How To Get Enough Protein


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Try Savory Protein Powder

How To Get Enough Protein On The Vegan Diet

You can add protein powder to more things than just smoothies! health coach Michelle Gindi says. Ive had great success adding protein powder to my morning pancakes and some granola bars, which is a sneaky and delicious way to get in more protein! Ive even stirred some protein powder into vegetable soup for an all-in-one meal.

Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Pregnant Women

The protein RDA for pregnant women is 1.1 g/kg. This value was estimated by adding three values:

  • The RDA for a healthy adult
  • The amount of additional body protein a pregnant woman accumulates
  • The amount of protein used by the developing fetus

However, as with non-pregnant healthy adults, the RDA may not be sufficient, let alone optimal. Theres some evidence that the RDA for pregnant women should be about 1.66 g/kg during early gestation and 1.77 g/kg during late gestation . Moreover, a meta-analysis of 16 intervention studies reported that protein supplementation during pregnancy led to reduced risks for the baby:

  • 34% lower risk of low gestational weight
  • 32% lower risk of low birth weight
  • 38% lower risk of stillbirth

This effect was more pronounced in undernourished women than in adequately nourished women. Importantly, these values were determined from sedentary women carrying one child, meaning that pregnant women who engage in regular physical activity or are supporting the growth of more than one child may need even higher amounts.

Also, keep in mind that we can only tell you what the studies reported we cant possibly know about your health and your pregnancy specifically. Please be sure to consult with your obstetrician/gynecologist before making any changes.

Optimal daily protein intake for pregnant women

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Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Athletes

If youre physically active regularly, you need more protein daily than if you were sedentary. The American College of Sports Medicine, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Dietitians of Canada recommend 1.22.0 g/kg to optimize recovery from training and to promote the growth and maintenance of lean mass when caloric intake is sufficient. This recommendation is similar to that of the International Society of Sports Nutrition : 1.42.0 g/kg.

Importantly, it may be better to aim for the higher end of the above ranges. According to the most comprehensive meta-analysis to date on the effects of protein supplementation on muscle mass and strength, the average amount of protein required to maximize lean mass is about 1.6 g/kg, and some people need upwards of 2.2 g/kg. Those of you interested in a comprehensive breakdown of this study will find one in NERD #34 .

However, only 4 of the 49 included studies were conducted in people with resistance training experience . studies in athletes found different numbers: on training days, female athletes required 1.41.7 g/kg the day following a regular training session, male endurance athletes required 2.12.7 g/kg two days after their last resistance-training session, amateur male bodybuilders required 1.72.2 g/kg.

Since higher protein intakes seem to have no negative effects in healthy people, one may want to err toward the higher amounts. For most athletes , the ISSN range will work well:

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Protein

Beef, poultry and, you know, meat are Americas go-to foods to give us our protein fix. Advertising money has surely influenced those choices, as industry groups have long promoted animal-derived protein .

These days, the importance of getting enough protein is also stressed by food manufacturers of everything from ice cream to frozen pizza, many of which tout their products high protein content. And processed fake meat is having a moment.

Theres nothing thats encouraging you to restrict your protein intake its never demonized like fat and carbs, noted Angie Asche, a registered dietitian and board-certified specialist in sports dietetics who owns Eleat Sports Nutrition in Lincoln, Nebraska.

And yet, she said, While I think the recommended daily allowance is underestimating protein needs, its rare that I see a client with a protein deficiency.

How much protein a person needs per day depends on a number of factors. Activity level, fitness, metabolic burn or if youre ill all come into play, according to Amy Shapiro, a registered dietitian and owner of Real Nutrition in New York City. But on average, the RDA is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For instance, a 150-pound adult would need approximately 54 grams of protein a day.

Unfortunately, in getting their RDA, too many Americans are ignoring less expensive plant-based proteins like chickpeas, black beans and soy products.

How To Eat More Protein And Less Fat

Vegan Protein: How to Get Enough Protein on a Vegan Diet?

Like I mentioned, fat can be a little bit trickier to isolate in your diet.

Almost everything has some fat in it.

But there are fewer foods that are MOSTLY fat

Still, if you want to sneak some more protein into your diet without adding calories, cutting back on your fat intake could be on place to look.

Here are some foods you might be eating that are high in fat:

Now the hard part about fat is that many of the sources I just listed also happen to be excellent sources of protein.

So if a high protein diet is what you want, cutting out milk, cheese, and eggs probably isnt the way to go!

But there are a few tweaks you can make to ensure youre still getting some healthy fats in your diet and bumping up the protein a bit, without adding extra calories:

Cut back on your fat intake and replace those calories with some good, low calorie sources of protein.

You dont have to go low carb or low fat.

If you just watch your carbs and fat even a little tiny bit, you should easily be able to add 20-30g of protein per day into your diet without altering your calories.

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Swap White Bread For Whole

Bread is an unassuming place to up your protein intake, but some breads actually pack quite the protein punch: Just like brown rice has more protein than white rice, whole-grain bread has more protein than white bread.

This is because whole-grain foods keep all parts of the grain — the germ, the bran and the endosperm — whereas the refining process strips grains down to just the endosperm, which doesn’t contain many nutrients.

Dave’s Killer Bread 21 Whole Seeds and Grains, for instance, contains five grams of protein per slice. If you eat two slices for breakfast, that’s an automatic 10 grams of protein that you wouldn’t get with refined white bread.

Ways To Increase Your Protein Intake

If there’s one thing that can help you eat less and increase the chance you’ll lose weight, it’s getting more protein. Protein has been shown to help keep you fuller longer, speed up your metabolism, and even help build muscle more efficiently. You know that protein is the answer to your better body questions, but just how to get more protein is a different problem.

But we know that it can feel like a challenge to increase your protein intake seamlessly into your diet there are only so many turkey sandwiches one can eat!

The following 25 ideas and food swaps will show you how to get more protein without totally disrupting your routine.

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Optimal Protein Intake Guide

Your optimal daily protein intake depends on your weight, goal, and level of physical activity: from 1.21.8 g/kg if youre sedentary all the way up to 3.3 g/kg if youre trying to minimize fat gain during a bulk. You can quickly and easily calculate your optimal daily intake with our protein intake calculator.

Quickly and easily calculate your optimal daily intake with our protein intake calculator.

To Avoid Problems When Increasing Protein Intake

How Can Vegetarians Get Enough Protein?
  • Choose unsalted nuts and seeds, to reduce your daily sodium intake.
  • When shopping for canned beans, choose the low sodium versions.
  • Adding more protein to your diet can increase urine output, so drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Increasing protein can also cause calcium loss so make sure to get plenty of calcium .

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Idea #: Make Simple Swaps

After learning more about what foods are high, moderate, and low in protein you can start to make some subtle adjustments to include more in your diet.

If youre a plant-based eater this could be as simple as swapping beans with tofu as your main source.

  • Black beans : 132 calories and 9 grams of protein
  • Tofu : 145 calories and 16 grams of protein

If you enjoy animal protein this could be choosing leaner cuts of meat so that you can increase the serving size without adding a significant amount of calories.

  • 85/15 ground beef : 215 calories and 19 grams
  • 93/7 ground beef : 150 calories and 21 grams
  • 93/7 ground beef : 225 calories and 31 grams

How Much Protein Do You Need Each Day

Current guidelines, established by the Institute of Medicine in 2002, recommend adults 19 years of age and older consume 10% to 35% of their daily calories from protein. That’s about 200 to 700 calories from protein for a 2,000-calorie diet. Another way to calculate how much protein you need each day is to multiply 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight. With a little math, this translates to 54 grams of protein for a 150-pound woman, or 65 grams for a 180-pound man.

Here are some examples of what 10 grams of protein looks like:

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Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Healthy Sedentary Adults

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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True Or False Big Steak Equals Bigger Muscles

 HIGH PROTEIN BREAKFASTS  . A lot of people struggle to get enough ...

False. Although adequate protein throughout the day is necessary, extra strength training is what leads to muscle growth not extra protein intake. You can’t build muscle without the exercise to go with it.

The body can’t store protein, so once needs are met, any extra is used for energy or stored as fat. Excess calories from any source will be stored as fat in the body.

Extra protein intake also can lead to elevated blood lipids and heart disease because many high-protein foods you eat are high in total and saturated fat. Extra protein intake, which can tax the kidneys, poses an additional risk to people predisposed to kidney disease.

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The Health Benefits Of Protein

Protein gives you the energy to get up and goand keep going. While too much protein can be harmful to people with kidney disease, diabetes, and some other conditions, eating the right amount of high-quality protein:

  • Keeps your immune system functioning properly, maintains heart health and your respiratory system, and speeds recovery after exercise.
  • Is vital to the growth and development of children and for maintaining health in your senior years.
  • Can help reduce your risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Can help you think clearly and may improve recall.
  • Can improve your mood and boost your resistance to stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • May help you maintain a healthy weight by curbing appetite, making you feel full longer, and fueling you with extra energy for exercising.

As well as being imperative to feeling healthy and energetic, protein is also important to the way you look. Eating high-quality protein can help you maintain healthy skin, nails, and hair, build muscle, and maintain lean body mass while dieting.

While most people eating a Western diet get a sufficient quantity of protein each day, many of us are not getting the quality of protein we need.

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Is 250 Grams Of Protein Too Much

No hard and fast rules apply when it comes to determining how much protein you should take each day. A large number of people take meals that include 25 to 50 grams of protein. According to Layman, consuming more than 50 grams of protein every meal is unlikely to produce any health advantages, but it is also unlikely to be harmful to you.

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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.

How To Get Your Protein Needs

How to Get Enough Protein as a Vegetarian

Your daily protein needs can easily be met by following the Australian Dietary Guidelines. The Guidelines group foods into 5 different food groups, each of which provide key nutrients.

The 2 main food groups that contribute to protein are the:

  • lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans group
  • milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives group.

As part of a healthy diet, the Guidelines recommend particular serves per day from each of the 5 food groups.

The human body cant store protein and will excrete any excess, so the most effective way of meeting your daily protein requirement is to eat small amounts at every meal.

Daily recommended serves of lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans and milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives for adults

Person Recommended average daily number of serves of lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans Recommended average daily number of serves of milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives
Men aged 1950 years 3

So, what is a serve? A standard serving size of lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans is one of:

A serve of milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives could include:

  • 250 ml fresh, UHT long life, reconstituted powdered milk or buttermilk
  • 120 ml evaporated milk
  • 40 g hard cheese such as cheddar
  • 120 g ricotta cheese.

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Have A Protein Shake For Breakfast

Many smoothies contain a lot of fruit, vegetables, or juice, but very little protein.

However, a shake or smoothie can be a great breakfast option, especially if you choose nutritious ingredients.

Protein powders make it easy to create a healthy, high protein shake. There are several types on the market, including whey, soy, egg, and pea protein.

Whey protein powder has been studied the most and seems to have an edge over the others when it comes to helping you feel full (

Heres a basic whey shake recipe:

Whey Protein Shake

  • 8 ounces of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop of whey powder
  • 1 cup of fresh berries
  • stevia or another healthy sweetener, if desired
  • 1/2 cup of crushed ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

To boost the protein content even further, use extra protein powder or add peanut butter, almond butter, flaxseeds, or chia seeds.


Having a protein shake for breakfast helps you start the day off right. Whey may be the best type to use.

Does Protein Have Any Negative Health Effects

Protein has been unfairly blamed for a number of health problems.

Some people believe that a high protein diet can cause kidney damage and osteoporosis, but science does not support these claims.

Though protein restriction is helpful for people with preexisting kidney problems, theres no evidence that protein can cause kidney damage in healthy people (

31 ).

Overall, theres no evidence that a reasonably high protein intake has any adverse effects in healthy people trying to optimize their health.


Protein does not have any negative effects on kidney function in healthy people, and studies show that it leads to improved bone health.

The best sources of protein are meats, fish, eggs, and dairy products, as they have all the essential amino acids that your body needs.

Some plants are fairly high in protein as well, such as quinoa, legumes, and nuts.

However, most people generally dont need to track their protein intake.

If youre healthy and trying to stay that way, simply eating quality protein sources with most of your meals, along with nutritious plant foods, should bring your intake to an optimal range.

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