Protein is an essential nutrient!
Proteins are large, complex molecules that play many critical roles in the body. They do most of the work in cells and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs. Your muscles, bones, and organs need it to survive.
You probably know many great sources of protein:
- Lean meat and poultry
But it’s also in:
- Beans and lentils
- Nuts and seeds
- Soy products
Just try to stay away from less-healthy sources:
- Processed deli meat
- Hot dogs
How much protein you need depends on your health goals.
In general, if you want to:
- Lose weight: aim for 90 to 120 grams per day and eat fewer starchy carbs
- Maintain weight: aim for 50 to 60 grams per day
And it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor about your specific needs.