Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Protein’s importance to a healthy diet

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By Gillan Ludlow

Poultry Times Staff

gludlow@poultrytimes.com

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Consuming high amounts of protein plays a vital role in our everyday routines. Consuming protein can help people lose weight, regulate appetite and cravings.

Individuals should aim for 30 grams of protein — the equivalent of four ounces of chicken meat — per meal three times a day. Spreading out protein consumption is the most effective way to build or maintain muscle.

Senior adults may require more than the current recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for bone and muscle maintenance.

According to the National Chicken Council, the RDA for protein is 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Four ounces of chicken provides 32 grams of protein, which is half of the daily requirement for 150-pound person.

High-quality chicken protein contains eight essential amino acids and a low amount of fat. Fat from chicken is unsaturated and helps protect individuals against heart disease. Physicians and nutrition counselors often recommend chicken over red meat, which has more saturated fat.

According to the NCC, three ounces of chicken only has one gram of saturated fat and less than four grams of total fat. Boneless/skinless chicken has 74 milligrams per three and half ounce portions and 31 grams of protein.

Individuals should consume 5.5 ounces of protein from poultry, red meat, nuts and beans in a daily diet, based on 2,000 calories a day, according to the federal government’s “Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010.”

Chicken contains niacin (vitamin B3), B6, biotin (vitamin B7) and vitamin B12. All of these vitamins help metabolism, the immune system, blood sugar level maintenance, cell growth, and nerve cell and red blood cell maintenance. Iron and zinc can also be found in chicken.

The guidelines recommend that no more than 20 grams of saturated fat should be consumed if a person is eating 2,000 calories a day.

For more information on nutritional value of chicken, visit www.nationalchickencouncil.org.

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