Protein is in every living cell in the body. Our bodies need protein from the foods we eat to build and maintain bones, muscles and skin. We get proteins in our diet from meat, dairy products, nuts and certain grains and beans. Proteins from meat and other animal products are complete proteins. This means they supply all of the amino acids the body can't make on its own. Plant proteins are incomplete. You must combine them to get all of the amino acids your body needs.
It is important to get enough dietary protein. You need to eat protein every day, because your body doesn't store it the way it stores fats or carbohydrates. The average person needs 50 to 65 grams of protein each day. This is the amount in four ounces of meat and a cup of cottage cheese.
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
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|Date last updated: 07 September 2008
Topic last reviewed: 06 June 2008