Getting Enough Protein at Every Age: The Truth Revealed | Nutrition

### Protein Needs Throughout Life

Eating protein is essential for the body, but the amount required can vary based on age, sex, and activity levels. With conflicting messages about how much protein to consume, it can be challenging to determine the right amount. The National Diet and Nutrition Survey indicates that many people exceed daily protein recommendations, which could have negative effects on health. However, dietitian Linia Patel notes that around 80% of her clients are not consuming enough protein.

### Official Protein Recommendations

The recommended daily intake of protein for healthy adults is 0.75g per kilogram of body weight. This equates to about 45g for the average woman and 56g for the average man. Non-animal sources of protein, such as beans, lentils, and tofu, are rich in nutrients and fiber. However, the current guidelines may need revision as they were established based on outdated body weights. New research suggests that a higher protein intake may be necessary for optimal health and muscle maintenance.

### Effects of Protein Intake

Protein plays a crucial role in hormone production, mood regulation, and appetite control. It is also essential for bone health, skin, and nail strength. Inadequate protein consumption can lead to weakened bones, brittle nails, and poor skin health. Conversely, excessive protein intake can strain the kidneys and contribute to weight gain.

### Protein Needs for Children

Children require adequate protein for growth and development. While a balanced diet can provide sufficient protein, it’s essential to ensure that younger individuals receive appropriate portions based on their size. The recommended protein intake for children varies by age and gender, with slight adjustments for growth spurts and activity levels.

### Monitoring Protein Intake

Determining the right amount of protein for individual needs can be challenging. Consulting with a dietitian or using body composition scales can help assess protein requirements. Monitoring muscle mass and overall health indicators can also provide insights into whether protein intake is adequate.

### Protein for Active Individuals

For those who engage in regular exercise or sports activities, protein needs may be higher to support muscle repair and recovery. While elite athletes may require up to 2g of protein per kilogram of body weight, recreational athletes can start with a lower range and adjust based on activity levels and performance goals. Balancing protein intake with overall dietary needs is key to optimizing health and fitness outcomes.

Original Story at – 2024-04-15 09:00:00

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