How Important is Protein in Your Diet?

Ansley Knopf - Wednesday, September 21, 2016

How important is protein, really?

There is possibly no greater aspect of your health and wellness than your nutrition.We truly are what we eat, and our bodies cannot function optimally without the proper fuel. Many of our ailments, diseases and health problems are rooted in diets that are deficient in nutritional value, and overabundant in ingredients harmful to our bodies and our health. Understanding nutrition is a vast field and there is constant research regarding how food affects us and the best diets for individuals, rather than as a whole population. This can be overwhelming when you just want to know what you’re supposed to eat and not eat, and it also makes choices difficult when you are outside of your own home.

There is also a lot of seemingly conflicting and confusing information about how important protein is, and how much you need to consume, as well as which sources of protein are optimal.

I am going to share some Protein Truths so you know how to navigate this protein information- and get the protein you need to function optimally and reach your health and fitness goals.

Protein is a necessary building block of muscle…and of life.

Protein is an important macro-nutrient that we need to function as well as build and sustain muscle/lean body mass.

Proteins need to be ingested through food sources

Protein sources are found in a variety of foods- but most important to consider when selecting foods- is whether or not it is a complete protein- which means that is contains all of the essential amino acids.

This is important because 8-10 essential amino acids cannot be made by the body and must be consumed through diet.

Protein does have calories, and can still be stored as fat in excess

There is a lot of information about the importance of protein and the quality of sources, and regardless of whether it comes from meat, a plant source or even a protein source, there is only so much the body can actually absorb and utilize at a time- any excess calories, even from a protein source, will ultimately be stored as fat in the body.

Protein has a daily recommended amount depending on the individual and their needs, as well as their goals.

The recommended amount of protein per day varies by individual, their dietary needs and their overall energy requirements. There is a median recommendation of 0.8g/ kg (of body weight) per day. This varies based on whether a person is more active, adheres to a ketogenic (very-high protein) diet, or a low protein diet and other individual factors. Generally speaking, an average balanced diet will place the protein grams in between 45-75 grams of protein per day, based on total calorie intake.

Do you have more questions about protein, protein sources and if you’re getting enough protein in your diet? Then we should talk further during your health coaching session to evaluate and incorporate protein into your meal planning, and make sure you are getting the protein your body needs to continue to Train and Flourish!



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