Everywhere you turn these days, people are talking about the importance of protein. Is it hype, or is there something to all this protein praise? As a matter of fact, there is. Nutrition experts agree that getting the right amount of protein every single day is essential for good health. So don’t let these myths keep you from getting your daily protein.
Protein myth #1: It’s fine to just get most of my protein at dinner.
This is the number one protein myth. If you’re like many Americans, you probably eat most of your protein—whether it’s a piece of steak or a tofu casserole—with your evening meal. The problem? There’s a limit to how much protein your body can process at one time.
Protein Myth #2: I already filled my weekly protein needs.
After a hearty meal, you may feel that way, but not so. Unlike fat and carbohydrates, protein isn’t stored in our body. Instead, it’s continuously being broken down and needs to be replaced regularly. That’s why we need to include protein in our diets every single day.
Protein Myth #3: I need less protein as I age.
Another protein myth. While children and teens certainly need protein to fuel their growth—the recommended amount varies by age, activity level and health status. International expert groups now recommend higher protein intake to support healthy living for older adults. In fact, healthy people 65 years and older should consume about ½ gram of protein per pound of body weight each day.2,3
Protein Myth #4: All protein is created equal.
Not so. Protein is made up of amino acids, including nine essential ones, such as leucine, which plays an important role in building muscle. Essential amino acids come from a diet that includes high-quality or complete proteins. Experts recommend consuming a variety of protein sources to meet daily needs.
Discover your protein number
Now that you know how important protein is to your health, you may be wondering how much you need on a daily basis. Use the BOOST® Protein Calculator to determine your estimated daily protein needs. Take the quiz
1. Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein and Amino Acids (Macronutrients). Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2002/2005. https://www.nap.edu/read/10490/chapter/1
2. Bauer J, et al. JAMDA. 2013;14:542-59.
3. Deutz NEP, et al. Clinical Nutrition. 2014; 33:929-936.