NOTE: before you make any food, diet, exercise, or lifestyle changes, seek the medical advice of, and get permission from your qualified family doctor.

Likely, by now,  you know that there are many forces trying to confuse the American public, and doing a great job of that, when it comes to health and especially nutrition.

One of the great monetary successes in the field of nutrition is to implant the opinion in the minds of the public that to be healthy one has to eat plenty of animal-source of proteins. Stop almost any passer-by to ask what is the most important nutrient and they will instantly enlighten you with their vast knowledge that they learned from watching those TV commercials, “You gotta get enough protein!” Ask them, “How much is enough protein?”  Answer, “I dunno.”

Well, let’s answer that question so that YOU will know more than most of your friends and relatives. HOW MUCH PROTEIN is enough?

We will use the RDA, (Recommended Dietary Allowance), as our reference point. The RDA is a value established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, for the average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%-98%) healthy people. The RDA for either men or women is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.See End Note 1

HOW TO COMPUTE REQUIRED DAILY PROTEIN NEEDS:

  • If you weigh yourself in pounds, which most Americans do, then take your pounds of body weight and divide that by 2.2 since there are 2.2 pounds in a kilogram.  If we assume you weigh 165 pounds. Then, divide 165 pounds by 2.2 = 75 kilograms.
  • Now simply multiply 75 kilograms times 0.8 grams = 60 grams of protein daily.

There is a tidy safety cushion built into RDA numbers, too.

What does 60 grams of protein translate into?

  1. 60 grams of Animal source of proteins?
    • An 8-ounce SIRLOIN steak, made as lean as possible, provides approximately 70 grams of protein.
    • An 8-ounce chicken breast, lean as possible, provides approximately 55 grams of protein.
    • An 8-ounce piece of cheese provides approximately 80 grams of protein.
    • Eggs. A large egg is typically, approximately 2 ounces. Since we are comparing to an 8-ounce steak, we’d need to examine 8 ounces divided by 2 ounces = 4 large eggs. You know why I am using 4 large eggs for comparison, though nobody is being urged to eat 4 eggs at one sitting! 4 large eggs contain approximately 24 grams of protein.
  2. 60 grams of Fish source of proteins?
    • An 8-ounce Salmon, lean as possible, provides approximately 50 grams of protein.
  3. 60 grams of Beans source of proteins?
    • An 8-ounce serving of Red Kidney beans provides approximately 35 grams of protein.

END NOTE

  1. “Protein”. Dietary Reference Intakes. The National Academies Press. 2005. Washington. P. 589.