Protein comes in many forms of food. Poultry, beans, milk products, cheeses, and beef are good sources of protein. Protein is a macronutrient meaning your body needs large amounts of it and the body does not store protein so you have to replenish it daily. There is a healthy amount that you should eat everyday and eating to little or to much is not healthy. So how do we know how much is just right.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention states that :
- Children between the ages of 1 - 3 should eat 13 grams of protein a day.
- Children between the ages of 4 - 8 should eat 19 grams of protein a day.
- Children between the ages of 9 - 13 should eat 34 grams of protein a day.
- Girls between the ages of 14- 18 should eat 46 grams of protein a day.
- Boy between the ages of 14- 18 should eat 52 grams of protein a day.
- Women ages 19- 70+ should eat 46 grams of protein a day
Men ages 19- 70+ should eat 56 grams of protein a day.
So what should you eat. Meat is a wonderful source of protein, but it has it drawbacks as well. A 6 ounce piece of steak has a wonderful 38 grams of protein but the drawback is that it also has 44 grams of fat. A 6 ounce piece of salmon has 34 grams of protein and 18 grams of fat. A cup of beans has 18 grams of protein and under 1 gram of fat. So now you understand how some proteins are better than others. If like most people in the United States you have to have your meat there are meats out there that are much better for you than red meat. Poulty and fish are much better choices than red meat. 6 ounces of cooked boneless skinless chicken has an amazing 45 grams of protein and 7 grams of fat. This is for a boiled piece of chicken. If you are a lover of red meat this doesn't mean you have to give up your beef or pork, it just means incorperate a bit more chicken and fish into your diet.
Protein helps you gain more energy and if other factors are involved can lead to weight loss and leaner muscle mass. Add exercise to your daily routine and protein will help you lose weight by increasing your bodies ability to burn fat. Protein can also make you feel fuller for longer periods of time as opposed to other non-protein type foods.
All in all its important to have the correct amount of protein in you diet on a daily basis. If you have trouble eating all the gram of protein that are required for you diet, you can investigate portein drinks or protein bars to get the required amount of protein.