Dominica: Protein is essential for good health. The origin of the word – from the Greek proto, meaning “before” – refers to the top-shelf position of proteins in human nutrition.
You need to apply meat to your bones and make healthy hair, blood, connective tissue, antibodies, enzymes and more. It is common for athletes and bodybuilders to take extra protein in bulk. But the rest of us often get the message that our daily protein content is very high.
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. RDA is the amount of a nutrient that you need to meet your basic nutritional requirements. In a sense, this is the minimum amount you need to stop being sick – the specific amount you are going to eat every day.
To determine your daily protein intake, you can multiply your weight by 0.36 pounds or use this online protein calculator for a 50-year-old woman who weighs around 140 pounds and who is sedentary (doesn’t exercise), that turns into 53 grams of protein a day.
But the use of RDA to determine how much protein you need daily has actually caused a lot of confusion. “There is a misunderstanding not only among the public but also to some extent about the RDA in our profession,” says Nancy Rodriguez, a registered dietitian and nutrition science professor at the University of Storrs. “People, in general, think that we all eat too much protein.”
Rodriguez was one of more than 40 nutrition scientists who gathered in Washington, DC to discuss study on protein and human health system. The summit was held and sponsored by beef, egg, and other animal-based food industry organisations, but it also generated a body of scientific reports that independently ran for the June publication of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) A special supplement was published.
Protein: More is Better?
For a relatively daily active adult, a daily protein intake to meet the RDA will supply up to 10% of its total daily calories. In comparison, the average American consumes about 16% of their daily calories as protein from plant and animal sources.
The Protein Summit report at AJCN argues that 16% is anything but excessive. In fact, reports suggest that Americans may eat very little protein, not too much. Potential benefits of high daily protein intake, these researchers argue, include preserving muscle strength despite aging and maintaining a lean, fat-burning physique. Some of the studies described in the Pinnacle report suggest that protein is more effective if you place it on daytime meals and breakfasts, instead of loading up at dinner like many Americans.
Based on the conclusion of the research presented at the summit, Rodriguez estimates that doubling the protein to RDA is “a safe and good category to target.” This is equivalent to about 15% to 25% of total daily calories, although it may be above or below this limit depending on your age, gender, and activity level.
However, over the past several years, the public health message has shifted from the desired percentage of protein, fat and carbohydrates. For example, current dietary guidelines for Americans emphasize the importance of eating healthy protein-rich foods rather than focusing on specific amounts of daily protein.
What should you do?
Research on how much of the optimal amount of protein to eat for good health is underway, and it has not yet gone away. The value of a high protein diet for weight loss or heart health, for example, remains controversial.
Some important things to consider before you start your daily protein intake. For one, not reading “get more protein” as “eating extra meat”. Beef, poultry, and pork (as well as milk, cheese, and eggs) can definitely give high-quality protein but can include so many plant foods – whole grains, beans, and other legumes, nuts, and vegetables Huh. The table below gives some healthy sources of protein.
It is also important to consider a protein “package” – fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that always come with protein. Aim for protein sources low in saturated fat and processed carbohydrates and rich in many nutrients.
One more thing: If you increase protein, dietary arithmetic demands that you consume less of other things to keep your daily calorie intake constant. The switches you make can affect your nutrition, for better or worse. For example, eating more protein instead of low-quality refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and sweets, is a healthy option – although how healthy this option also depends on the total protein package.
“If you’re not eating much fish and you want to increase it – yes, it can improve the overall nutrient profile that will later improve your health,” registered dietitian Kathy McManus, nutritionist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham Director of the department and said Women’s Hospital. “But I think the data are pretty strong against red meat, and of course processed meat, to get the protein.”
If losing weight is your main concern, then it is advisable to try a high-protein diet, but do not expect it to be a panacea. “Patients ask me all the time whether more protein will help them lose weight,” says McManus. “I tell them that the decision is still pending. Some studies support this; some studies do not. “