A balanced diet requires each of the three macronutrients: carbohydrates, fat and protein, says Amy Kimberlain, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator based in Miami who’s a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Whatever diet or eating regimen you’re on, protein is essential.
“Protein specifically helps to support many body functions – such as cell maintenance, the building and contraction of muscles and tissue repair,” Kimberlain says. “It helps keep body fluids in balance. Really, any time that our body is growing or repairing itself, we’re in need of protein. Additionally, protein can be helpful in keeping us fuller longer and helping to stabilize blood sugar levels. Obtaining an adequate amount of protein is essential to our overall health.”
How Much Protein is Enough? It’s important to keep in mind that the amount of protein an individual needs depends on factors such as their size, age and level of physical activity. The current recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for adults is 0.8 grams per kilogram of an individual’s body mass – or 0.36 grams per pound of body weight). This is the minimum daily intake to prevent a deficiency.
Excerpted from U.S. News