When it comes to selecting foods with protein, quality is better than quantity. High quality protein, which is also called complete protein, provides you with enough amino acids that you will need to maintain your overall body health. Complete protein comes from animal sources such as fish, meat, milk, cheese and eggs. Lower quality or incomplete protein is plant protein such as fruits, vegetables, nuts corn and grain.
These are considered incomplete or lower quality because they lack one or more amino acid or that the amino acids these contain are not balanced.
To create a complete protein when eating foods that have incomplete protein, you need to combine them with other foods having incomplete proteins to get a maximum nutritional value that you need from the amino acids. Combining incomplete protein foods results in a high-quality, nutritious meal, giving your body the balanced amino acids it needs to function.
There are a total of twenty protein amino acids, and the human body only produces eleven. Because of this, we need the nine lacking amino acids and will be able to get it from foods with protein. Because the body does not store them for later use, we need to consume a protein food or supplement on a daily basis.
The United States Recommended Daily Allowance recommendation for protein is .013 ounces or .37 grams for every pound body weight. A 150 pound person needs 1.94 or 55 grams of daily foods with protein. In other words, about fifteen percent of your daily caloric intake needs to be made up of protein. For those who have liver or kidney diseases, you need to consult with a health care practitioner to find out how much protein you need.
Consuming food with low saturated fat is the best way to meet your daily recommended amounts. Read the labels when buying foods with protein. Generally, the best protein foods include eggs, yogurt, cheese, milk and dairy. Fish also has a high content of protein.
Vegans can also achieve their protein needs with a little more work. Proteins found in plants just won't cut it, and you need to combine high protein foods if you are a strict vegetarian. Vegetarian foods with protein include seeds legumes, beans, nuts, quinoa, soy and spinach. Seitan and tofu are also some options. Brown rice and whole grains do not have as much protein, but combined with beans and veggies will give you a high protein meal.
The protein you need as a normal adult is based on body size. This daily allowance does not change whether you are older, exercising or undergoing stressful activities. There is, however, a wide protein intake range when can be consumed according to their developmental period. A six-month old child, for example, who is growing rapidly, will need 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram. Children aged 7-10 need 36 grams depending on their weight and women who are pregnant need to take 30 grams of additional protein aside from the daily recommended allowance for fetal development.
When there are enough fats and carbs available, the body will not use protein as a main energy source. Protein cannot be stored, either, and fats and carbs can.
On the other hand, when there is not enough carbs or fats available for energy use, the body uses protein. It isn't a great idea to use protein as a main source of energy; however, since repair, growth and tissue maintenance becomes compromised and takes second place to energy.
When taken excessively, protein turns to fat. Protein is also able to give as much energy as carbohydrates which are 4 kilocalories per gram. Protein is also the provider for amino acids that are needed for complete body functioning.
Too much protein can harm your health. Foods with protein can strain your kidney and liver and can contain high nitrogen levels, which need to be eliminated due to their harmful nature. The kidney's role is as a filter for products of waste and thus protein excesses can force kidneys to work extra hard to reduce the nitrogen. This type of stress can lead to kidney damage or disorders of the body's capacity to filter.
Because the body cannot store extra protein, the surplus consumed converts to glucose in the liver and is either stored as fat or used up as energy.
There are also some foods with protein that have high amounts of nucleic acid. These get converted to uric acid when broken down. As a result, too much uric acid in the blood can become gout which is a condition that is very uncomfortable and causes inflamed joints that are painful to move and are tender.
Extreme amounts of protein in your diet can lead to thinning of the bones or osteoporoses. This is because too much protein causes calcium losses through urine.