Why do you always feel hungry? You may be missing protein

November 15, 2019

Protein is very important. When the vast majority of people have adequate food and clothing, the problem of "protein deficiency" should be rare. However, some people unknowingly consume too little protein because of various dietary restrictions, or because their appetite becomes poor when they are older. It is worth noting that our body needs protein all over the body. We need protein to form muscles, part of hormones, secrete enzymes, and maintain skin conditions. If the intake is too small, it will lead to a lack of protein and it will not be able to meet the needs of the body.

When protein is deficient, it will affect many aspects of the body's functions, so how do we "see" protein deficiency? Please pay attention to the symptoms below.

Hair, nails, skin problems

The body's hair, skin and nails are composed of keratin, collagen, elastin, etc., which are closely related to protein. Therefore, when the body lacks protein, it will be manifested in these points. People who lack protein have thinning hair or even baldness, and their hair becomes brittle and fragile. Hair color is getting lighter and lighter. For example, people with black hair will gradually lighten their hair color, fade to brown, and even gradually become "yellow-haired girl."

A lack of protein may also make nails more fragile, easy to break, and run out of grooves. Pigmentation of the skin, cracks, redness and inflammation of the skin. Of course, if these problems occur in the body, skin, nails, doctors will not only consider the lack of protein, but also check other body functions and nutritional status.

Muscle loss and weakness

Sarcopenia is a disease that everyone often hears recently. It's really good. The muscles are where the body stores the most protein. When the body lacks protein intake, it will turn to this muscle bank to extract protein to maintain other important functions of the body. As a result, muscles are gradually being consumed, muscle mass becomes less and less, and people become weak. This is probably the first symptom of insufficient protein intake.

Studies believe that if protein intake is insufficient for a week, it will affect the muscle mass to maintain posture and activity, muscle mass atrophy, muscle strength deterioration, slower metabolism, and difficulty in maintaining balance. This situation occurs in people over 55 years of age. People are more obvious. Therefore, when you are older, you should pay attention to the intake of protein. Even if the muscles no longer grow, they can maintain the quality of the muscles and slow down the speed of muscle degradation during the aging process.

Increased chance of fracture

When our body absorbs calcium and bone metabolism, it needs the assistance of protein. If there is a lack of protein in the diet, muscle mass becomes less and bones become weaker, and then the chance of sudden fractures increases. Studies have found that the group with the least hip fractures after menopause is the group that consumes more protein in their daily diet; especially when the source of protein intake is animal-based, it is more helpful to reduce the chance of fractures.


Protein deficiency can cause swelling of the skin, or swelling in the feet, calves, ankles, stomach, and hands. The blood of the body should contain a large amount of albumin to maintain the proper osmotic pressure in the blood vessels to pull the water from other parts of the body into the blood vessels. If the body lacks protein and the blood albumin is insufficient, the water will accumulate in the body tissues, and the person will become swollen, and will run out of ascites, and the belly will be swollen; the ankles and feet will swell, if you stretch out your fingers and press down, the front of your calves will swell There will be obvious dents and indentations.

However, the cause of edema is not limited to protein deficiency. Problems such as heart failure, poor liver, and poor kidney function can also cause edema. If you notice edema, don't rush to eat more protein. It is best to seek medical attention to understand the cause.

How much protein should we eat?

The amount of protein that each person needs varies with weight, age, and activity. Most of the recommended protein intake will be calculated from body weight first. In addition, the fats, carbohydrates, and proteins we consume can all be sources of calories, and protein accounts for at least 10% of all calories, and preferably 20% (or even 30%).

For most people, 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day meets the minimum requirement. In other words, a person of 50 kg consumes 40 grams of protein a day; a person of 60 kg consumes 48 grams of protein a day; and a person of 75 kg consumes 60 grams of protein a day.

For athletes, you can consume 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. If you are a 60 kilogram athlete, you need to eat 72 to 84 grams of protein a day. So much protein is used to maintain muscle repair. And quality. There are even different sports associations suggesting that athletes should eat 2 grams of protein per kilogram a day in order to maintain muscle condition.

In addition to athletes, some scholars believe that the elderly also need to consume a little more protein. If the activity level is not bad, they can consume 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight a day. Patients undergoing cancer treatment also need to consume a little more protein to enhance immunity and wound repair capabilities.

But please still pay attention to whether your kidneys are functioning normally. If you have kidney disease, please pay attention to discuss with your doctor the amount of protein you should eat every day.

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