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Do You Know How Much Protein You Need To Stay Healthy?

Aug 17, 2007
We all have heard by now the new federal government report, that used actual body measurements, stated that one in three Americans are obese. A 2000 survey that relied on people's own assessments put the figure at one in five.

On every continent, even in regions of malnutrition, the number of people who are overweight or obese is rising.

The major culprit worldwide is a combination of high-calorie diets and lifestyle changes, the same as in the U.S.

In the U.S. obesity in children is soaring.

What can we do about?

First and foremost, we can start with ourselves and our family. We alone cannot change the whole world, but we can start making a difference in our own families and communities.

We have also heard the many claims about this program or that-eat all the carbs or protein you want and still lose weight. However, it is important to understand about nutrition and that every body has different needs. We are not "one size fits all" when it comes to our nutrition and fitness/weight loss requirements. We still have to count calories though. There are numerous factors built into our genetic makeup that need to be taken into consideration. For example, how active are you? Do you have any food intolerances? How much sleep do you get? Do you take time to relax? Are you stressed at work or home? Did you know that your favorite food may actually be making you fat? How many times do you eat out?

These are just a few things that need to be considered when we start are journey to getting healthier and fit. Of course, your very first step is getting a complete physical to be sure that you are healthy enough to start a wellness/fitness program.

As you may or may not know, protein is the corner stone to a healthy body. Protein is an important part in the production of blood hemoglobin, antibodies, new muscle tissue and virtually every metabolic process in the human body! Hair and nails are mostly made of protein.

Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Unlike fat and carbohydrates, the body does not store protein, and therefore, has no reservoir to draw on when it needs a new supply.

Without enough protein in your diet, the body cannot repair itself and new muscle cannot be formed if essential amino acids are not present.

In addition, without the required essential amino acids found in protein, the body will attempt to glean what it needs from incomplete dietary protein and release it back into the blood stream. If the essential amino acid is not delivered soon enough, the incomplete protein is transported to the liver where it is separate from its nitrogen base. The amino acids remaining are then converted to glucose (blood sugar) and used as energy or stored as glycogen in the liver and muscle tissue. These leftover amino acids can also be stored as fat-yuk!

How do you know how much protein you need? Here is a chart to help you compute how much protein, a day, you should be consuming. Just find your activity level and multiple your weight by the number next to that level to determine your daily protein requirements.

Are you eating enough?

Example, if you are an adult, recreational adult exerciser, you would multiple your weight by 0.5-0.75.

For example, you weigh 250 lbs. and consider yourself a recreational athlete:

0.5-0.75 X 250 lbs. = 125-188

So, you would need to consume approximately 152-188 grams of protein a day.

Are YOU eating enough protein?

Current RDA for Inactive Adult 0.4
Recreational Adult Exerciser 0.5-0.75
About the Author
Valerie Slaughter, a veteran marathoner herself, runs a beginner marathon website and is the author of "You Want to Do What!?" For articles, tips and more information about how to stay fit and lose weight, visit: http://healthandfitnessnut.wordpress.com
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