The Importance of Protein in Our Diets

Chicken: The Preferred Protein

Protein and Weight Management –

Consuming a higher protein diet can help you lose weight. Protein helps regulate appetite and cravings by enhancing the feeling of fullness for longer after a meal or snack. Your protein needs are determined by lean body mass, not calories, so as calories are decreased on a weight loss plan, protein intake should stay the same, or possibly even increase in order to preserve muscle.

Protein in Muscle Growth and Maintenance –

If you want to build and maintain muscle mass, you need to eat enough dietary protein. But did you know that distributing protein consumption throughout the day may be the most efficient way to build muscle? Whether you’re an athlete looking to bulk up, or just someone interested in maintaining muscle as you age, to build and maintain muscle over time it may be more effective to aim for around 30 grams of protein (that’s about four ounces of chicken meat) per meal three times a day, as opposed to the typical American habit of eating most of our protein at dinner.

Protein and Bone Health –

Dietary proteins play a crucial role in both muscle and bone maintenance. Strong muscles help protect bones from conditions like osteoporosis, and eating enough protein protects against progressive muscle loss with age. Dietary protein is known to stimulate growth factors that strengthen bone and muscle, as well as increase calcium absorption. In older adults, more than the current Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) may be better, as senior adults require more protein to build and maintain muscle than do younger people.

How Much Protein Do You Need?

Currently, the RDA for protein is 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight; now scientists say that an increase in protein recommendations of 1.0 to 1.2 grams may be on the horizon. A four ounce chicken breast provides 32 grams of high quality protein, or about half the daily requirement for a 150 pound person.