Can Eating Too Much Protein be as Harmful as Smoking?

Protein. It's typically found in foods like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts and seeds, and dairy products. It's one of the three essential nutrients your body needs to survive (protein, fats, and carbohydrates). But how much should you eat per day for best health? And how much is too much?

The average adult should eat about 46 to 56 grams of protein a day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With fast food burgers, a long tradition of serving meat as the main course at the dinner table, and the popularity of protein drinks, most people eat more protein than they need. But too much protein could be a predictor for health problems down the road, according to new research published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Researchers found that middle-aged people who consume higher-than-normal amounts of protein over a long period of time have an increased risk for cancer, diabetes, and early death. In fact, overloading on protein during middle age could be as harmful to your health as smoking. However, researchers also found that older people who consumed higher amounts of protein were healthier.

The findings suggest that middle-aged adults can protect their health by eating less protein and more healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. As you age, adding more protein to your diet will help preserve lean muscle mass and help you live longer. It's an important reminder to eat a well-balanced diet with the right amount of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.

And you don't have to be a nutritionist or food expert to figure out how to eat healthy. At MagicKitchen.com, we've taken the guess work out of cooking in the kitchen and developed hundreds of tasty and healthy meal options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and even dessert. Take a look at the menu, and you'll find many low-protein options that taste great, satisfy your hunger, and provide you with the optimal amount of nutrients in a meal.

If you're not sure how much protein you're currently consuming in your diet, read food labels and keep a food diary to track your protein intake. Keep a daily record for at least a week, and you'll have a good idea of how much protein you eat on a daily basis. Then you can use that information to make changes to your diet.