Most people in the US take 3 – 5 times more protein than they need, according to statistics. An ideal intake of protein is about 0.5 grams (500 mg) of lean body mass per pound. This calculates to about 40-70 grams of protein per day. Although high protein diets are very popular, excessive protein can damage your health.
If you eat more protein than your body can can really use, your overall health and fitness can cause problems in many ways.
Too much protein can cause these health problems:
• Increased blood sugar • Weight gain • Too much body fat • Stress on the kidneys, which must be eliminated from excess protein • Loss of bone minerals • Dehydration • Stimulation of cancer cells
That said, you have to know your body can’t live without protein. Although some amino acids can be produced by the body, the body tissues can not produce several essential amino acids. These amino acids must therefore be taken from food sources. Your amino acids are what make the protein that helps to grow muscle, tissue, enzymes and several hormones your body needs to survive.
Your body absorbs protein less quickly and efficiently as you age, so that high – quality protein is more important to eat. You do need more protein during pregnancy, so that the fetus can use this protein to start growing. Average people who are not aged or pregnant can eat 40 – 70 grams of protein everyday, as recommended.
There is a maximum limit to how much protein your body can use. On average, we eat much more protein than our bodies need, as well as too much carbohydrate – containing food and not enough food high in healthy fat.
Part of that problem is that meat consumption has increased to a large extent over the last century. Much of this meat is not high – quality meat and comes from industrial farms where animals are fed grains that are genetically altered rather than grass on pastures. You should eat meat that is pasture – fed, but even this can lead to protein excesses in the body.
What does protein turn into in your body
Whenever you eat protein, your body takes what it needs and turns the rest into sugar and finally into fat. When your blood sugar levels are increased by eating too much protein, you are at risk of yeast (called candidiasis) and pathogenic bacteria infections. The growth of cancer cells is stimulated by excess sugar and fat in your body.
There is a biochemical pathway known as the mammalian target of rapamycin, which is stimulated by having too much protein in your system. This pathway plays a role in the formation of cancer. In order to prevent stimulating the pathway, you need to keep your protein levels to the right amount.
Too much protein causes kidney stress. The kidneys are responsible for removing nitrogen waste products from the bloodstream and when there is too much protein, both excess protein and water are lost through the kidneys, resulting in dehydration. This was demonstrated in a research study involving athletes involved in competitive sports.
Less protein can prolong your life
Recent studies have been conducted on calorie restriction and longevity. In general, the restriction of protein intake led to a longer lifespan, in specific the restriction of amino acid known as methionine. This is found in high levels of meat. Other research shows that the balance of amino acids could be the most important component for a long life.
Calculation of the amount of protein you need
You need to know how much protein you need to consume to be healthy. It can be calculated to take 500 mg of protein per pound of lean body mass, or about 40 – 60 grams of protein everyday. If you excessively exercise or are pregnant, you have to take about 25 percent more than that.
You must also remember that a portion of protein is only about the size of one deck of playing cards. Then you have to calculate the amount of protein you need. Your lean body mass is your percent body fat extracted from a hundred. Make it a percentage and multiply it by your total weight in pounds. Multiply this number to 0.5 grams per pound to get your protein requirement for the day.
What foods to eat to get protein?
To get the protein you need, but not very much, choose protein found in eggs, animal products like pork, fish, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Forty grams of protein really isn’t much: only about two hamburger patties. You don’t have to be a vegetarian to stop eating too much protein. Start reading nutrition labels and take a look at the amount of protein in the products you buy. If you eat too much, readjust your diet so that you eat the right amount of protein.