How Much Protein Is Good

Can Too Much Protein Be Harmful

How Much Protein is Really Good For You?

The short answer is yes. As with most things in life, there can be too much of a good thing and if you eat too much protein, there may be a price to pay. For example, people that eat very high protein diets have a higher risk of kidney stones. Also a high protein diet that contains lots of red meat and higher amounts of saturated fat might lead to a higher risk of heart disease and colon cancer, while another high protein diet rich in plant-based proteins may not carry similar risks.

What Is Protein How Much You Need Benefits Sources More

Moira LawlerKelly Kennedy, RDShuttertstock

Protein needs no introduction. You likely already know it as one of the three major macronutrients that make up your diet .

There are hundreds of products from supplements to energy bars designed to make it easy to get your protein fix. There are even entire diets based on upping your protein intake, such as the Atkins diet or the paleo diet.

But what is protein all about anyway? And what benefits does it offer the body?

Dig in here.

Protein Foods And The Planet

To give you an idea, this scorecard from the World Resources Institute illustrates the differing GHG emissions per gram of protein from both animal and plant-based protein foods. Making just one pound of lamb generates five times more GHGs than making a pound of chicken and around 30 times more than making a pound of lentils. In the U.S. alone, beef accounts for 36% of all food-related GHG emissions. Beyond emissions, its also important to note that food production places an enormous demand upon our natural resources, as agriculture is a major contributor to deforestation, species extinction, and freshwater depletion and contamination.

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The Amino Acid Profile Varies Between Plant And Animal Proteins

When eaten, protein is broken down into amino acids.

Proteins and amino acids are used for almost every metabolic process in the body.

However, different proteins can vary greatly in the types of amino acids they contain.

While animal proteins tend to contain a good balance of all the amino acids that we need, some plant proteins are low in certain amino acids.

For example, some key plant proteins are often low in methionine, tryptophan, lycine and isoleucine.

Bottom Line:

All proteins are made up of amino acids, although the amount and type of each amino acid varies based on the protein source.

How Much Protein Do You Need Per Day

How Much Protein is Really Good For You?

As with most things in nutrition, theres no simple answer. Your ideal intake of calories and protein depends on your health, body composition, main goal, and the type, intensity, duration, and frequency of your physical activity. And even taking all this into account, youll end up with a starting number, which youll need to adjust through self-experimentation.

Tip: Calculating your caloric needs

Your height, weight, age, and level of physical activity all contribute to your caloric needs. There are many calorie calculators out there, but the NIH Body Weight Planner stands out. It has been tested and validated against real-world data and can estimate the number of calories you need to reach then maintain a specific weight.

Calorie-wise, there are only three types of diets:

Daily protein requirements are expressed in grams, either per kilogram of body weight or per pound of body weight . Ranges in the table below reflect known individual variances.

Maintenance: eucaloric diet | Muscle gain: eucaloric diet or hypercaloric diet | Fat loss: hypocaloric diet | * Grams per kilogram of body weight

Also, note that

Tip: Calculating your protein needs

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How To Calculate Your Recommended Protein Intake

The Recommended Dietary Allowance is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. To maintain nutritional balance, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate guidelines recommends protein make up about a quarter of your plate.

To calculate the target number of grams of protein you should eat each day, take your body weight in pounds and multiply it by 0.36. The result should get you within the recommendation to source 10 to 35 percent of your daily total calories from protein. Usually that means having some kind of dairy at each meal plus a piece of meat the size of a deck of cards thats 3 ounces or the equivalent amount of plant-based protein at lunch and dinner.

Keep in mind that these recommendations may change depending on age and health. The recommendation changes for athletes, too. People who exercise frequently or are training for a race need to increase their protein intake to between 1.1 and 1.7 g per kg of body weight daily. Anything over 2 g per kg of weight is considered excessive.

What Happens If You Eat Too Much Protein

If youre wondering what happens if you eat too much protein, heres the scoop. Eating too much protein is inadvisable as it can cause colorectal cancer, heart disease, kidney problems, and osteoporosis. Indulging in too much of it, even when following a low-carb high-protein diet, can easily increase your fat stores and risk nutrient deficiencies.

A secondary problem exists when we eat too much protein. Doing so excludes other vital nutrients, fiber, heart-healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. As we eat too much of one thing, we end up excluding other things. A well-balanced diet at every meal contributes to improving overall health and lowering your chances of developing diseases.

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How Much Protein Do You Need

Not everyone has the same protein requirement. It depends on many factors, including body weight, muscle mass, physical activity and age.

Arguably, body weight is the most important determinant of protein requirements. As a result, recommendations are usually presented as grams for each pound or kilogram of body weight.

The recommended daily allowance is 0.4 grams of protein for each pound of body weight . Scientist estimate this should be enough for most people.

This translates to 66 grams of protein per day for an adult weighing 165 pounds .

For athletes, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends a daily protein intake ranging from 0.5 to 0.6 grams for each pound of body weight , which should be enough for muscle maintenance and training recovery .

However, scientists dont agree how much is enough. The International Society of Sports Nutritions daily recommendation is 0.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight for athletes .

Just like athletes, older adults also seem to have higher protein requirements.

While the RDA is currently the same for old and young adults, studies indicate it is underestimated and should be raised to 0.5 to 0.7 grams per pound of body weight for older people .

Simply put, if you are older or physically active, your daily protein requirements are probably higher than the current RDA of 0.4 grams per pound of body weight .

The richest sources of protein include fish, meat, eggs, dairy products and legumes.

Broccoli Cheddar Strata And Facts About Protein

How Much Protein Is Good For You?

Quick what do you think of when you think of protein? Powder? Meat? Large-muscled men working out in gyms? I dont get enough? Chances are, all of the above.

Well, its not just for body builders, and while you can get it from powder, its much tastier to get it from your food. Protein is one of the essential macronutrients, along with fat and carbohydrates, that your body needs to function. Protein-rich foods supply amino acids, which are the building blocks for not just muscle, but also for bone, skin, hair, and every tissue and organ in your body.

Where You Get It

Getting enough protein is a common concern for lots of people especially anyone contemplating eating more of a plant based diet. Yes, its true that meat is protein, but its also very easy to meet your protein needs on a plant-based diet. Eggs, cheese, and dairy foods are all high quality proteins, meaning that they have all of the amino acids your body needs, so youre more than covered.

Looking to cut out dairy or go vegan? Youre probably still OK. Beans, nuts, tofu, and whole grains still have lots of protein. Vegetables even have some protein, so as long as youre eating a good variety of these foods each day, youre good! Fruit and fats are the only food groups with no protein.

How Much is Enough?

Is It OK to Eat It All At Dinner?

This Broccoli Cheddar Strata has a meals worth of protein, and makes a great meatless dinner, OR a high protein breakfast. Or both!

Recommended Reading: What Foods Provide Protein Other Than Meat

Can You Eat Too Much Protein

For most of us, our daily protein requirements are easily achieved by a healthy, balanced diet. The Department of Health advises adults to avoid consuming more than twice the recommended daily intake of protein . This is because, in the long term, consuming too much protein might lead to health issues such as an increased risk of osteoporosis and a worsening of an existing kidney problem. However, research in this area is mixed and it is likely that other factors may influence outcome, such as whether the protein is of animal or vegetable origin and how balanced the diet is in terms of vitamins and minerals.

One of the main issues with our Western diet is that often, our breakfasts and lunches are low in protein but high in carbohydrates, with a protein-packed evening meal. It is better to aim to spread your protein intake out throughout the day. Try our suggestions for high protein breakfasts, high protein lunches and high protein dinners.

Low Blood Pressure And Heart Rate

Symptoms such as feeling faint, shortness of breath, or chest pain, could be serious signs of a protein deficiency. Low protein levels can cause low blood pressure, which can lead to brain malfunctions and fainting. Low blood pressure occasionally causes shortness of breath or chest pain due to an inadequate blood supply to the heart muscle . If you experience any of these symptoms, get help from a medical professional immediately.

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How Much Protein In Egg

Are you eating too much protein?

Eggs are rich in nutrients. Eggs are a very good source of protein. Eggs also contain a good amount of essential amino acids. Along with protein, eggs also contain healthy fats and good cholesterol.

Vitamins and minerals are also found in abundance in it. Eggs are considered to be the cheapest and best source of protein. Eggs are rich in protein and fat. How much protein in egg

If the yolk is separated, then the purest protein and fat free cholesterol are found in its white part .

This protein is considered the cheapest and best protein in the world. How much protein in egg

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Protein Shakes Powders And Supplements

Protein shakes, powders and supplements are unnecessary for most Australians health needs. According to the most recent national nutrition survey, 99% of Australians get enough protein through the food they eat.

Any protein you eat on top of what your body needs will either be excreted from your body as waste, or stored as weight gain.

The best way for you to get the protein you need is to eat a wide variety of protein-rich foods as outlined in the Australian Dietary Guidelines, as part of a balanced diet. But if you are still interested in using protein shakes, powders and supplements, talk to your doctor.

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Its All About The Protein Package

When we eat foods for protein, we also eat everything that comes alongside it: the different fats, fiber, sodium, and more. Its this protein package thats likely to make a difference for health.

The table below shows a sample of food packages sorted by protein content, alongside a range of components that come with it.

To call out a few examples:

  • A 4-ounce broiled sirloin steak is a great source of proteinabout 33 grams worth. But it also delivers about 5 grams of saturated fat.
  • A 4-ounce ham steak with 22 grams of protein has only 1.6 grams of saturated fat, but its loaded with 1,500 milligrams worth of sodium.
  • 4 ounces of grilled sockeye salmon has about 30 grams of protein, naturally low in sodium, and contains just over 1 gram of saturated fat. Salmon and other fatty fish are also excellent sources of omega-3 fats, a type of fat thats especially good for the heart.
  • A cup of cooked lentils provides about 18 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber, and it has virtually no saturated fat or sodium.

Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Healthy Sedentary Adults

Protein! Good Sources and How Much You Need In a Day 🙂

For adults, the US Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.8 g/kg. However, a more appropriate statistical analysis of the data used to establish the RDA suggests this number should be higher: 1.0 g/kg.

Note that, contrary to popular belief, the RDA doesnt represent an ideal intake. Instead, it represents the minimum intake needed to prevent malnutrition. Unfortunately, the RDA for protein was determined from nitrogen balance studies, which require that people eat experimental diets for weeks before measurements are taken. This provides ample time for the body to adapt to low protein intakes by down-regulating processes that are not necessary for survival but are necessary for optimal health, such as protein turnover and immune function.

An alternative method for determining protein requirements, called the Indicator Amino Acid Oxidation technique, overcomes many of the shortcomings of nitrogen balance studies. Notably, it allows for the assessment of protein requirements within 24 hours, thereby not leaving the body enough time to adapt. Studies using the IAAO method have suggested that about 1.2 g/kg is a more appropriate RDA for healthy young men, older men, and older women.

Further evidence that the current RDA for protein is not sufficient comes from a randomized controlled trial that confined healthy, sedentary adults to a metabolic ward for eight weeks. The participants were randomized into three groups:

Three types of hypercaloric diets


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