Protein Facts


What is Protein?

Proteins make up the body's cells and tissues and they are the major part of enzymes, hormones and substances that fight infection. Protein can also be burned as a source of calories.

Protein requirements

The RDA for protein in healthy adults is 0.8 grams per kilogram of Ideal Body Weight (IBW). IBW is between BMI 19 and 24.9 and it varies by individual.

What happens when Protein intake is too high?

Protein eaten in excess of requirements is either used as calories or stored as fat.

What happens when Protein intake is too low?

Body mass will be broken down to meet protein needs. An inadequate protein intake during pregnancy may cause the baby's weight to be less than optimal.

Which foods are high in Protein?

Foods of animal origin have the most protein. They are meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and milk-based foods. Beans and legumes have a significant amount of protein. Think of dried beans (black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, etc.), soybeans and soybean products (tofu, tempeh and TVP) and lentils, split peas and whole dried peas. Starches and vegetables have a small amount of protein, but it adds up over the course of a day.
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