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As popular diets push heavy protein intake, experts weigh the long-term health implications

Photo: Robert Lowdon via Getty Images

It’s tough to know precisely what Americans are eating from year to year. Collecting accurate diet data is notoriously tricky; people tend to under- or overestimate the amount of a specific food or nutrient they consume, and national nutrition figures usually lag several years behind the times.

But according to eating surveys collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, protein consumption has been rising slowly but steadily since 2000. Protein makes up 16 percent of the average American’s diet, according to the most recent CDC figures.

The recommended daily allowances (RDAs) set by the U.S. National Academy…

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Food from every angle: From Medium x Mark Bittman

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