How much protein do you really need to eat each day? If you're trying to lose weight, a new study may change what experts assumed was the answer. Researchers sought to determine the ideal amount of protein for weight loss without loss of muscle. Their answer: Twice the recommended daily allowance (RDA), reported Helio on August 30.
About the study: Participants followed one of three controlled diets that provided dietary protein at different levels:
- Current protein RDA
- Twice the current RDA
- Three times the current RDA
In addition, the researchers gave them instructions to exercise while following their new diets. The result: Those who ate twice the current RDA of protein lost the most weight while maintaining their muscle mass.
“It is our hope the findings from this well-controlled study will be discussed and cited by the Institute of Medicine for the updated Dietary Reference Intakes on protein,” declared Stefan M. Pasiakos, PhD, lead author and a researcher from the Military Nutrition Division at the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Natick, Mass.
Before you start tossing steaks on the BBQ for every meal, talk with your doctor about boosting your protein intake significantly. This is particularly important if you have a condition such as diabetes, heart disease or other concern. In addition, remember that calories count, too, as well as exercise.