Why You Need to Watch Your Protein Intake

Why You Need to Watch Your Protein Intake

Do you know how much protein you need to eat to stay healthy? There’s a research study that found the potential link of kidney damage to a high protein diet, so it might be helpful to know the right amount of protein you can eat.

Protein and Kidney Damage

Protein is an important nutrient in the life of a dieter who wants to lose weight, burn fat and build muscles. However, the International Journal of Obesity published a study that shows a side effect of eating too much protein.

There were 10,971 overweight individuals who participated in this study. Their lifestyle and nutritional habits were analyzed by the Cleveland Clinic researchers. The results showed that trying out different diets, taking diet pills or any other weight loss efforts have the potential to cause kidney damage especially to those who are suffering from chronic kidney disease.

This is a serious concern considering that out of five Americans, one person has a chronic kidney disease; and out of five Americans, at least two persons are overweight.

The gathered data show that 50 percent of the participants have exerted some efforts to lose weight during the past year. And on average, the participants, whether trying to lose weight or not, eat more protein than what the National Kidney Foundation recommends for people with chronic kidney disease.

How Much Protein Should You Eat Daily?

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics say that 15 percent of an average American’s daily calories come from protein. If there are four calories for every gram of protein, then a person is eating about 75 grams of protein daily for every 2,000 calories consumed. Chronic kidney disease patients are supposed to eat a little less than 50 percent of that amount.

Nutrition experts recommend that a person’s protein consumption should not exceed 35 percent of his or her total calorie intake for the day. So, even if you do not have a chronic kidney disease, you should still watch your protein consumption. Particularly, take heed if your protein sources are from high-fat foods like full-fat dairy products and red meat.

Of course, you should also consider your personal protein needs, which depends on your activity level and your nutrition goals. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends the consumption of 0.5 – 0.8 grams of protein for every pound of body weight for people who are very active. This translates to eating about 75 to 120 grams of protein everyday for individuals who weighs 150 pounds and consumes about 2,000 calories a day.

Photo credits: Protein Delights by theimpulsivebuy via Flickr, CC by-SA 2.0

Categories: Nutrition
Tags: protein

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