Proteins are a building element of all our body’s tissues, enzymes and hormones. They take part in transformations, tissue repairs, cavity restorations and wound healing. They control metabolic processes by enzymatic systems. They take part in the body’s defense processes in the production of antibodies. They perform transport functions. They also regulate the acid-base balance of the body … but this is only part of their action. How much protein do I need?
How much protein should we get
How much protein we need depends on several factors, and among them there are: the state of the body’s energy economy, health, physiological condition and the person’s age, body weight, physical activity, and the nutritional value of the protein. For the body, meeting energy needs is the most important thing, and with insufficient energy intake from fats and carbohydrates, the body draws energy from protein at the expense of using the protein for other purposes. It is known that young people (children and adolescents), pregnant women and during lactation need more protein, because protein synthesis is more intensive and more protein is needed, among others, to build new cells, fetal tissues or to cover protein in breast milk. Also after diseases, the need for protein is increased, because the body must supplement the weight loss caused by the disease.
Recommended daily protein intake
Protein requirements are given in g / kg of body weight, so body weight is important. The need for protein increases in people with high physical activity (e.g. athletes). It is similar in the elderly.
Recommended daily intake (RDA) for protein is the amount determined on the basis of the nitrogen balance (physiological) needed to meet basic nutritional (vital) needs. For adults it is 0.9 g / kg body weight / day, however for persons over 65 years of age. Currently, it is recommended to consume protein at least in the amount of 1g / kg body weight and increase consumption in the presence of signs of malnutrition or chronic diseases to at least 1.2 g / kg body weight (and in justified cases, up to 1.5 g / kg body weight /day). People with increased physical activity, athletes are recommended to consume at a level of 1.4-2 g / kg body weight / day. In a sense, this is the minimum amount that you need to consume each day so you don’t get sick. However, it is quite difficult to plan menus so that the daily ration is the same specific amount of protein each time. Therefore, it is assumed that the average of 7 or 10 days should be within the established daily norm.
Products rich in protein
On average, protein is found in animal products in 20%. A larger amount (30-45%) can be found in dried or long-ripening cheese, and 300 g is enough to fill the daily requirements of an adult male. Legumes contain about 10% for different bean varieties, 14% for soybeans, and even 25% can be found in red lentils. Let’s not forget, however, that grains are also rich in proteins.