Are you getting enough protein?
Written by: Denise John, Ph.D
Published on: September 15, 2022
Protein is key to helping prevent muscle loss. It is also essential for creating hormones (eg insulin and thyroid hormones), neurotransmitters (eg serotonin and dopamine), enzymes and antibodies which determine how well our bodies work and, as a result, how we have that.
How much protein do you need?
The right amount of protein depends on your individual health and lifestyle. In addition to talking to your doctor, here are some general guidelines to consider.
For both women and men are Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein is based on your body weight: 0.8 grams per kg of body weight, which is about 54 grams per day for a person who weighs 150 pounds (68 kg). Physical activity and age can affect how much protein we need. If you are relatively active, you need more protein to compensate for the breakdown and utilization of proteins that occur while you are moving.
We must also consume more protein as we get older. Studies show that consuming more protein, around 1.2 grams per kg body weight per day, may help prevent age-related muscle loss, which can inhibit physical movement in older adults.
Get the right protein sources
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Our body can make more than half of the 20 amino acids we need. There are nine that we cannot make: phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, and histidine. (They are called essential amino acids because we must get them from food.)
Protein sources are referred to as complete or incomplete, but the names are somewhat misleading. Complete protein sources include animal foods that contain the nine essential amino acids (eg, meat, fish, poultry, and eggs). Incomplete protein sources—plant-based foods (e.g., legumes, nuts, and seeds)—contain all nine essential amino acids, but the amount of one amino acid or more is lower than the dietary requirement.
There are some plant-based foods that meet the amino acid dietary requirements and are considered complete protein sources, such as soy, quinoa, amaranth and hemp and chia seeds. Still, in general, all plant-based proteins, including complete, are lower all the essential amino acids than animal protein sources. If you eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, it is important to combine different plant-based protein sources so that you get enough essential amino acids.
Supplementing with a combination of plant-based protein sources can help you get the protein you need. We love these plant-based protein powders from InBloom, which contain a blend of proteins from peas, chickpeas, chia seeds, coconut flour, hemp seeds, duckweed and pumpkin seeds – along with a boost of wellness-supporting botanicals like reishi, elderberry, dandelion, cinnamon and ginger.* Just mix a single serving packet into water, your favorite plant-based milk or your morning smoothie.
If you’re looking for a shortcut, this electric blender bottle and pod system gets the job done in a fraction of the time. To make a protein smoothie, simply put the intended freeze-dried ingredients into the bottle cap, add water or your favorite whole milk and click the bottle and you’re ready in seconds.
TEX-MEX BREAKFAST TACO BAR
Eggs are a great source of protein. Add as many (or as few) fixations as you wish. Estimated protein content: 39 grams per portion (without fixation).
LONG ROAST SALMON WITH Scallions, Garlic, Coriander and Lemon
A good way to get protein (and omega-3 fats). Estimated protein content: 27 to 41 grams per portion.
CROCK POT KALKIET FRICKADELLER
These simmer all day, so all you have to do is cook the pasta (or polenta) when you get home. Estimated protein content: 32 to 48 grams per portion.
PAN-FRIED CHICKEN Thighs WITH MUSHROOMS AND THYME
If you want a comforting meat dish that falls off the bone without tending to a roast all day, may we suggest the humble chicken leg? Estimated protein content: 42 grams per portion.
CANNELLINI BEANS AND QUINOA BURGERS
These vegan and gluten-free burgers are easier to make than they look. Estimated protein content: 6 grams per portion.
This article is for informational purposes only, even if and regardless of whether it contains medical and medical advice. This article is not, and is not intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The views expressed in this article are those of the expert and do not necessarily represent the views of goop.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.