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Five Reasons Why You Need Protein
Everything you eat and drink can be broken down into three macronutrients: fat, carbohydrates and protein. All provide energy to the body to do work: from powering big muscle groups to fueling your workout to blinking your eyes.
The body stores extra carbohydrate in muscle cells, and extra fat can be stored in fat cells. But extra protein can’t be stored in the body. That’s why you need to continuously replenish it and to reach for protein-rich foods and drinks every day.
Not only is it important to get enough protein (a 150-pound older adult needs about 75 grams daily), but you should aim to include high protein foods or drinks at every eating occasion. Aim for 20-35 grams per meal or snack, which can be found in about 4 ounces of salmon, 1 cup of cottage cheese, or one high protein drink.
As we get older it becomes even more important to get enough protein. That’s because it plays important roles in our health in a variety of ways:
Your body needs protein, and luckily there are many nutritious and delicious ways to get this essential nutrient. Check the Nutrition Facts panel of your favorite foods or drinks to see how many grams you’ll get in a serving. If you need some meal planning inspiration, check out MyPlate.gov.
Talk to your healthcare provider for questions or concerns about any diet or lifestyle changes and to find a plan that's right for you.
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