September 24, 2014

How Much Protein?

Because there are different guidelines for protein needed I will show the chart first, which is from the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

Exactly how much protein you need changes with age:
  1. Babies need about 10 grams a day.
  2. School-age kids need 19-34 grams a day.
  3. Teenage boys need up to 52 grams a day.
  4. Teenage girls need 46 grams a day.
  5. Adult men need about 56 grams a day.
  6. Adult women need about 46 grams a day (71 grams, if pregnant or breastfeeding)

You should get at least 10% of your daily calories, but not more than 35%, from protein, according to the Institute of Medicine.

The key measure is the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI), a system of nutrition recommendations from the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Used by both the United States and Canada, the DRI supersedes the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs), which is still used in food labeling.

Protein from animal sources such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, and yogurt provide all nine indispensable amino acids, and for this reason are referred to as ‘complete protein.'

Doctors still want you to limit saturated fat and select leaner cuts of meat. I would only agree on limiting processed meats like hot dogs and sausage. According to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, to help lower the chance of heart disease, it's a good idea to limit the amount of red meat, especially processed red meat, and eat more fish, poultry, and beans.

Other researchers say if you are trying to get more omega-3s, you might choose salmon, tuna, or eggs enriched with omega-3s, and if you need more fiber, look to beans, vegetables, nuts, and legumes.

Some of us with type 2 diabetes can have real problems with protein, especially if they have kidney disease and need to limit their amount of protein. Without kidney disease and following a vegan diet, then the problem becomes consuming enough protein. That is why I listed the table for protein consumption at the beginning.

Most of the studies proclaiming low-carb diets are good also have the diet as a low fat and were replacing the carbohydrates eliminated with protein. Some said this was good and others make no comments. The reason for the low fat is that many do not recognize the fallacy of Ancel Keys and that his conclusions have been debunked.

I do not agree to the low fat argument and think fat needs to be the macronutrient added as long as protein is at the level needed providing kidney disease is not a problem. A good discussion with a nutritionist may be necessary as well as the doctor if there is a kidney disease. No, I did not say a dietitian, as they generally want the carbohydrates to stay up and especially the whole grains. Gallbladder issues may also limit the amount of fat you can tolerate.

Please read this blog by David Mendosa about protein. He covers the many sides of protein that I do not.

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