Nutritionists Recommend Higher Protein Intake

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends a protein intake of 0.8 grams per kilogram bodyweight. Recent research on older adults, people trying to lose weight and athletes suggest that the protein intake recommendation should be higher. A review of literature by Stuart Phillips from McMaster University in Canada, and co-workers, concluded that the recommended protein intake should be at least 1.2 to 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. In older adults, high protein intake prevents sarcopenia (muscle loss) as well as decreased muscle mass and strength, which impairs blood sugar regulation, mobility and autonomy. High protein intake promotes weight control. Recently, Philips et al. (2016) reported that high protein intake (2.3 grams per kilogram of bodyweight) plus intense weight training and interval training increased lean mass and decreased body fat in people consuming a low-calorie diet. In active people, high protein intake promotes tissue healing and muscle protein remodeling after exercise. The authors could find no evidence linking high-protein diets to kidney disease or impaired bone health. They concluded that increasing the protein intake recommendations for adults would promote optimal health. (Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism, 41: 1-8, 2016)

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