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Are You Eating Enough Protein?
Fish contains less fat than meat | GI North

Salmon is a good source of protein and contains heart-healthy omega-3’s and less fat than meat.

Protein is a prerequisite for optimum health. You need it to maintain healthy bones, muscle and blood. Rendering the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), proteins are even more important during puberty, childhood and pregnancy. But how much protein does the average person require in order to stay healthy?

Many experts agree that the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of proteins is in direct correlation with age and gender. It also depends upon certain life stages such as puberty. In addition, some specialists believe that a higher-protein diet may help you maintain a healthy weight and also support strong muscles with aging. However, some researchers suggest that too many proteins may cause weight gain, intestinal irritation, increased liver enzymes and other health issues. Unquestionably, most experts agree that selecting the right type of proteins is vital to health.

For instance, a diet high in red meat can be detrimental to your health and lead to certain problems like cancer. A great write-up on the subject: Red Meat and Colorectal Cancer: Understanding the Relationship

Composition and Recommendations

Proteins consist of amino acids. Essential amino acids are the amino acids your body cannot make itself. There are 20 different amino acids in the food you eat. But your body can only make 11 amino acids. The nine essential amino acids must be obtained from the diet. Therefore, it is imperative that your diet contain the proper amounts of complete proteins. In fact, 10 and 35 percent of your daily calories should come from high quality proteins.

RDA Recommendations

The RDA for children varies with age and certain life changes:

  • Ages 1 to 3 years – 13 grams
  • Ages 4 to 8 years – 19 grams
  • Ages 9 to 13 years – 34 grams
  • Girls ages 14 to 18 – 46 grams
  • Boys ages 14 to 18 – 52 grams


As well, the RDA for adults can vary with age:

  • Adult women ages 19 to 70+ years – 46 grams
  • Adult men ages 19 to 70+ years – 56 grams

Good Sources of Proteins

The type of proteins you eat plays a big factor in your overall health. As research suggests, consuming large qualities of processed meats like sausages and deli meats have been linked to the increase of cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer and type 2 diabetes. For a healthy diet, you should limit your consumption of red meat and avoid processed meats completely. Best protein sources include the following:

  • Fish: Contains heart-healthy omega-3’s and less fat than meat
  • Poultry: High in protein. Reduce most of the saturated fat by removing skin.
  • Nuts: One ounce of walnuts has 7 grams of protein. This is almost as much protein as one ounce of broiled rib eye steak.
  • Legumes: High in protein and fiber to help keep you full for hours.
  • Whole grains: One slice of whole wheat bread contains 3 grams of protein, plus valuable fiber.

A Healthier Approach

If you often feel tired even with the daily recommended amounts of proteins, there may be an imbalance in your system such as a digestive disorder or other issues. If you have any concerns or worries, it is best to visit a gastroenterologist.

For a healthier approach to your dietary needs visit GI North located in Cumming, GA. At GI North, gastroenterologist Simon R. Cofrancesco, M.D. and Sergio Quijano, M.D. have extensive knowledge and experience in treating diseases of the digestive system. In addition, Dr. Quijano is fluent in Spanish. GI North also services the surrounding areas Alpharetta, Roswell, Canton, and Suwanee.

© 2015 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

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