Magnificent Seven: Eat Right – Protein

Protein is a key component of muscle, skin, hair and other tissues of the body.  You also need protein to make the enzymes and hormones your body uses for digestion, metabolism, and tissue growth and repair.  As vital as protein is, most people don’t consume enough, and what they are consuming isn’t coming from good sources.

So what is the adequate amount of protein?  There are a couple of ways to figure that out.  One way is to find your lean muscle mass (a bioelectric impedance analysis can tell you that) and then multiply times an activity factor.  Another general rule of thumb is 1.2 grams/kilogram/day for those who exercise…which should be everyone right?  In some cases of chronic disease and critical illness that demand may climb to 1.5-2.0 grams/kilogram/day.

So let’s say you are a 175 pound individual.  There are 2.2 pounds per kilogram.  Take your weight divided by 2.2.  Then multiply times 1.2 to get your protein needs daily in grams.

  • 175 / 2.2 =    79.5 kilograms * 1.2 grams = 95.4 grams of protein required each day.  Recommended serving of 12-20 grams with each meal or snack means you need to have about 5-6 meals/snacks each day divided up to ensure proper protein.

Protein quality does matter.  You should try to obtain the cleanest protein you can.  For animal protein that means grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, wild-caught fish and other clean sources.  For vegetable protein that means organic as much as possible, whenever possible.  What you put into your mouth literally has to be transformed into you.  If you eat a piece of beef that has been raised conventionally and slaughtered conventionally you will begin to deteriorate your health.  Most beef in the US has been shot up with excessive hormones and antibiotics that we then ingest.  Most are raised in such horrible living conditions that they are sick and cancerous and we eat that too.  They are inflamed from being fed a diet consisting of grain and chopped up dead animal parts (yes, this is for real) and in some cases you could be eating cloned meat.  The government has decided that cloned animal meat is safe for you and they don’t need to tell you what is cloned and what isn’t.

Another great way to improve protein consumption is to use a pure source of soy protein, rice protein, or whey protein.  The best options are the approved “medical foods” that contain proper macronutrient levels.  When consuming protein observe for any negative side effects.  Proteins that are large and undigested, that are allowed to pass through the gastrointestinal mucosal barrier, are able to mount an immune response in your body.  If this occurs you may feel achy, lethargic, fatigued, constipated, or bloated after consuming the offending protein (ex peanut butter).  If you have a difficult time eating protein you may also have insufficient levels of hydrochloric acid necessary for digestion and/or infection with Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that can overgrow in the stomach causing a multitude of problems.

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