Popular Protein Myths ... Busted!
By Sara Butler
When talking to different people about protein, you may end up leaving with more questions than answers. That’s because protein, while one of the most important nutrients you eat, is followed around by a lot of popular myths. Relax, because protein doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some of the most prevalent protein myths and the truths behind them.
Why is Protein Important?
Protein is one of the three macronutrients, along with fats and carbohydrates, that your body needs every day to function. Your body utilizes protein to help regulate functions in its tissues and organs and build healthy cells.
Myth No. 1: All Protein is Created Equal
You may think that protein is protein is protein, but that’s not the case. There’s complete protein and then there’s incomplete protein. A complete protein contains the nine essential amino acids that the human body cannot make on its own. Foods that are considered complete proteins are foods such as:
Incomplete proteins that don’t have all the amino acids you need are still good for you, but you need a variety of both types of proteins in order to provide your body with all it needs.
Myth No. 2: Too Much Protein is Bad for Your Bones
Some people worry that a diet heavy in protein will be detrimental to the health of their bones later in life, leading to osteoporosis. There is evidence that eating a lot of protein and not eating enough calcium in your diet can be bad for bone strength and mass, but the truth is that simply keeping an eye on how much calcium you get per day will remedy this issue.
In fact, studies have shown that when consumed with enough daily calcium, protein is good for your bones, helping your body to absorb more calcium and encouraging lean muscle mass.
Myth No. 3: You Can’t Have Too Much Protein
Experts currently recommend that you eat about 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight -- but you don’t want to go too much beyond that. That’s because protein shouldn’t make up more than about one-third of your daily calories. You must provide your body with other sources of energy or you can be in danger of nutritional deficiencies that could lead to health problems. Remember, your body needs fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats to function optimally.
Protein is an important part of a balanced diet, but it's important to know how to get the most out of it in your diet.
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