Protein is essential, but how much?
Protein is essential to good health.
Protein is needed to build meat on your bones, produce hair, blood, connective tissue, antibodies, enzymes, and more. Athletes and bodybuilders often wolf down extra protein to bulk up, but for the rest of us, we’re likely eating too much protein.
Of course, your individual body type and what you do each day determine the amount of protein you should consume, but the “Recommended Dietary Allowance” or “RDA” for protein is a modest 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. To determine your RDA for protein, you can multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36, or use this online protein calculator. The RDA for a 50-year-old woman who weighs 140 pounds and is sedentary (doesn’t exercise), translates into a recommended 53 grams of protein a day.
A quick tip about protein: Protein intake should be spread out throughout the day. The body can process only about 30 to 40 grams at any one time for muscle synthesis:
What does 30-40 grams of protein look like on the plate?
3-3.3 ounces of meat,
4 ounces of cheese,
1 cup of yogurt,
1 cup lentils,
If you are exercising less than 30 minutes each day, limit your total protein to 46 grams total for the day. If you are exercising between 30-60 minutes each day, it is recommended that you increase your protein intake to 60 grams TOTAL per day, so don’t forget to include protein in every meal and every snack!
Don’t be afraid to ask where your dairy or meat is coming from. The quality of animal protein matters!
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This arugula pesto is delightful on just about any form of protein- from tofu, to a grass-fed steak!
3 handfuls of arugula
1 bunch of parsley
1 bunch of scallions
1 bunch of mint
4 cloves of garlic
Zest and juice of one lemon
1-1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup capers (rinsed)
Place all in vita prep or food processor and blend