Most people need between 50 and 75 grams of protein a day.
Protein deficiency is virtually unheard of in North America, since any reasonably varied diet will give you plenty. Too much protein
can be a concern, so before you decide to follow a fad high-protein diet or take protein supplements, understand that your body cannot store excess protein. Any unused protein is burned for energy or stored as fat, and this process can stress the kidneys or liver and may pull calcium out of bones.
Meat, fish and dairy products are good sources of protein, since they contain all of the nine essential amino acids. However, meat and dairy products also contain a lot of saturated fat, so most people (except competitive athletes and very active young people) should choose skim milk products and limit or avoid meats. For everyone except strict vegetarians, we recommend 2-3 servings of seafood a week, and 2-3 servings of skim milk dairy products a day.
If you are lactose intolerant, you can use vegetarian milk substitutes.
Most plants contain some, but not all of the essential amino acids.
Strict vegetarians can get all the amino acids they need from whole grains and beans. The beans may contain only seven of the essential nine, but the grains will have the other two.You do not need to do special combinations at each meal to get
"complete protein"; just eat a variety of grains, beans and other vegetarian choices each week.
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