Protein is the basic material of life. In fact, the word “protein” comes from an ancient Greek root meaning “primary” or “first.” The body could not grow or function without it. Since the human body can manufacture only twelve of the twenty-two amino acids that are essential for life, the remaining nine must be provided by eating food. However, the contemporary American diet rarely contains protein in sufficient quantity to maintain and repair cell and skin health.
If I were to poll my patients and students about what food they crave, I can assure you the answer would never be a grilled salmon filet. Most of my patients tell me their first choice when hunger strikes is a latte and brioche or rice cake and diet soda. At a fast-food restaurant, their usual order consists of French fries and a salad with nonfat dressing—and their faces show it. Sadly, an ongoing lack of protein is first noticeable in the face, as the features become soft and doughy. The sharp definition, contoured cheekbones, and that great jawline all become blurred. When the protein supply is depleted, the body is forced to feed upon itself. This causes both tissue and muscle to break down.
Once you know what to look for, you can immediately spot a person who eats a high-carb, low-protein diet. You can see it in women and men as early as their twenties. So remember, the lack of protein in your diet translates into highly visible changes in your face and body—and these changes are not improvements. The first critical step is to ensure that you consume adequate protein throughout the day.
Are you getting enough of the right protein in your daily diet?