Here is a list of the important function of proteins

  • Along with carbohydrates, proteins make the structure of the cells
  • Muscles to help us move and lift
  • Signaling of the cell such as hormones and the receptors for them
  • Enzymes, which cause the biochemical reactions to happen, i.e. catalyze
  • Transcription factor which influence our genes to make a certain protein
  • Repair of tissue be it bone or a simple cut on the skin.

    Proteins come from animals (meat and dairy) and plants. Where they come from makes a difference to your health. A juicy hamburger is a good source of protein but it also comes with lots of saturated animal fat. Salmon, on the other hand, provides you with a good source for protein because it includes essential fatty acid. How much protein an average adult needs is debated but in general 60 grams of protein a day is what is recommended.  Your requirement will change with age and physical activity. Healthy individuals who consume adequate protein will not harm their kidneys but individuals with diabetes or kidney problems need to limit their protein intake. What are proteins? They are made up of smaller molecules called amino acids. When we eat a piece of chicken breast, the protein are broken down into amino acids, which become the building block for muscles repair and hormones.

    Animal protein have the complete set of amino acids. Plants do not. However, by combining different plants you can still get all the amino acids. Also, you do not need to consume a high amount of protein. More important is for you to consume healthy sources of protein, carbohydrates and fatty acids.

    Here is protein amount in each food item:

    • One hamburger – 35  grams
    • Half of filet of salmon – 40 grams
    • ½ chicken breast – 30 grams
    • One cup of cottage cheese – 28 grams
    • One cup of cooked lentil – 18 grams
    • One cup of oat bran – 16 grams
    • One cup or red or black kidney bean – 15 grams
    • Plain yogurt, 8 oz – 12 grams