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A Guide on Protein Intake

By Emily Lindholm

A common question that often comes back with varied answers is the question of "how much protein should I be eating?"  

Protein is a highly important macronutrient, so we should make sure that we are getting enough.  The other two macronutrients, carbohydrates and fats, can be moderated, but protein is a different story.  

Protein is the building block of our tissues and organs.  It helps us build muscle, helps to maintain our hunger levels, and supports our metabolism.  

How Much Protein Should We Be Eating Per Day?

You could use the DRI (dietary reference intake) as your guide.  According to the DRI, you can use the following equation to calculate your recommended protein intake: Multiply 0.36 by your body weight in pounds

For example, someone who weighs 130 pounds would multiply 130 by 0.36, which ends up being 46.8 grams of protein that they need per day.  

Bodybuilders and athletes may need more protein, and vice versa goes for someone who is very inactive.  

How Important Is Protein?

Here's a look at why it's important to be getting a sufficient amount of protein.

  • Proteins make muscles, organs, tendons, and skin
  • Proteins also make hormones, enzymes, and neurotransmitters
  • Proteins provide us with essential amino acids
  • Proteins may aid in weight loss
  • Proteins help us gain muscle strength
  • Proteins support our endurance

Choose Your Source of Protein

Animal proteins, such as chicken, fish, red meat, and pork, are the most bioavailable sources of protein.  This is because animal tissues are similar to our tissues.  However, alternative sources of protein include:

  • Beans and lentils
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Quinoa
  • Tofu
  • Dairy

Portion Sizes 

Like everything, we can't have too much of a good thing.  A diet high in protein is considered healthy.  However, know your portion sizes.  Any time we overeat, we are compromising our system.  Follow this list for a guide on healthy portion sizes of protein.  

  • Salmon - 4 oz. provides 27 grams of protein
  • Chicken breast - 3 oz. provides 26 grams of protein
  • Steak - 3 oz. provides 25 grams of protein
  • Eggs - 2 eggs provide 12 grams of protein
  • Pork - 3 oz. provides 23 grams of protein
  • Tofu - 1/2 cup provides 11 grams of protein
  • Beans - 1/2 cup provides 8 grams of protein

How Do You Get Your Protein?

If you are vegetarian, just make sure to include some of the alternative sources of protein in your meals, such as beans and rice.  Protein is an important nutrient that sustains us and makes us stronger.  Find your favorite sources of protein, and enjoy!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Savannah, Georgia. 

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