Study: U.S. dietary recommendations for protein intake are too low

According to a study, the federal government’s protein recommendations for Americans are based on standardized data and ignore the varying needs of specific groups and often a very small group of researchers at Abbott Nutrition and the University of Illinois. Previously published article. Annual Nutrition Magazine.

Food myths are hard for dispel Dietary.

Our knowledge of nutrition has changed over the past 40 years. Dietary cholesterol was believed to raise blood cholesterol levels and cause heart disease. Currently accumulating evidence suggests the opposite. In the past, high calcium intake was thought to be the best way to reduce the risk of bone fractures. There is no such thing. It was once said that a diet rich in fat prevents obesity. But it doesn’t work without saving calories.

Despite all the changes in eating habits over the past four decades, the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein (the amount you need to meet your nutritional needs) remains the same: 0.8 grams per pound of body weight. weight per day. This equates to about 72 grams for an adult male and 61 grams for another adult female.

Along with fats and carbohydrates, proteins are also important sources of energy. It also contains chemicals called amino acids, which the body needs to repair and grow cells and tissues. Amino acids make many hormones and enzymes.

The importance of protein to the body is one factor that has researchers examining evidence of how much we really need. Research over the past few decades has shown that people who consume more than the recommended amount of protein gain weight, have more energy, and improve muscle performance. The study also found that three specific groups (adults over age 65, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and healthy children over age 3) need more protein than is currently recommended.

Older adults have a 40% lower ability to synthesize protein from a normal diet than younger adults. It is a difficult task for pregnant and lactating women to nurture another human being and produce milk to feed them. Children over the age of three tend to spread themselves very thin.

Nitrogen balance (im)

Protein requirements have been largely underestimated in historical studies of nitrogen balance. Most of the body’s nitrogen supply comes from protein. This nitrogen is then excreted through urine, feces, sweat, hair and skin. If more nitrogen is lost than used, the body gets more protein than it needs. When production and loss are in balance, the body is in balance. This information can be used to calculate protein requirements.

However, the researchers said that nitrogen balance studies are old and have several limitations. Techniques such as amino acid oxidation rate and two isotope analysis are more accurate and, in combination with nitrogen balance, indicate higher than expected protein requirements.

New protein recommendations

Therefore, researchers recommend increasing the recommended daily protein intake for adults to 0.8 to 1.25 grams per pound of body weight. For children three and older, the increase is 1.55. For pregnant or lactating women, a value between 1.6 and 2 is recommended, depending on the duration of pregnancy and lactation. For each, the recommended daily intake should be increased by 25% to approximately 1 gram per kilogram of body weight per day.

The good news is that the average American already consumes this amount, and according to the CDC, kids are eating more protein. However, pregnant and elderly women in the United States do not appear to eat well. Fish, chicken, eggs, milk, beans, eggs and dairy products are the best sources of eggs, so eat them.

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