Protein in diet is required to make a balanced diet for each and every human being. Protein is very much required in a diet in order to maintain sound health. The purest form of protein is a chain of amino acids. In all, there are 22 amino acids that combine to make protein, and 8 of these amino acids must be available in the food we eat. These amino acids are then used by the body to create blood, muscles, nails, skin, hair and internal organs. Proteins help in the replacement and forming of new tissues, regulate the balance of water and acids, transports oxygen and nutrients in our blood and cells and is essential in making antibodies.
Importance of protein in the diet
But the use of excess protein in the diet may not be good for your health. Excessive consumption of protein, mainly animal proteins, can result in heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke and kidney stones. Americans on average eat about twice the amount of protein that is actually required. Some people, in the quest of getting thinner, are taking high-protein diets and in the process eating four times the amount of protein their body actually needs. Although protein deficiency has never been a problem in America, but the major issue is to know the exact amount of protein in diet which will keep you healthy and fit. National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association suggest that about 50 to 60 grams of protein in diet is enough for adults. The body requires only 0.36 grams of protein per pound of the ideal body weight. In order to know the required amount you may multiply your actual weight by 0.36 and the result you get will be your optimum protein requirement in grams per day. The required protein does not depend on fat but on the amount of lean body mass. Thus, ideal weight is needed in place of actual body weight. Children, infants, and pregnant and nursing women require more protein in their diet.
Millions of people around the world do not get enough protein in diet. This malnutrition of protein causes kwashiorkor. Some other problems that might occur due to lack of protein is the failure in growth, decreased immunity, weakening of the respiratory system, loss of muscle mass, weakening of the heart and ultimately, death. The minimum daily requirement of protein is not a difficult task in developed countries in the world. For breakfast, there is a cereal with milk which is rich in protein. In dinner, there is fish with some beans and during lunch, you have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich which will provide you with about 70 grams of protein and this amount is huge for the average adult.
People who take a high-protein diet consume about 53% of total calories from fat and about 34% of the required calories in the form of protein. Among them, almost all are not aware of the amount of fat and protein they are taking with their food. For example, a 3-ounce of beef hamburger, which is considered very small by American standards, consists of about 20 grams of fat and 22 grams of protein. Thus, you can attain fast weight loss by following the high protein diet. Thus, high-protein food offers you a sense of fullness and you end up eating lesser calories.
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