Let’s face it, whether racing after kids all day, chasing work deadlines or running a company, many days can feel like superhuman powers are required to get it all done and manage to eat well, too. One easy shift you can make in your eating behaviors is by getting the right amount of protein.
From weight management and feeling fuller longer between meals to muscle health and healthy aging, emerging research suggests a higher protein diet can help.
Here are three protein facts and tips every woman should know:
- Know Your Protein. Protein is an essential nutrient (like fat and carbohydrate) your body needs each day. Not all proteins are equal — quality can make a difference. High-quality protein foods make it easy for you to get all of the essential amino acids your body needs to build and maintain muscles and help your body work properly. Dairy foods such as milk, flavored milk, lactose-free milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt and Greek-style yogurt are great examples of high-quality protein foods, as well as eggs, lean meats and fish.
- Eat Enough Protein. The Institute of Medicine recommends that 10 to 35 percent of total daily calories should come from protein. That’s about 50 to 175 grams per day if you normally eat about 2,000 calories each day. Although most people meet minimum protein requirements (i.e., the low end of this recommended range), many may benefit from a moderately higher protein intake, such as active individuals and older adults. Some experts suggest that you may benefit from consuming approximately 20 to 30 grams of high-quality protein at each meal to help achieve a higher protein diet.
- Spread Protein Out. Think about your meals and snacks. Do you get most of your protein at night? This is typical for many. To gain benefits from a higher protein diet, it’s important to have protein at each meal and snack throughout the day. From helping curb hunger to helping with weight management and preserving lean body muscle, diets higher in protein can help power your path to health and wellness. Read more about spreading protein out throughout the day, especially at breakfast.