Protein fuels our energy and carries oxygen throughout our body in our blood. Even more importantly in today’s world with COVID 19, it helps to create immunity via antibodies to fight off infections and illnesses while keeping our cells healthy enough to create new ones. With all that in mind, how much protein do you need to maximize your health?
The Value Of Protein
Protein, along with carbs and fat, is one of the three macronutrients we need, and it provides us with most of our energy. Protein consists of amino acids and although our bodies can provide most of those amino acids we require to be healthy, there are still 9 essential amino acids we must have to survive. Unfortunately, our body does not store protein like it does carbs and fat. We, therefore, need to have a sufficient amount of protein every day.
Other advantages of protein in your diet include the following:
- It reduces your appetite and you feel more satiated. You eat less.
- Reduces cravings and late-night snacks.
- It lowers blood pressure.
- It helps with weight loss.
- It reduces muscle loss from dieting
How Much Protein Do You Need Every Day?
How much protein you should consume every day depends on your age, your sex, your body weight, and how much activity you get.
Protein is invaluable not just for our muscles but also to maintain healthy bones, skin, and hair. The current recommended daily allowance (RDA) is .36 grams per pound of our body weight. This is but the minimum to prevent deficiencies. Put another way most everyone should get 10 – 35% of their calories each day from protein.
Use this USDA interactive calculator to determine the amount of protein you should have daily. If you are an athlete and one who does strengthening exercises, you may need more than the average recommendation.
The Best Sources Of Protein
You don’t have to drink protein shakes all day to get the full benefits of protein in your diet.
Meat, dairy, eggs, fish, and soybeans are the most complete sources of protein and the highest quality. Limit those you get from lunch meats, sausage, and bacon.
You can also get protein from plant sources, but many do not have the 9 essential amino acids you need. If you choose not to eat meat, it is best to consult a highly trained physician at Davidson Family Medicine to be sure you are getting enough necessary protein and essential amino acids in your diet.
Maybe it is time to look at your family’s diet and plan to make some changes. Contact Davidson Family Medicine with questions and for recommendations. Our highly trained physicians routinely consult with patients about their dietary needs. Call our office in Davidson, NC at (704) 892-5454 today!