Potatoes Serve High Quality Protein that’s Good for Women’s Muscle

Michelle Donovan wrote . . . . . . . . .

Researchers from McMaster University have found that the potato, primarily known as a starchy vegetable, can be a source of high-quality protein that helps to maintain muscle.

The findings, reported in the journal Nutrients, highlight the potential benefits of what is considered a non-traditional source of protein, particularly as dietary trends change and worldwide demand has increased for plant-based alternatives to animal-derived sources.

“While the amount of protein found in a potato is small, we grow lots of potatoes and the protein, when isolated, it can provide some measurable benefits,” says Sara Oikawa, a former graduate student in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster and lead author of the research paper.

The researchers recruited young women in their early twenties who consumed diets containing protein at the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of 0.8 grams of protein/ per kilogram of weight/day, which would be approximately 60g of protein for the average woman or 70g for the average man.

One group of participants consumed additional potato protein isolate – in the form of a pudding—doubling their intake of the RDA to 1.6g/kg/d. Another group received a placebo.

Researchers found the women who consumed the additional potato protein increased the rate at which their muscles made new protein, while the placebo group did not.

“This was an interesting finding that we did not expect,” says Oikawa. “But it is one that shows the recommended daily allowance is inadequate to support maintenance of muscle in these young women.”

Perhaps more interesting, she says, was that a form of plant-derived protein, which has generally been thought to be of lower quality than animal-derived protein, can have such a beneficial effect.

To study the impact of weightlifting, the research team then instructed both groups of women to exercise only one of their legs.

“This method is a little unconventional but allows us to see the effect within the same person and not have to add more people who were exercising,” said the study principal investigator Stuart Phillips, who is a professor in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster and a leading researcher on protein and exercise.

In the leg the women exercised, scientists did not find any extra benefits from potato protein.

“That finding, which some may find disappointing, is in line with the rather small effect that protein has compared to exercise itself,” explains Phillips. “In other words, exercise is just such a more potent stimulus for making new muscle proteins compared to protein.”

The demand for protein has risen dramatically to meet the increased demands from the rising global population and plant-based proteins could fill that gap.

“This study provides evidence that the quality of proteins from plants can support muscle,” says Oikawa. “I think you’ll see more work on plant-based protein sources being done.”

The research was funded by the Alliance for Potato Research & Education.

Source: McMaster University

How Does Protein Fit in Your Holiday Diet or New Year’s Resolutions?

While some diets load up on protein and other diets dictate protein sources, it can be hard to know what to consume while managing weight or during weight loss.

A new study by Purdue University nutrition scientists shows that eating more protein daily than what is recommended may benefit only a few – those who are actively losing weight by cutting calories or those strength training to build more lean muscle mass. This study also affirms that the recommended dietary allowance, of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day – or 0.36 grams per pound – is adequate for most people. For example, an adult who weighs 150 pounds should eat 54 grams of protein a day, which could be three ounces of lean meat, three cups of dairy and one ounce of seeds or nuts within a day.

“But here is the hard part for consumers: These findings support that most adults who are consuming adequate amounts of protein may only benefit from moderately higher protein intake when they are purposefully trying to change their body composition such as when dieting or strength training. The results are not meant to encourage everyone to increase their protein intake in general,” said Wayne Campbell, a professor of nutrition science, whose research integrates exercise physiology, geriatrics and nutrition, especially protein.

The study was led by Joshua L. Hudson, Purdue postdoctoral research associate, and it is published in Advances in Nutrition.

“This research uniquely assesses whether adults benefit from consuming more protein than the current recommended dietary allowance,” Hudson said. “This research was not designed to assess whether or not adults would benefit from consuming more protein than they usually consume. This distinction is important because the recommended dietary allowance is the standard against which to assess nutrition adequacy; however, most adults consume more protein than what is recommended.”

When people are in a neutral metabolic state – not losing weight or lifting weights – eating more protein does not influence their body composition any differently, including lean mass, which is consistent with the current recommended dietary allowances being adequate for generally healthy sedentary weight-stable people. This does not include adults with Type 2 diabetes.

“And that is important because there is so much encouragement, advertising and marketing for everyone to eat higher protein diets, and this research supports that, yes, under certain conditions, including strength training and weight loss, moderately more protein may be helpful, but that doesn’t mean more is needed for everybody at all times,” Hudson said.

More than 1,500 nutrition articles were screened across journal databases to identify 18 studies with 22 intervention groups and 981 participants that addressed this topic. The studies were selected based on specific factors including inclusion of healthy adults, protein intake, weight loss and physical activity. The sources of protein evaluated included lean and minimally processed meats, dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds and legumes.

“This research is clinically more important for women and especially older women who are known to typically consume lower amounts of protein and should be maintaining a healthy bodyweight and regularly strength training,” Campbell said.

What do these findings mean for someone watching their weight during the holidays or planning New Year’s resolutions?

“If you are going to start losing weight, don’t cut back across all foods you usually consume, because you’ll inadvertently cut back protein. Instead, work to maintain, or even moderately increase, protein-rich foods. Then, cut back on the carbs and saturated fat-containing foods,” said Campbell, who studies how sources and amounts of protein – which is critical to building muscle mass – may be a part of adopting healthy eating patterns, including the Mediterranean diet and DASH diet.

These findings are in general, and more evaluation is needed to determine effects on age and gender. This research does not apply to elite athletes or people who lost weight with bariatric surgery, nor does it relate to protein supplements.

No external funding was used for this study. Campbell’s lab continues to study the influences of healthy eating patterns and diets with different amounts and sources of protein on changes in body composition and clinical health risk factors.

Source: Purdue University

American Startup To Create Meat Alternative Made Out Of Air

Liam Gilliver wrote . . . . . . . . .

American startup Air Protein aims to create an alternative to meat made out of air.

The Berkeley company, which claims it’s a first of its kind, uses a technique discovered by NASA in the 60s, whereby a class of microbes called hydrogenotrophic convert CO2 into protein in the form of a flavorless powder.

‘A complete protein’

The powder / flour can then be reconstituted to make food such as pasta, cereals, and now, an alternative to ‘conventional meat products’.

According to the startup’s website, the flour is a ‘complete protein, containing all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for the human diet’, is rich in vitamins and minerals including B12, and is free from pesticides and hormones.

Environmental impact

CEO Lisa Dyson says the company’s process is better for the environment too, citing research that suggests it uses 1,000 times less land and water than other protein sources such as soybeans.

“The reason why we’re excited about commercializing food products with this is because of all the challenges we’re facing with arable land,” she told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Air Protein aims to announce a product launch that consumers will be able to buy in 2020 – but no other details have been revealed.

Source: Plant Based News

New Chickpea Protein Launched in North America

Ingredient technology company Nutriati and exclusive commercialization partner PLT Health Solutions have introduced a new chickpea protein solution to North American food, beverage and supplements markets, touted as being able to take the “pain out of formulating with plant protein.” Called Artesa Chickpea Protein, the ingredient is reportedly the first chickpea-based protein concentrate available in commercial quantities. The Artesa Chickpea Protein concentrate has a minimum protein content of 60 percent, and a fiber content of 14 percent – which the companies report is quite high compared to existing dairy and plant proteins that usually top out at around 2 percent fiber.

Nutriati reports it re-engineered the manufacturing process for Artesa to address some of the main “pain points” related to formulating with plant proteins – starting with ingredient taste and overall in-product sensory experience.

Consumer testing has shown that Artesa can approach the sensory and formulating experience of dairy proteins in the areas of taste, texture, product structure and mouthfeel. The small, uniform particle size of Artesa Chickpea Protein is responsible for formulating benefits that include enhanced dissolution and suspendability, excellent foaming and emulsifying properties and faster, easier processing with less waste than occurs with other leading plant proteins.

In beverages, this small particle size enhances dissolution and suspension of the ingredient in liquids and reduces sedimentation that is a common issue for plant proteins – particularly in higher pH beverages where ‘crash out’ can occur.

In low moisture applications like bakery, the small particle size reduces viscosity of formulations which can help prevent production bottlenecks and reduce non-spec products and waste.

Artesa Chickpea Protein also reportedly has high water binding capacity and foaming and emulsification properties that other plant proteins don’t – which can be critical to processing efficiency, shelf-life and final product quality.

According to Richard Kelly, CEO and Co-Founder of Nutriati, the company’s selection of the chickpea as the source for its plant protein offering is based on a range of factors – from taste and processability to its high sustainability.

“The chickpea gets excellent marks when it comes to sustainability. Chickpeas require significantly lower use of chemical fertilizers, water and pesticides in production. They also have the lowest carbon footprint of any protein starting materials and contribute to healthier soils,” he says.

“Hummus introduced mainstream America to the chickpea as a food two decades ago, and consumers haven’t looked back. Forty percent of all chickpea-based food product introductions over the last 15 years occurred in 2016 and 2017 and 2016 saw a 150 percent increase in chickpea-based snack introductions. We think chickpeas are a great ingredient for the future of food,” he says.

Nutriati’s production process is protected by intellectual property, and according to the companies, it differs significantly from traditional plant protein processes that rely on high amounts of water, acids and precipitation.

According to Nutriati Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer Michael Spinelli, Artesa Chickpea Protein was developed to solve production issues that have accompanied attempts to increase the amount of plant protein in foods and beverages. “Among food and beverage producers, stories of struggles with plant protein are pretty common. Taste issues are often solved via the use of masking agents or added sweeteners. Sometimes processing aids or even facility retrofits are required to handle high protein and gluten-free products,” he says.

“We have found that recipes featuring Artesa Chickpea Protein can meet or even surpass gold standard formulations for taste, texture and other sensory aspects in a range of product applications. We have also found that people can up the boundaries of protein delivered per serving over anything that has been possible with plant-based ingredients with Artesa and still meet consumer expectations for organoleptics,” he adds.

Source: Nutrition Insight

In Pictures: Quick Home-made Meals Packed with Protein

Veggie Spaghetti and Meatballs

Tuna and Cheddar Wraps

Baked Breaded Sole With Baby Potatoes and Broccoli

Grilled Ahi Tuna Over Mashed Cauliflower

Turkey Tacos

Spinach Tomato Frittata