The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of the amount of protein we need is important. Healthy women need forty-six to fifty grams of protein each day while the healthy men need fifty-eight to sixty grams of protein each day. Why is it important to know this? Read on.
According to the National Academy of Sciences, people should not eat more than twice the amount recommended. Why? Because people who do raise the risk for gout, kidney stones and calcium loss. They can also put too much strain on the liver and the kidney as these two process the protein intake.
Too little protein is not good either because one can become easily tired and lethargic. In fact, eating too little protein for a long period can compromise the immune system, decreased organ size and muscle mass and can cause anemia, hair loss and malnutrition.
The suggestion from the Institute of Medicine is for people to eat 10 to 35% of the calories from protein while the American Diabetes Association's recommendation is 15 to 20%. Now let's not get stressed out over all these figures. The key is moderation.
Now that we have covered how much protein we need, let's turn our attention to what proteins to eat for optimal health. Unlike fats, there are no such things as unhealthy protein, thank goodness, but there are proteins that contain unhealthy fats like red meat. So choose wisely.
In my humble opinion, this does not mean you can't have steak once in a while as a treat. Just don't overdo it. Besides, there are substitutes that taste just as good as meat. I had a vegetarian burger at Hard Rock Cafe in New York City that tastes so good I dream about it sometimes.
The best thing to do is to choose low-fat sources for protein. Vegetarians do not have to worry about their protein intake either. Why? Because there are a wide choice of food rich in protein at their finger tips. There are grains, legumes, vegetables and soy products.
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