Your body needs protein in order to repair tissues and for overall growth. With the right amount of protein and the right kind of protein, you will be able to keep yourself healthy. You can find protein in several foods. They are characterized by complex substances that are composed of amino acids. Depending on the type of food, there will be a different kind of amino acid at different amounts.

What do proteins do?

The proteins that you consume will be broken down by your body into amino acids. These amino acids will be used for repairing tissues and developing muscles. These amino acids can also be a source of energy. In order to keep your body healthy, you need a stable supply of amino acids for your bones, tissue walls, and muscles.

Where can you find proteins?

Excellent sources of protein are meat and fish because they provide you with all the amino acids required by your body. They are referred to as complete proteins. Other sources of protein include dairy products, eggs, cereals, nuts, lentils, beans, peas, and other vegetables. These proteins are referred to as incomplete proteins because they do not provide all the amino acids that the body requires.

How can vegetarians fulfil their protein requirements?

If you fill your diet with a variety of foods that contain protein then you will be able to get all the necessary amino acids that your body requires. If your diet is composed of various dairy products, eggs, pulses, cereals, and vegetables then you may be on your way to being as healthy as possible.

Soya can be a great source of protein for vegetarians because among all the plants, they contain the most complete proteins. Those who do not eat dairy products should try eating soya, oat milk, or rice milk fortified with calcium.

If you are a vegan then you should have a variety of non-meat sources of protein. They may include

  • beans
  • wholemeal toast
  • humus on pita bread
  • vegetable bean chilli on rice
  • home-made vegetable burgers
  • soya mince

Read further information about protein sources for vegetarians

How much protein does your body need?

Everybody is different when it comes to the amount of protein required by their body. Factors such as gender, age, activity levels, and lifestyle will affect their daily protein requirements. According to the United Kingdom Department of Health, the recommended amount of protein for the average man aged nineteen to fifty should be fifty five and a half grams. For women in the same age group, this is forty five grams.

Studies conducted by the British Nutrition Foundation found out that the average man eats around eighty eight grams of protein while the average woman eats around sixty four grams of protein. Eating this much protein does not pose a serious threat to a person’s health although according to the Department of Health, you should not consume more than twice the recommended amount of protein everyday.

Sixty seven percent of the protein consumption in the United Kingdom is composed of meat, meat products, eggs, and dairy products. These sources of protein may contain large amounts of saturated fat. This can lead to heart disease. Keep in mind that there are also other sources of protein like fish, bread, cereals, nuts, seeds, soya, and pulses. Consume other sources of protein for a well-balanced daily consumption of protein.

Is it possible to have too little protein in the body?

Your body will prefer to use carbohydrates and fat as sources of energy although if you don’t have enough calories, your body will start consuming the protein stored in your muscles for energy. When you diet and you starve yourself from proteins and essential nutrients, your muscles will become weak and flabby because your body is using the proteins stored there.

Is it possible to have too much protein?

There are a lot of diet books that recommend using high-protein diets for losing weight. According to the MRC Human Nutrition Research, there are no supporting facts for this claim. Eating too much protein may lead to liver or kidney damage. They will become overworked. Moreover, if you consume too much protein in the form of meat and dairy products with a lot of saturated fat, you are increasing your risk of getting heart disease.

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