Advertisement

Why is eating protein important?

Jessica Crandall
Nutrition & Dietetics
Eating protein is important to rebuild muscle and maintain cellular structure. Lean proteins, such as chicken without the skin, fish, or turkey are the best sources of protein. Try snacking on a nonfat Greek yogurt or low fat string cheese. Be sure to include a carbohydrate, such as a piece of fruit. Meet with a Registered Dietitian to determine the exact amount of protein you need.
Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics
Protein is important for tissue repair and cell growth. Protein comes from both plant and animal sources. You can eat too much protein though. Most women only need about 8 ounces of animal protein a day. Whole grains, beans, seeds, nuts, nut butters and vegetables all contain protein. In the course of the day, as long as you get enough, it does not matter if it comes from animals or vegetables.
Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

Protein foods also provide iron, zinc, magnesium, B vitamins and vitamin E. Protein builds body cells, enzymes and hormones as well as providing a source of energy. I often hear people are eating more protein to build muscle but protein will not build muscle without exercise. Protein also will make you feel full longer, so recommendations are to have protein with each meal.

Dee Sandquist
Nutrition & Dietetics
Protein is important to help the body build, repair and maintain body tissues. Protein helps make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals to regulate water balance and help make muscles contract. If your carbohydrate consumption is lacking, protein can provide energy.

Food from animal sources such as beef, pork, chicken, turkey and fish are terrific sources of protein. Vegetarian sources of protein are found in legumes such as lentils, soy, nuts, and seeds. The body uses about 20 amino acids to makes protein. Nine of these amino acids are essential because your body can't make them. To get the most from protein: eat protein throughout the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner. If you save up all your protein consumption til dinner, what is not used will be stored as energy (fat).

Continue Learning about Protein

Is Chicken Really as Bad for You as Red Meat?
Is Chicken Really as Bad for You as Red Meat?
Nearly 70 years ago, a Swiss accordion player created the “Duck Dance.” A few decades later, a German band performed the song at an Oktoberfest celebr...
Read More
The Rise of the Veggie Burger
The Rise of the Veggie Burger
Fact: Americans eat about 50 billion beef burgers a year. Fact: Every year, the average American eats enough red meat to make 800 quarter-pound burge...
Read More
What Foods Can I Eat to Increase My Muscle Mass As I Get Older?
What Foods Can I Eat to Increase My Muscle Mass As I Get Older?
How Much Protein Do You Need?
How Much Protein Do You Need?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.