It goes without saying...protein is important to nearly every aspect of your body. Most people think of muscles, or even hair and nails, but it is part of every cell of your body. It regulates brain chemicals, helping to make you feel more alert through the day. It makes up all of your organs(and I know you heart your heart). That is why it is critical that you eat enough of this powerful building block as part of your balanced diet.
Where do you get it? Almost all foods have some amount of it, along with carbohydrates and fats. But there are significant levels of amino acids in dairy, eggs, meats, poultry, soy, beans, and nuts. Some people use supplements to boost their intake if they find they are not getting enough from food. This is not typically necessary unless you are a body builder or you have an aversion to the best sources of this necessary nutrient.
While it is important to get enough, you don't want to get too much. Most women would need about 50-70 grams per day (more if pregnant). Men may need slightly higher levels (up to 100 grams in most circumstances). Some people go overboard--"if a little is good, then a lot must be even better!" This is not so, and consuming too much of a good thing can cause some serious problems for your body. Much of it will have to be broken down into something else (glucose or fatty acids), and the leftovers have to be filtered out of the body. This is very hard on the kidneys...so don't do it.
Eating right is as simple as including a good source of protein, along with some carbohydrate, every time you have a meal or snack. Yogurt, nuts, and cheese all make convenient snack additions. Of course beef, chicken, or fish at meals provide a substantial source at meals. It is easy to get what you need throughout the day. Believe me, your body will thank you for it.
Read More About Nutrition & Wellness:Healthy Fitness
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Jennifer Pereira LPC, RD - Therapist & Dietitian
1. Do you worry that you have lost control over how much you eat?
2. Do you make yourself sick (or use laxatives/exercise) if you feel uncomfortably full?
3. Do you currently suffer with or suffered in the past with eating issues?
4. Do you ever eat in secret?
5. Does your weight affect how you feel about yourself?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, or if you are not satisfied with your current eating patterns, contact us for more information.