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Healthy tips: eating less high-protein food helps you cool down


Updated: 2014-07-30

In the summer, the hot weather forces people to stay out of the kitchen, and they are more willing to choose cold foods, such as cold noodles. But the question is, can food really change our body temperature?

Eating food will consume additional energy in your body, which will be sent out through the body surface, resulting in heat. This is called the thermic effect of food or specific dynamic action.

Different foods have different thermic effects. High-protein food has a much larger thermic effect while starchy foods and vegetables have a less powerful thermic effect. This could explain that when people eat hotpot with a tray of mutton, their body will feel hot for a long time. But if they eat a tray of vegetables, they will soon feel less heat. This is because 30 percent of protein’s energy will be sent out through the body surface, and carbohydrates only send out 5 percent to 6 percent of energy consumed. The number for fats is only 4 percent to 5 percent.

So, the energy of food with high protein is easily sent out through the body, which means that people will feel hotter. In our daily meals, animal meat and fish meat have the highest protein, with a percentage of 15 percent to 20 percent. The amount for eggs is 13 percent, southern tofu 6 percent and vegetables less than 1.5 percent.

For mixed food, the thermic effect of protein is estimated at 10 percent, which means that for a regular meal with main food and additional dishes, mixed with meat and vegetables, the total energy will result in 10 percent sent out through the body as the thermic effect of food. If a meal is 700 kilocalories, 70 kilocalories will be sent out through the body after eating food.

To resist the heat, people should avoid eating too much food with protein. A reasonable diet should be: 250 grams of grain, 50 grams of lean meat, 100 grams of tofu, an egg, a cup of yogurt, 500 grams of vegetables and 500 grams of fruits.



Link: China's Central Government / World Health Organization / United Nations Population Fund / UNICEF in China

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