Dietary proteins critical in maintaining health

Washington: Dietary protein not only promotes health throughout life, but protein also plays an important role in weight loss and muscle maintenance, reveal researchers from a variety of institutions.

A panel discussion including leading protein researcher Dr Don Layman examined the research debate regarding favourable dietary protein needs for Americans.

Layman presented an analysis of studies on weight loss and optimal dietary protein intake for adults.

"A common myth is that adults are eating more protein than they need, but in actuality many individuals may not be meeting their protein needs, especially when they are consuming a lower-calorie diet as part of a weight loss plan. Another big problem is that the typical American diet generally does not include enough protein at breakfast," said Layman.

Research has shown that dietary protein intakes above the current recommendations are beneficial in maintaining muscle function and may help manage diseases such as obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

In fact, researchers recommend that adults consume 25-30 grams of protein at each meal.

Another recent study has also shown that eating a protein-rich egg breakfast helped males manage hunger and reduce calorie consumption throughout the day by 18 percent.

Experts from the National Institutes of Health, the University of Georgia and the University of Texas identified protein intake as a critical intervention strategy for the treatment and prevention of sarcopenia in the aging population.

Another study has found that older men and women who ate the most protein-rich foods lost approximately 40 percent less muscle mass over three years compared to those who ate the least amount of protein.

The findings were presented at Experimental Biology 2010 in Anaheim, California.


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