|Infographic: Foods that Pack a Protein Punch|
Proteins are often called the building blocks of life because they are a part of the muscles, organs, bones, glands, skin and nearly all bodily fluids. The body needs protein for growth, repair and maintenance.
The amount of protein that an individual needs varies from person to person and depends on the individual's age, sex, weight, activity level and other factors.
The recommended daily protein needs of most people eating the traditional Western diet (which is high in animal flesh, eggs and dairy products) are not only met but often well exceeded. In fact, it is estimated that the average American consumes as much as double the amount of the RDA for protein!
Studies have shown that excess, long-term intake of animal-derived protein (i.e., meat, dairy and eggs) can contribute to various diseases and health problems, including cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease and impaired kidney function.
This should be of particular interest to individuals on a high protein diet for weight loss. Although many people who have followed one of the many recently popular high protein (aka high fat)/low carbohydrate fad diets have reported a nearly immediate weight loss, follow-up studies show that these individuals almost always gain all of the weight back. In the meantime, they may also be putting their health at risk.
Proponents of animal-based protein say that plant-based protein is inferior. Recent research suggests that this may not at all be true and that, in fact, protein from plant-based sources offers protective health benefits.
This infographic entitled "Foods that Pack a Protein Punch" illustrates the average amount of daily protein needed, plant-based sources of protein (including the number of grams per serving) and compares some common sources of animal-based vs. plant-based protein.
The infographic also explains why plant-based protein is the best or better choice and highlights a few of the health problems associated with consuming too much protein.
Do You Eat Too Much Protein
High Protein Foods
Go Meatless - Say No to Meat
Steak vs. Beans
Infographic source and further information: PETA Foods that Pack a Protein Punch