Everybody’s diet needs protein every day


“How much protein do I need? I need to know if I’m eating enough protein.

George, New York, N.Y.


Everybody needs protein in his or her diet every day. Water is the only substance more plentiful than protein in the body. Proteins make up about 15 percent of your body mass. Proteins are found in all of your body’s cells, fluids and tissue. If protein is found in your urine you have a serious health problem. The primary functions of proteins are to build and repair bone, muscles, connective tissue, skin, internal organs, blood and aid in your growth. Much of your body is made of protein molecules.

All food proteins are made of large complex molecules made up of a string of building blocks called amino acids. Complete protein contains all the essential amino acids in amounts your body needs. Animal proteins from eggs, animal meat, fish, poultry, cheese and milk are complete proteins. Plant proteins from fruits, vegetables grains and beans are often low in one or more essential amino acids and are incomplete. Both the amino acids produced in your liver and those produced from your digestion of the proteins you eat are absorbed into the blood stream and taken up by your cells and tissues to build the type of proteins your body needs.

Your diet must include all nine essential amino acids and must be in a fixed ratio. A shortage of any one of your essential amino acids will reduce your body’s ability to function. Your foods contain different ratios of the essential amino acids. By mixing foods that are rich in some amino acids with foods that are rich in others, you can get all your needed amino acids.

A protein deficiency can lead to fatigue, loss of hair pigment muscle mass, low body temperature, and hormonal irregularities. A severe protein deficiency can be fatal.

Muscle is over 70 percent water and only about 20 percent protein. Increasing calories from carbohydrates to provide your body with energy to work out will insure that your protein will be used for building muscle tissue. Dieters think eating more protein is the best way to lose weight. Most of your weight loss will be muscle and water. Excess protein has to be changed to something your body can use. This process can overwork your kidneys. Too much protein can weaken your bone structure because of the effect it has on your calcium. Only 30 percent of your daily caloric intake needs to be protein. The average person needs 50–65 grams of protein or at least 0.4 grams of proteins per pound of body weight each day. If you work out or do heavy manual labor, you may need more protein. Americans eat more than enough protein.

To find out how much protein you need multiply your body weight by 0.7 if you are active and 0.4 if you are not active. This means a 125-pound active female needs about 88 grams of protein. You should eat this protein in small amounts of 20 to 30 grams per meal. One egg has 7 grams of protein and 3 ounces of beef have 20 to 30 grams. Excess protein can be stored as fat. So only eat what your body needs.

•    Four ounces of lean beef, poultry or fish (about the size of a deck of cards) contain 25 to 35 grams of protein.


•    One cup of cooked beans or lentils contains about 18 grams.


•    One cup of low-fat cottage cheese contains 28 grams.


•    Two ounces of solid cheese contain about 16 grams.


•    One cup of low-fat milk contains 8 grams.


•    Two tablespoons of peanut butter contain 8 grams.


•    One serving of grain foods (barley, pasta, cereals, whole wheat bread, for example) generally contains 3 to 6 grams of protein.


Protein is a very important nutrient that you body needs daily. It is not a magical diet nutrient nor will it pack on muscle. But you do need it. Make it a part of your diet every day.


Best time to work out

What is the best time to work out?

Larry, Lancaster


Physiologically you can get the same results no matter what time you work out. Each time period during the day has advantages and disadvantages.


Morning advantages:

Boost energy

Increase in your metabolic rate

Fewer things to interfere with your workouts

More likely to stick with early morning training



Difficult getting out of bed

Take longer to wake up

Low blood sugar level

Less strength (until you get use to the early morning workout)


Afternoon advantages:

More energy

Food in your system

The gym is open (a lot of late openings in the mornings)



Not enough time to finish your workout

Can’t eat lunch

Everybody is working out at lunch


Evening advantages:

Your body is warmed up

Your body is stronger

Evening exercise will de-stress your day



Too many people in the gym

Exercise might keep you up at night

You are tired


As I said earlier, physiologically you can get the same results no matter what time you work out. You have to choose a time that fits your lifestyle.


Male Breast Cancer

Do men develop breast cancer?

Linda, Atlanta


The American Cancer Society reports about 1,700 American men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. About one in 100,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer, compared to 120 in 100,000 women.

Just as in women, there is no single cause for breast cancer. Cancer can be the result of genetics, diet and environmental exposures, and be influenced by lifestyle and socio-economic factors.

Women are routinely screened for breast cancer. In men, even when there are signs of breast cancer, the condition can often be misdiagnosed as gynecomastia (enlargement of the breast), a common and benign condition that often occurs in elderly men.

A big difference between men and women is that male breast tumors tend to be more aggressive. This can result in a very poor prognosis.

The most common sign of breast cancer is a lump or thickening that does not go away or change how it feels. Keep in mind that four out of 5 lumps are benign and not cancerous. Other signs to look for are swelling, puckering or dimpling, redness, soreness of the skin or nipple discharge. The nipple may become drawn into the chest, change shape, bleed or become crusty. Usually, early breast cancers are painless but if you experience pain and tenderness, you should tell your physician.

Before starting your fitness program, consult your physician.

Thanks for joining me, Sobriety Through Out Patient and The Mural Arts Program to help put a new mural on a wall at 2534 N Broad St. on Aug. 31. For more information on other painting days call Sara at (215) 685-0750, or e-mail: sara.ansell@muralarts.org. Let’s have some fun painting and help improve the community.


For help with drug, alcohol and mental health problems call Sobriety Through Outpatient drug, alcohol treatment center at (215) 227-7867. Watch or listen to our recovery media stations everyday at www.stop-recoveryradio.com.

If you have a fitness question or concern you would like addressed write to “Tips to be Fit” P.O. Box 53443, Philadelphia PA 19105, vincefaust@gmail.com or call (215) 387-3081. If you’ve missed an article of “Tips to be Fit,” go to www.phillytrib.com and search “Tips to be Fit.”

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