of hummus and freshly cut vegetable sticks as a snack or hummus spread on your sandwich will give you easy extra protein at lunchtime.
- Greek yoghurt is a protein rich food that you can use throughout the day. Add some on your favourite breakfast cereal, put a spoonful on top of a bowl of pumpkin soup or serve it as dessert with some fresh fruit.
- Eggs are a versatile and easy option that can be enjoyed on their own or mixed in a variety of dishes.
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Why Protein Should Be Included In Your Diet
While our bodies are capable of making certain amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, there are are others, called essential amino acids, that can only be obtained through food.
Because our bodies are constantly turning over tissue, new proteins are needed to replace degraded existing proteins. Cell growth, repair, and maintenance all require protein.
Eating protein containing foods will consistently be used to replace old tissue, such as skin tissue, with new tissue made by the new proteins.
Campaign Protein Transition: From Pain Points To Perspective
This session is part of the campaign Protein Transition: from Pain Points to Perspective, an initiative of Wageningen University & Research to help the public sector resolve barriers in the protein transition. In 4 sessions a multidisciplinary team of WUR experts zooms in on the 4 biggest challenges for policymakers AND offers perspectives. From reducing dependency on soy import to shaping a circular food system.
- Do you have a question about effective policy instruments in the protein transition? Ask our expert:prof.dr. EWML de Vet
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Research On Protein And Health
Available evidence indicates that its the source of protein , rather than the amount of protein, that likely makes a difference for our health. You can explore the research related to each disease in the tabs below, but heres the evidence-based takeaway: eating healthy protein sources like beans, nuts, fish, or poultry in place of red meat and processed meat can lower the risk of several diseases and premature death.
Research conducted at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health has found that eating even small amounts of red meatespecially processed red meaton a regular basis is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, and the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or any other cause. Conversely, replacing red and processed red meat with healthy protein sources such as beans, soy foods, nuts, fish, or poultry seems to reduce these risks. One of the reasons why plant sources of protein are related to lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to protein from red meat and dairy is because of the different types of fat in these protein packages. Plant-based protein sources are more unsaturated, which lowers LDL cholesterolan established risk factor for heart disease. Also, plant sources contain no cholesterol. Other factors are likely to contribute to the lower risk, but this is a key factor.
When it comes to cancer, once again, the seems to matter more than quantity.