Protein: should we worry about how much we consume?

High protein diets were once only really linked with athletes and body builders. Now, more people than ever are concerned about their protein intake. There is some belief however, that too much protein can do serious damage.

Protein is an essential nutrient for the body. It is found in virtually every cell in the body and helps the body to repair and grow. Protein is made of amino acids – some of these are made by the body, and others we rely on getting from food, such as animal protein.

It is advised by the UK and US health departments that each person should need about 0.75g of protein per 1kg bodyweight. On average, this works out at around 55g for men and 45g for women. A lot of people eat more than this.

Some studies have suggested that too high a protein intake can increase the risk of developing cancer and diabetes. Do not be too alarmed, the studies have not found conclusive evidence of this.