Proteins are busy molecules. They are involved with almost every biological function in the human body.
- Protein makes up the cell walls of our organs, skin, bones, muscles, blood and tissue, giving support and structure to those vital elements.
- Protein provides the energy for our metabolism and the building of muscle mass.
- Protein in antibodies fights off bacterial and viral infections.
- Protein collaborates with our organs and biological systems to keep our bodies functioning.
Protein comes from the foods we eat, and — given all the important jobs that protein needs to accomplish throughout the day — it stands to reason that the more protein one eats, the healthier that person might be. However, that is not the case. Eating more protein than our bodies can process doesn’t provide any benefit and only increases the number of calories in our daily diets. That’s why it’s important to read nutrition labels and ensure that protein sources account for 10-35% of your daily caloric intake.
The amount of protein that people need in their diets varies, depending on gender and age. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend women and girls aged 14 and older consume 46 grams of protein daily, while men aged 19 and older eat 56 grams of protein each day.
Easy Ways to Add Protein to Meals
Switch from regular yogurt, which has 8-12 grams of protein per cup, to Greek yogurt, which has 17 grams of protein per cup.
- Add an ounce of sunflower seeds to breakfast cereal for 5 more grams of protein.
- Sprinkle an ounce of Mozzarella cheese onto salads for 6 extra grams of protein.
Small changes in one’s protein intake could make a big difference. Learn more in the accompanying resource.
AUTHOR BIO: Dr. Myur S. Srikanth is a board-certified bariatric and cosmetic surgeon at the Center for Weight Loss Surgery. He has been performing bariatric surgery exclusively since 2000 and has performed over 4,000 weight loss surgeries. Dr. Srikanth performs nearly every operation that is currently available to treat obesity.