The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for healthy adults suggests that adults consume at least 0.36gm of protein for each pound of body weight (or 0.80gm per kilogram). This means an adult weighing 154 pounds should consume 56gm of protein each day (0.36gm per pound multiplied by 154 pounds equals 56gm of protein). It is important to emphasize that children, athletes, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases require different amounts of dietary protein.
There are many doctors recommending low carbohydrate, high protein / oil diets with research and a strong track record to back their claims. Popular diets include the Atkins, Protein Power, The Zone and Schwarzbein diet, with a growing list of others. Any one of the resources available on this subject, like the ones mentioned, will provide what you need to know about starting a high protein diet, and convince you of it's benefits.
Dietary protein is found in most foods and is the primary source of amino acids for the body. Foods containing significant amounts of protein include but are not limited to nuts, grain, beans, beef, chicken, fish, pork, dairy and eggs. Protein can also be found in vegetables and fruit, but to a much lesser extent and less complete in amino acid profile.
For men: Lean protein increases the production of growth hormones, which tell your body to make muscle and stimulate testosterone. It also moderates the production of fat-producing insulin.
Making Good Choices: Variety is Key!
Not all protein-containing foods are alike: each protein source has a different combination of amino acids. Some foods may contain high amounts of essential amino acids while other foods may be low. Foods that have greater amounts of essential and non-essential amino acids are considered "high quality" protein sources; those with lesser amounts of essential and non-essential amino acids are considered "low quality". Examples of high-quality proteins include eggs, beef, fish, and milk. Low-quality protein sources include beans, potatoes and whole wheat bread. Although plant sources of protein are in general not as rich in the amount or variety of amino acids as animal sources, sensible vegan and vegetarian diets will provide more than enough. No food has all the elements you need, so by eating both high- and low-quality sources of protein, you make up for the shortage of amino acids in the one food with an abundance of amino acids in the other.
At one time, nutritionists enthusiastically recommended that people eat "complimentary" foods at each meal. That is, they suggested eating a high-quality protein, such as tuna, together with a low-quality protein, such as whole wheat bread, at each meal. (Vegetarian examples would have been baked beans on toast or lentils and rice.) We now know that such assiduous food combining is not necessary. As long as the body gets both high- and low-quality proteins in a day, it can combine and use the amino acids themselvesf.
All foods have other nutrients in addition to protein, of course. Some also have qualities that are potentially harmful. Soy, for example, has ample protein, can provide fiber, and contains isoflavones, which help to protect against certain types of cancer and heart disease. Other beneficial sources of protein include: fish (essential fatty acids), eggs (essential fatty acids), beans (fiber), whole grains (fiber, vitamins, minerals).
Bacon and salami contain protein, but their processing saddles them with potential carcinogens. Obviously, it doesn't pay simply to look at the raw numbers and choose the food with the most protein. Other considerations must go into the mix.
If a person has a negative metabolic score, increasing both fat and protein in the their diet may help them lose weight. The underlying reason this may work is because of a hormone called leptin. "Normally leptin, secreted acutely in response to a meal or chronically in response to increasing fat stores, in a leptin-sensitive individual, will reduce hunger, increase fat burning and reduce fat storage.
However, when one is leptin-resistant - as indicated by an elevation in fasting serum leptin - the part of leptin's message that would normally reduce hunger and fat stores and increase fat burning does not get through to the brain (here mimicking low leptin), so one stays hungry and stores more fat, rather than burning it. However, the message to increase sympathetic nervous system activity gets through all too loudly and clearly, so one stays hungry, continues to get fat, and gets elevated sugar, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, heart disease and accelerated aging.
When one becomes more leptin-sensitive after following the program outlined in The Rosedale Diet, as indicated by a lower fasting leptin, all of a sudden your brain is able to hear leptin's messages much more clearly, and the now louder and more accurate message to your appetite control center and other parts of your hypothalamus to reduce hunger and get rid of some (lots of) stored fat gets heard. Now, your brain finally realizes that you have stored far too much fat, it is a danger to your well-being and the brain had better do something about it.
The lower leptin reduces the volume that your sympathetic nervous system hears. The hormone is making less "noise," but instead is allowing the orchestra to play the fine music that was originally written." [Ron Rosedale M.D.]