The average American gets about 16% of his or her daily calories from protein. Exactly how much is optimal for health isn’t known and probably varies by age. For heart disease prevention, the source of the protein may be more important than the amount. Plant-based protein sources such as beans and nuts contain healthy unsaturated fats and fiber. Most animal-based protein sources such as meat and eggs contain saturated fat, which is less healthy than unsaturated fat. Processed meats, such as bacon, sausage, and deli meats, are the least healthy forms of protein.
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