Monday, September 12, 2011


Your body's protein needs depend on your gender, body weight, age, physical activity level, and other factors.  All other things being equal, men need more protein than women.  According to the Institute of Medicine, the recommended daily allowance for an average adult man is 56 grams per day. Adult women need 46 grams, teenage boys 52, and infants 10.
For example, a typical day of protein intake of 50 grams would include:  Chicken, 3 ounces, 21 grams; two large eggs, 13 grams; 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 8 grams; and 8 ounces of yogurt, 8 grams.
More specific recommendations, based on body weight, call for adults to get  about 8 grams of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight.

Protein is an essential part of every cell of your body, comprising about 15% of your body weight.  It has a wide variety of uses and functions, including providing energy, helping to build the structural skeleton of cells, moving molecules from one place to another, breaking down toxins, and repairing bones and muscles.

Most of the time, eating more protein than you need is not a problem.  But if you eat too much protein, you're taking in unnecessary calories, which can lead to weight gain.  And if the protein is from meat or other animal sources, it might be high in saturated fat, which can lead to high cholesterol levels and heart disease.
Too much protein can also cause problems for people with specific medical conditions, such as kidney disease or diabetes.

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