Proteins: How much does our body need?

Protein:

Next to water, protein is the most important nutrient for your body.

Everyone needs proteins for the following reasons:

• Think

• Grow hair

• Create blood cells

• Sleep

• Heart to beat

Proteins are the building blocks of life. Millions of cells in our body are renewed each day. Twenty different types of proteins are needed for this process. Nine types cannot be synthesized and need to be ingested daily (These are known as essential proteins). The remaining are synthesized in our bodies in multiple combinations to produce endless types of enzymes which sustain the myriad functions of the body.

Lack of adequate protein intake forces the body to utilise the minimum necessary by drawing from within the body. Thus loss of muscle mass occurs. Concurrently the proportion of fat percentage increases leading to health problems. Symptoms may include aches and pains, skin allergies, hair fall, fatigue, headaches, weakness etc

How much minimum protein does the average person require? 0.8g to 1 g per kg of body wt. (e.g.: 50kg – 40g, 60kg – 48g, 70kg – 56g) i.e. 10 – 30% of diet. This is for a sedentary person only. An active person like an athlete would need anything up to 2.4g per kg of body weight.

Some recommend a protein rich diet as a weight loss program. I personally do not agree with this line of thinking. Excess proteins can also be converted into fat deposits.

Those who are interested in this diet can search the internet for the “Paleo diet”. The author suggests that human about 20000 years ago where primarily hunters and in the lean seasons, gatherers. So meat comprised up to 70 % of their diet. Wild Grains about 25 % and the balance of fruits and nuts. Scientific analysis shows they were a hardy people with hardly any known diseases. But one should also be aware of the following:

1. Game meat has 10% fat or less. Farm bred has over 30%.

2. Grains were unpolished and contained more nutrients. Polished grains of modern times have barely 12 to 20 % of nutrients left. Also modern farming methods with intensive chemical addition for fertilizing, pesticide control etc add toxins which cause innumerable health related problems.

3. The human body has had 200 centuries to evolve and adapt.

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