How much protein is the right amount

Field beans and Co. - This is how healthy plant protein is

Status: 08/28/2020 11:21 a.m.

Proteins are found in many animal and plant foods such as broad beans. Our body needs the valuable protein, among other things, for building and maintaining muscles.

Proteins - along with carbohydrates and fats - are one of the three main nutrients that the body needs. Animal protein is found in meat, fish, eggs and milk, and vegetable protein in seeds, mushrooms, cereals, nuts and legumes such as broad beans. The field bean (also called fava bean or broad bean) is currently back in fashion because its cultivation is very sustainable: it hardly needs any pesticides or fertilizers because it accumulates nitrogen from the air on its roots.

A balanced diet meets protein requirements

With a balanced diet, you can easily get the amount of protein our body needs: just under a gram per kilogram of body weight and day. Protein ensures a lasting feeling of satiety, while carbohydrates make you feel hungry again after a short time. For this reason, recipes with a lot of protein and few carbohydrates are often recommended for weight loss.

Role of protein in the body

In the body, proteins are involved in the formation of muscles and bones, for example. They also transport vital substances. Proteins are formed from so-called amino acids, which are linked and folded in innumerable combinations to form protein molecules. Proteins play an important role in these areas:

  • Transport of fat and oxygen
  • Absorption of iron
  • Muscle function
  • Defense against pathogens
  • Repair of defective cells
  • Nail and hair health
  • Manufacture of connective tissue and cartilage

This is how many grams of protein the body needs every day

The need for protein can usually be easily met with a balanced diet - additional protein shakes are not necessary for healthy people. Every day the body needs around one gram of protein per kilogram - based on normal weight.

  • With a body weight of 75 kilos, that's the same for one normal weight people (1.80 meters tall) a protein requirement of around 75 grams.
  • Elderly and sick people require 1.2 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight to maintain the mobility and function of your muscles.
  • Also for Competitive athlete and Pregnant women slightly higher amounts apply.
  • At Obesity (75 kilos with a height of only 1.65 meters) 65 grams of protein are sufficient.

Protein deficiency in old age

If you hardly move, you hardly get hungry - and eating alone is less fun. Many elderly people in particular easily develop a protein deficiency and lose muscle mass unnoticed. Because if the body does not get enough protein, it switches to emergency supply and gets the missing amino acids from the muscles, which it virtually digests. Muscle loss is therefore a typical consequence of a lack of protein. Those affected suffer from tiredness and lack of drive, the muscle breakdown is also shown by pain when sitting, because the gluteal muscles are missing as a cushion.

Prevent protein deficiency in old age

Many older people in particular develop a protein deficiency unnoticed. In an interview, Prof. Johann Ockenga from the Bremen-Mitte Clinic explains how muscle mass can be maintained. 10 min

A lack of appetite and difficulty chewing can trigger a protein deficiency, but digestion also changes with age: gastric acid production decreases and the absorption of nutrients from the intestine becomes less effective. Inflammatory processes in the body also increase the need for protein. All of this shows that protein deficiency is indeed a problem in old age - around every third elderly person is affected. A protein-rich supplementary food in the form of so-called astronaut drinks can help.

Protein content in food

Ideally, the necessary protein ration should not be consumed all at once, but rather spread over the day. If you remember a few guidelines, it is not difficult to estimate the protein content of foods.

FoodApproximate protein contentPortion example
Fish, meatapprox. 20% (13-30%)Fish fillet of 150 g: approx. 30 g of protein
Legumes (peas, lentils, broad beans, chickpeas)24 %Dish with lentils (75 g): 18 g protein
Quarkapprox. 12%Small bowl of quark of 150 g: 18 g of protein
eggPiece: 6-7 g protein
milkapprox. 3%Glass of milk (200 ml): 6 g protein
Cheese, lean meatsapprox. 20%medium-sized slice (30 g): 6 g protein
nutsapprox. 15% (10-25%)Handful of nuts (30 g): 5 g protein
Muesli, whole grain bread, milletapprox. 10%Slice of wholemeal bread or portion of muesli (approx. 30 g): 3 g of protein

Animal and vegetable protein in comparison

Basically, protein in plant and animal foods contains all nine essential amino acids. But there are differences:

  • Proteins of animal origin contain a higher amount of amino acids and are more similar in composition to human body protein than vegetable proteins. The more a protein resembles human proteins, the higher its so-called biological value. The body can then use the protein more easily and convert it into its own protein.
FoodProtein content per 100 g
1. Parmesan cheese36 g
2. Harz cheese30 g
3. Tuna (can)26 g
4. Turkey breast23 g
5. Beef22-30 g
6. Prawns18-19 g
7. Cottage cheese13 g
8. Quark12 g
9. Chicken egg7 g (per item)
10. Yogurt3 g
  • However, it is healthier to consume Protein of vegetable origin. Because vegetable protein sources contain many health-promoting substances such as fiber and secondary plant substances. However, not all of the proteins we need are found in all plants. Therefore, in a purely plant-based diet, it is important to eat many different plants.
productProtein content per 100 g
1. Hemp seeds37 g
2. Soybeans, rapeseed, lupine30-40 g
3. Field beans25 g
4. Peanuts25 g
5. Pumpkin seeds24 g
6. Lenses24 g
7. Chia seeds21 g
8. Almonds21 g
9. Quinoa14 g
10. Oatmeal13 g

Protein: Tips for a healthy diet

For a balanced diet, experts recommend

  • one third animal protein: You should avoid processed meat if possible and eat fish and white meat rather than red meat.
  • two thirds of vegetable protein: Legumes such as lupins, chickpeas, lentils and beans are healthy and inexpensive sources of protein, also as part of a meat-free diet.

Diabetics also benefit from legumes: just 200 grams a day has been shown to lower blood lipid levels and long-term blood sugar.

However, if you have kidney disease, you should be cautious about proteins: Damaged kidneys could be overburdened with filtering protein waste products from the blood.

Study: Animal protein can shorten life expectancy

A long-term study has shown that excessive consumption of animal protein can shorten life expectancy, while vegetable protein cannot. The reason is not suspected to be the protein itself, but that animal proteins are mostly found in processed foods with unhealthy additives (including fat, phosphates and salt), while vegetable proteins from peas, beans, lentils, lupins or soy also contain healthy micronutrients ( Vitamins, polyphenols, trace elements) and secondary plant substances.

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Visit | 09/01/2020 | 8:15 pm