How Much Protein Should You Eat

Fish Oil Dosage: How Much Should You Take Per Day

How much protein should you eat?

Many people take fish oil supplements daily.

Aside from supporting your brain, eyes and heart, fish oil can also fight inflammation in your body .

Many healthcare professionals recommend it. However, you may not know whats the right dosage for you.

This article discusses how much fish oil you should take for optimum health.

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Guidelines On Your Saturated Fat Per Day Intake

Guidelines on how much saturated fat per day to have state that:

  • The average man should eat no more than 30 grams of saturated fat per day.
  • The average woman should have less than 20 grams of saturated fat per day.

This includes everything you consume throughout the day, so remember to include all your snacks when calculating your intake. Its also easy to forget things like butter and milk: we often add these to bread or hot drinks without even thinking about it.

These figures are just guidelines as they are based on your total daily energy intake and this may depend on your individual circumstances. For example, if you do a great deal of physical activity your energy allowance may be higher if youre trying to lose weight, you may well need to restrict your intake to less than the standard guidelines. However, your saturated fat intake should be around 1/3 of your total fat intake.

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Myth: I Would Be Able To Feel It If I Had High Cholesterol

Fact: High cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms. You may not know you have unhealthy cholesterol levels until it is too latewhen you have a heart attack or stroke. Thats why its so important to get your cholesterol levels checked at least every 5 years.1,2 Learn more about getting your cholesterol checked.

Occasionally, some people develop yellowish growths on their skin called xanthomas, which are cholesterol-rich deposits. People with xanthomas may have high cholesterol levels.

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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 (

How Much Protein Do You Need Every Day

How Much Protein Should You Eat When Building Muscle

Protein is essential to good health. The very origin of the word from the Greek protos, meaning “first” reflects proteins top-shelf status in human nutrition. You need it to put meat on your bones and to make hair, blood, connective tissue, antibodies, enzymes, and more. Its common for athletes and bodybuilders to wolf down extra protein to bulk up. But the message the rest of us often get is that our daily protein intake is too high.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is a modest 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. The RDA is the amount of a nutrient you need to meet your basic nutritional requirements. In a sense, its the minimum amount you need to keep from getting sick not the specific amount you are supposed to eat every day.

To determine your daily protein intake, you can multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36, or use this online protein calculator. For a 50-year-old woman who weighs 140 pounds woman and who is sedentary , that translates into 53 grams of protein a day.

But use of the RDA to determine how much protein you need daily has actually caused a lot of confusion. “Theres a misunderstanding not only among the public, but also somewhat in our profession about the RDA,” says Nancy Rodriguez, a registered dietitian and professor of nutritional science at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. “People in general think we all eat too much protein.”

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How Much Protein Should I Eat Every Day

Getting the right amount of protein neednt be complicated or stressful. Most of the time, youll end up within your target range by simply eating an amount that is satisfying and paying attention to when you begin to feel full.

Here are the amounts of food you need to eat to get 20-25 grams of protein:

  • 100 grams of meat, poultry or fish
  • 4 large eggs
  • 240 grams of plain Greek yogurt
  • 210 grams of cottage cheese
  • 100 grams of hard cheese
  • 100 grams of almonds, peanuts, or pumpkin seeds

Other nuts, seeds, and vegetables provide a small amount of protein, roughly 2-6 grams per average serving. You can see a more detailed list in our guide on the top 10 high-protein foods.

The image above shows 20 grams of protein in four different ways. Almonds, salmon, eggs and chicken thighs.

Below youll find examples of three different levels of daily protein intake using the same foods:

What Can Happen If You Eat Too Much Protein

Some high-protein foods are less healthy than others due to additional fat and salt.

Processing excess protein can put pressure on the kidneys, with excess animal protein linked to kidney stones and, in people with a pre-existing condition, kidney disease. Some experts say too much protein may impact bone health and, according to the British Dietetic Association, excessively high levels of protein can cause side effects such as nausea.

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Protein Intake How Much Protein Should You Eat Per Day

Few nutrients are as important as protein. Not getting enough of it will affect your health and body composition.

However, opinions regarding how much protein you need vary.

Most official nutritional organizations recommend a fairly modest protein intake.

The DRI is 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

This amounts to:

  • 56 grams per day for the average sedentary man
  • 46 grams per day for the average sedentary woman

This may be enough to prevent deficiency, but the amount you need depends on many factors, including your activity level, age, muscle mass, physique goals, and overall health.

This article examines the optimal amounts of protein and how lifestyle factors like weight loss, muscle building, and activity levels factor in.

Proteins are the main building blocks of your body. Theyre used to make muscles, tendons, organs, and skin, as well as enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and various molecules that serve many important functions.

Proteins consist of smaller molecules called amino acids, which link together like beads on a string. These linked amino acids form long protein chains, which then fold into complex shapes.

Your body produces some of these amino acids, but you must obtain others known as essential amino acids via your diet.

Protein is not only about quantity but also quality.

If youre eating animal products like meat, fish, eggs, or dairy every day, youre likely getting enough protein.

Protein is important when it comes to losing weight.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance

How Much Protein Should You Eat

The RDA for protein is 0.8 grams for every kilogram of body weight. If we convert that to the English equivalent of 2.2 pounds, that would mean a 175-pound person needs to eat about 63 to 65 grams of protein per day to meet the RDA.

However, the average American eats approximately 4 to 5 ounces of protein per day, or about twice the RDA. This may seem like a small amount of protein if you have a 10-ounce steak on the menu for dinner tonight. But its important to distinguish the intake of pure proteinwhich is whats reflected by the dietary guidelinesfrom protein food sources.

What do we mean by this?

Even a high-quality protein source like lean meat isnt pure protein, as it also contains fat and micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. But there are still approximately 7 grams of protein in 1 ounce of red meat, so a 175-pound person can indeed satisfy the RDA for protein by eating a 10-ounce steak. However, there are many sources of protein in the average diet, many of which have less protein per gram than steak.

Nevertheless, if you add up all the protein food sources you might eat in a day, including breakfast with eggs, yogurt, or cereal with milk lunch with ice cream or pudding for dessert and dinner with salmon, chicken breasts, or pork chops, youre still probably eating at least twice the RDA for protein.

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Older People And Children Have Increased Protein Needs

Growing children have a higher RDA for protein than adults , which empirically makes sense given the higher growth rate.16 Then as we become young adults, our protein needs arent as high as childrens relative to our height and body weight. But as we approach old age, our needs increase again.

Health organizations in the US, European, and most other countries recommend a minimum daily intake of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram for all adults aged 19 and older.17

However, several experts in protein research believe that people over 65 need a minimum of 1.2 grams per kg daily to counteract muscle loss and other age-related changes.18

For example, in a study of older women, consuming more than 1.1 gram of protein per kg every day was linked to a decreased risk of frailty, a condition marked by weakness, loss of strength, and other changes that often occur during the aging process.19

Does Protein Reduce Hunger

Hunger is an inevitable side effect of cutting calories, but the type of foods you are choosing might help curb your appetite more than others. Protein is thought to have some well-documented satiating effects, particularly while on a diet .

In one study, consuming 30% of calories from protein caused participants to eat almost 450 calories less per day – leading to twelve pounds of weight loss in 3 months . Some research has even suggested 25% of your calories coming from protein can help curb cravings .

It is no wonder popular high protein diets recommend roughly 30% to 40% of calories come from protein, which would equal out to 150 to 200 grams of protein per day on a 2,000 calorie diet .

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The Dietary Reference Intakes

The National Academy of Sciences dietary reference intakes are widely accepted as the most authoritative source for defining nutritional requirements. In fact, the DRIs are the basis for the more commonly recognized recommendations from the United States Department of Agriculture called the Dietary Guidelines for Americanstranslated for the public as MyPlate.

The DRIs define the recommended dietary allowance for a wide range of micronutrients as well as proteins and carbohydrates . The DRIs also indicate the recommended dietary intake of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats in terms of a percentage of total calorie intake.

Based On Weight And Activity

How Much Protein Should You Eat in 2021

There are other ways to get a more specific protein goal that may take into account lean muscle mass and/or physical activity level.

The average adult needs a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. One kilogram equals 2.2 pounds, so a person who weighs 165 pounds, or 75 kg, would need about 60 grams of protein per day.

However, your protein needs may increase if you are very active. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the Dietitians of Canada suggest that athletes need more protein.

These organizations suggest that athletes consume between 1.2 grams and 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, with endurance athletes at the lower end of this range and strength and power athletes at the higher end.

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High Protein Breakfast Foods

A breakfast that includes protein can take many forms. Although most people think of meat when considering protein intake, there are many other foods that provide a dose of protein, no matter if you prefer savory, sweet, or plant-based meals for breakfast.

While protein often gets a lot of attention, it is still important to consume the other macronutrients, carbohydrates, and fats, at breakfast as well for balanced nutrition and lasting energy. Carbohydrates provide filling fiber and are your body’s preferred fuel source while fats help with micronutrient absorption, slow digestion for greater meal satiety, and help your foods taste better.

Remember to focus on getting a variety of fruits and vegetables with your breakfast as well to boost nutritional quality and ensure you are getting enough vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Are You Eating Too Much Protein

While we want you to get enough protein in you diet, you can also have too much of a good thing, and if you eat too much protein, you may be doing more harm than good. People that eat very high protein diets have a higher risk of kidney stones, while a high protein diet that contains lots of red meat and higher amounts of saturated fat has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease and colon cancer.

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How Much Protein Do You Need Per Day

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

Protein Requirements For People Over 70

How much protein should you eat?

If you’re over 70 and typically have just toast and jam for breakfast, you might want to add protein to your meal. While protein at breakfast is a good idea at any age, research suggests that eating the right amount daily is even more important for maintaining optimal health when you’re over 70.

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Greater Risk Of Bone Fractures

Muscles are not the only tissues affected by low protein intake.

Your bones are also at risk. Not consuming enough protein may weaken your bones and increase the risk of fractures .

One study in postmenopausal women found that a higher protein intake was associated with a lower risk of hip fractures. The highest intake was linked to a 69% reduced risk, and animal-source protein appeared to have the greatest benefits .

Another study in postmenopausal women with recent hip fractures showed that taking 20 grams of protein supplements per day for half a year slowed bone loss by 2.3% .

Summary: Protein helps maintain the strength and density of bones. Insufficient protein intake has been linked to a lower bone mineral density and an increased risk of fractures.

How Can I Tell How Much Sodium Im Eating

You can find the amount of sodium in your food by looking at the Nutrition Facts label. The amount of sodium per serving is listed in milligrams . Check the ingredient list for words like sodium,salt and soda. The total sodium shown on the Nutrition Facts label includes the sodium from salt, plus the sodium from any other sodium-containing ingredient in the product. For example, this includes ingredients like sodium nitrate, sodium citrate, monosodium glutamate or sodium benzoate.

Remember to take note of the serving size on the Nutrition Facts label. If your portion size equals two servings of a product, youre actually eating double the sodium listed.

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Heart Healthy Food Pattern

To restrict dietary cholesterol, youll need to limit portions of animal-based foods, such as meat, chicken, milk, eggs and cheese. This focus on reducing cholesterol, however, is not as effective at lowering LDL and decreasing cardiovascular risk as the lifestyle guidelines recommended by AHA and ACC, which include:

  • Reduce intake of saturated fats by avoiding fatty meats, poultry skin, sausages, high-fat milk products and tropical oils, such as coconut and palm oil.
  • Replace some or all of the animal protein in your diet with soy, beans, nuts or other plant proteins. If including animal products, keep choices lean and low in fat.
  • Avoid trans fats, found in partially hydrogenated oils, such as shortening or stick margarine.
  • Adopt a plant-centered eating plan which includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds.
  • Plant-centered meal patterns such as the Mediterranean Diet, DASH Eating Plan or a whole-food, plant-based diet are commonly recommended for heart health. Not only are these diets naturally low in cholesterol because they restrict or exclude foods of animal origin, but these plans limit saturated and trans fat and have the beneficial emphasis on plant foods.

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