Proteins are important molecules which have structural and functional roles in the body.
Some claim that eating enough calories from plant-based foods will automatically mean that one's protein needs are taken care of. Sadly, this is untrue. It's possible to design an animal-free eucaloric diet that fails to meet the RDA for protein (which is set at 0.8g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day).
More to the point, I do not think that 0.8g/d/kg/day is optimal for health. Eating above the RDA (especially when combined with resistance training) can help to:
* Build muscle.
* Protect lean mass when in energy deficit.
* Protect lean mass in older adults.
* Improve bone health.
I recommend consuming between 1.2-1.6g/kg/day for those on an animal-free diet.
In order to eat sufficient protein, it's important to make protein rich foods the centerpiece of meals. Please see my tips on planning healthy animal-free diets.
A more detailed article on protein can be found here.
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