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Why Do We Need Protein In Our Diet?

Protein is necessary to build maintain, and repair muscle, serves as amino acids for neurotransmitters in the nervous system, and processes potential toxins to enable elimination from the body.

These are just a few of the benefits that you gain when making sure that your body is getting the proper amount of protein every day.

How much protein should a woman have in her daily diet?

In 2005, the National Academy of Sciences established a set of Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for protein that included age and gender specific Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for protein.

Here are the guidelines for the amount of protein needed in a female’s diet:

14-18 years, female: 46 grams
19 + years, female: 46 grams
Pregnant women: 71 grams
Lactating women: 71 grams

These RDA assume an average body weight 126 lbs for a female. For women significantly different from these target weights, you may choose to include 0.8 grams of dietary protein per kilogram (about 2.2 pounds) of body weight.

How can you increase protein in your diet?

Meat: While this is a great source of protein and amino acids, meat usually also comes with significant amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol. If you are a meat eater, tuna, cod, chicken, and turkey are the leanest meats and have the highest amounts of protein in them.

Legumes and grains: These incomplete proteins can be combined for protein but also bring with them more calories and carbohydrates.

Nuts and seeds: According to livstrong.com, nuts and seeds are a smart choice for protein when you are running between meeting or heading to the gym. However, nuts and sees can be high in calories, so stick to the recommended portions.

According to Women’s Health Magazine Health and Power Guide,
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/protein-powder-guide

Protein powder is the lowest calorie way to add protein to your diet.

To learn more about Women’t Nutrition or for nutritional counseling in the Stark County Ohio or surrounding areas, contact Stark Women’s Center.

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