Quiz – what do you really know about protein?

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High protein diets continue to ride high their reign as a super nutrient.  Yes, protein is an invaluable nutrient as it does a ton of various functions within our body.  But how much do you really know about protein and if you were to take a quiz on your knowledge about it, would you pass?  Let’s find out:

1. A high protein diet can help you lose weight – true or false?

Correct answer – True

There are some studies that have shown replacing protein for carbohydrates may help you lose weight.  The reason?  Foods high in protein take longer to break down than carbs so they move more slowly through the digestive tract.  This helps you feel fuller longer after you eat.  Plus there’s the added bonus that your body will burn more calories digesting protein than digesting carbs – the amino acids bonds that make up protein take longer to break apart.  This slowed-down response also means you avoid frequent hunger by keeping your blood sugar levels more steady.

2. Too much protein can be unhealthy – true or false?

Correct answer – True

Adequate protein is good (about 25-30 grams at each meal) but when we go overboard consuming more than we need or can process at any one time, this only results in additional calories which means possible weight gain.  If the protein source is primarily from meat or other high-fat animal sources such as cheese or high-fat dairy, the excess saturated fat can increase risk of heart disease.  Too much protein can also cause problems if you have a medical condition such as kidney disease or diabetes. 

3. Men need more protein than women – true or false?

Correct answer – True

Protein needs depend on your age, sex, how much you weigh, your activity level and other conditions possibly affecting it.  But men do generally need more protein than women.  The RecommendedDietary Allowance states the average man needs 56 grams of protein a day while the average woman requires 46 grams each day.  A typical day with about 50 grams of protein might include: chicken (3 ounces), two large eggs, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, and 8 ounces of yogurt.

4. What percent of your daily calorie intake should come from protein?

a. 5% to 10%

b. 10% to 35%

c. 35% to 50%

d. 50% to 65%

Answer – B – 10% to 35%

Staying within this range provides the vast majority of protein most of us need.

5. Athletes require more protein than sedentary people – true or false?

Correct answer – True

Your activity level affects how much protein your body requires – the more active you are, the more protein you need.  Athletes need slightly more protein thannon-athletes.  This is because they need it to repair and build muscles after a hard workout. 

6. Which has more protein?

a. 1 cup of whole milk

b. 1 cup of baked beans

c. 3 ounces of beef

d. 1 large egg

Correct answer – C – 3 ounces of beef

All of the above choices are good sources of protein but beef and other meats are protein-packed.  But choose lean cuts of beef and keep portions sizes small (3-4 ounces) as otherwise red meat is also high in saturated fat which can increase risk of heart disease.  It is recommended by the American Institute of Cancer Research to limit red meat consumption to no more than 18 ounces a week and to skip processed meats such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and lunchmeat.

7.  Which function does protein do in the body?

a. Provides calories

b. Build body cells

c. Repairs muscles and bones

d. All of the above

Correct answer – D – all of the above

Protein is a part of every cell in the body and not only does it do all the answers listed but also is needed for building antibodies, enzymes, and hormones, helps transport fat, vitamins, minerals and oxygen around the body, maintains our fluid and electrolyte balance and also maintains our acid-base balance. 

8. Our body can store protein to use later – true or false?

Correct answer – False

Our bodies do not store protein like it can carbohydrates and fat which is why each day we need a steady supply of protein at each meal and snack.  Any excess protein we consume that our body doesn’t need will only get stored as fat. 

9. After a workout eating protein can help build muscle – true or false?

Correct answer – True

Protein can help repair muscles after working out.  Having a high-protein food or drink within 30 to 45 minutes after exercise can help build, repair and restore muscle. 

10. Whey protein is high in fat – true or false?

Correct answer – False

Milk is made of two proteins – casein and whey.   Whey protein is considered a complete protein meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids.  It comes in a powdered form and is commonly used as a supplement to help improve muscle protein synthesis and to promote the growth of lean muscle mass.  It is low in fat at having approximately only 1.5 grams of fat in one scoop. 

11.  Most Americans are deficient in protein – true or false?

Correct answer – False

Getting enough protein is generally not as problem as most Americans get all the protein they need and then some.  Even vegetarians can get plenty of protein by eating a variety of plant-based protein. 

12.  Protein is found in which of these foods?

a. Sunflower seeds

b. Chickpeas

c. Walnuts

d. All of the above

Correct answer – D – all of the above

Protein is found in a variety of food sources.  Animal sources are some of the best but protein is also found in nuts and seeds, beans and peas, and eggs. 

13.  Which of the following could mean you are deficient in protein?

a. Weight loss

b. Muscle fatigue

c. Loss in muscle strength

d. All of the above

Correctanswer – D – all of the above

 Again, the vast majority of Americans get in sufficient protein but people who are strict vegetarians, vegans, and older adults could have a low intake and should know the signs of it.