How Much Protein is Healthy?

Proteins are found in many animal and plant foods such as broad beans. Our body needs valuable protein to build and maintain muscles, among other things.

Alongside carbohydrates and fats, proteins – also known as proteins – are one of the three main nutrients that the body needs. Animal protein is found in meat, fish, eggs, and milk, among other things, as vegetable protein in seeds, mushrooms, cereals, nuts, and legumes such as lentils, peas, or broad beans. The latter (also known as fava beans or broad beans) is currently coming back into fashion because its cultivation is very sustainable: it requires hardly any pesticides and no fertilizer because it stores nitrogen from the air on its roots.

A balanced diet covers protein requirements

With a balanced diet, you can easily get the amounts of protein that your body needs: just under a gram per kilogram of body weight and day. Protein ensures a lasting feeling of satiety, while carbohydrates create a feeling of hunger again after a short time. Recipes with lots of protein and few carbohydrates are therefore often recommended for losing weight.

Functions of protein in the body

In the body, proteins are involved in the formation of muscles and bones, for example. They also transport vital substances. Proteins are formed from so-called amino acids, which are linked and folded in countless combinations to form protein molecules. Proteins play an important role in these areas:

  • transport of fat and oxygen
  • uptake of iron
  • muscle function
  • Defense against pathogens
  • Repair of defective cells
  • The health of nails and hair
  • Production of connective tissue and cartilage

How many grams of protein does your body need every day?

The need for protein can usually be easily covered with a balanced diet – additional protein shakes are not necessary for healthy people. Every day, the body needs around one gram of protein per kilogram – based on normal weight.

  • With a body weight of 75 kilos, this corresponds to a protein requirement of around 75 grams for a normal-weight person (1.80 meters tall).
  • Older and sick people need 1.2 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight to maintain the mobility and function of their muscles.
  • Slightly higher amounts also apply to competitive athletes and pregnant women.
  • If you are overweight (75 kilos and only 1.65 meters tall), 65 grams of protein are sufficient.

Protein deficiency in old age

If you hardly move, you hardly get hungry – and eating alone is less fun. Many older people in particular easily develop a protein deficiency and lose muscle mass unnoticed. Because if the body gets too little protein, it switches to emergency supply and gets the missing amino acids from the muscles, which it digests, so to speak. Muscle loss is therefore a typical consequence of protein deficiency. Those affected suffer from fatigue and lack of drive, the muscle breakdown is also reflected in pain when sitting because the buttock muscles are missing a cushion.

A lack of appetite and difficulty chewing can trigger a protein deficiency, but digestion also changes with age: gastric acid production decreases, and the absorption of nutrients from the intestine becomes less effective. Inflammatory processes in the body also increase the protein requirement. All this shows that protein deficiency is indeed a problem in old age – about one in three older people is affected. A protein-rich supplementary food in the form of so-called astronaut drinks can help.

Protein content in food

Ideally, the necessary protein ration should not be consumed all at once, but distributed throughout the day. If you remember a few guide values, it is not difficult at all to estimate the protein content of food.

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