Blog By: Aishwarya Ghumekar
Protein is always a hot topic. Carbs have been demonized. Fat has been on the chopping block. But protein? It earns a health halo, often connected to everything from weight loss to muscle gains. Maybe this is for good reason. After all, researchers and protein experts around the world are investigating protein’s optimal role in aging and satiety across the lifespan. Yet that doesn’t mean our diets get protein right. Researchers find we’re eating too much protein at the wrong times—and not enough at the right times. Namely, we need more high-quality protein at breakfast and less protein at dinner, the research suggests (Mamerow et al. 2014).
Protein: How Much Is Enough?
Nutrition experts recommend that protein accounts for 10%–35% of all the calories we eat daily (IOM 2002). How are we doing with that recommendation? A paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that, on average, men and women up to age 70 get about 15% of total calories from protein. While that is within the 10%–35% recommendation, the author of the paper suggests boosting the minimum to 25%.
Protein Intake and Timing
Recently, protein research has moved beyond investigating the optimal amount of protein to eat and has examined the optimal times to eat it. > > Nutrition researchers have found that most Western diets skew protein consumption toward the evening meal—breakfast is typically carbohydrate-rich and protein-poor, while the evening meal is often much higher in protein and calories (Mamerow et al. 2014).
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