A healthy diet is essential to maintain optimal health. The Colombian Ministry of Health defines it as “that which provides the nutrients that the body needs to maintain the proper functioning of the organism, preserve or restore health, minimize the risk of disease, guarantee reproduction, gestation, lactation, development and growth suitable”.
To receive adequate advice and find out the best diet, according to each individual need, the ideal is to consult a nutritionist. This professional will provide the correct information to take into account regarding food.
Among the types of food is protein. The amount each person should consume depends on their overall calorie needs. “The recommended daily protein intake for healthy adults is 10-35% of their total caloric needs. One gram of protein provides four calories. Therefore, a person consuming a 2,000-calorie diet could eat 100 grams of protein, or 400 calories from protein, which would provide 20 percent of their total daily calories,” explains Medline Plus, the National Library website. of Medicine of the United States.
Eating too much protein is not healthy. According to Kristi Wempen, a registered dietitian and nutritionist at the Mayo Clinic Health System, a nonprofit organization dedicated to clinical practice, education and research, the body does not have the ability to store protein and then fill its needs. needs, the extra works as energy or is deposited as fat in the body.
The expert points out that eating more protein than necessary causes elevation of blood lipids and increases the risk of developing heart disease. Also, consuming too much protein can put pressure on the kidneys and predispose to kidney disease.
Wempen adds that when you reach a certain age you can decrease muscle mass. “When you reach 40 or 50 years old, sarcopenia begins, meaning that you begin to lose muscle mass as you age. In order to prevent this condition and maintain both autonomy and quality of life, protein needs increase to about one gram per kilogram of body weight”.
In what foods is protein found?
The Mayo Clinic expert mentions the healthiest protein options, which come from plant sources:
- Soy, nuts, seeds, beans and lentils.
- Lean meats, such as skinless white meat chicken or turkey and lean cuts of beef or pork.
- Various fish.
- egg whites
- Low-fat dairy products.
- Speckled beans, black beans, kidney beans, lentils, split peas, or chickpeas.
- Nuts and seeds, including almonds, hazelnuts, mixed nuts, peanuts, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, or walnuts” (nuts are high in fat so be mindful of serving size. Exceeding your calorie needs can cause overweight) ”, details Medline Plus, website of the United States National Library of Medicine.
As explained by experts from the National Institutes of Health in the United States, a healthy eating plan must be followed to avoid obesity and being overweight. This is characterized by having:
- A variety of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, such as brown rice, oatmeal, and whole-wheat bread.
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, and similar products, such as soy beverages.
- A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), nuts, seeds, and soy products.
- Oils, such as olive and canola oils, and those found in nuts, olives, and avocados.
It also includes:
- Consume fewer foods and beverages that contain refined, added sugars, and salt (sodium)
- Regulate the size of the portions.
- Limit the consumption of foods with saturated fats and trans fats (desserts and fried foods).