The Importance of Protein In Your Diet
Getting enough protein is a fundamental part of having a healthy diet. Every cell in your body has protein, and it is essential for building things like bone, muscle, skin, cartilage and more. If the body is lacking protein, it can actually start processing the proteins that exist in tissue like muscles, and this will result in tissue loss.
Unlike fat and carbohydrates, your body cannot store excess protein for use at a later time. The cells in your body might have protein, but to use that protein, your body would have to process it in much the same way that it would process protein that you get from food sources.
The vital components of a protein are amino acids. When you eat foods that contain protein, your body processes the protein to break it down to the amino acids, and your body uses these components to build and repair cells.
When it comes to amino acids for the human diet, you have three basic categories of amino acids. The first is your essential amino acids.
These are amino acids that cannot be produced by the body, so the only way to get them is through your diet. After that, you have your non-essential amino acids. These are amino acids that your body can synthesize from other amino acids or through the digestion of proteins. Finally, you have the conditional amino acids. Conditional amino acids are not essential during times of good health, but they might be necessary during times of illness or high stress.
Benefits of Protein In Your Diet
Essentially, your body needs amino acids for the healthy production and repair of various types of tissue, and the only way to get the amino acids that you need is through protein in the diet. Since your body does not store excess protein, it is important for the individual to regularly consume foods that contain protein. It’s not like fat or carbohydrates, where if there is no source of energy coming from the diet, it would be possible for your body to burn fat stores. If your body was not getting enough protein, it would mean that certain parts of the body would not be able to produce or repair cells as necessary.
When it comes to the right amount of protein that should be in the diet, it varies depending on the individual. If you are talking about a healthy adult, then the recommendation would be for the individual to get about 10-35% of their daily calories from protein.
If you look at the caloric intake that the average woman would need to maintain a steady weight, they would be at about 2000 calories per day. That would mean that under these conditions, that average woman should be consuming 50 grams of protein at a minimum or at most 175 grams of protein per day.
Getting enough protein is important for your health in so many ways, and a lack of protein is why most crash dieting does not work. You can’t dramatically cut the intake of calories without accounting for the various nutrients that your body needs. Your body might be able to compensate for lost calories by burning fat, but it has no way to make up for a lack of protein in the diet.