The word protein is derived from the Greek work “proteis” meaning “of prime importance”. Second to water, protein makes up the largest percentage of material in the human body — about 45%.
Proteins are made up of of 21 different amino acids. The human body is capable of producing 12 non-essential amino acids. The remaining 9 essential amino acids must be obtained from diet.
High quality protein contains all 9 essential amino acids, and includes eggs, meat, fish, milk, yogurt and cheese. Low quality protein is missing one or more of the essential amino acids & includes food like grains, beans, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds. You can combine incomplete proteins in one meal to create a complete protein — IE. pita and hummus.
I’m often asked often how much protein should be ingested in one day. Generally speaking you should get 1-2 grams of protein per kilograms of body weight. (To convert pounds to kilos divide your weight in pounds by 2.2.). Women need 1.0-1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight and men need 1.5 – 2.0 grams/kg. I recommend that 30% of your calories come from protein, to a maximum amount of 35%.
Pregnant women, adolescents, older adults and athletes need more protein.
Dr Oz suggests that
- 3/4 c of soy milk