Consuming the right amount of protein is essential for optimal body function. Getting the right amount can help with healing, immune function, muscle gain and much more. Protein needs vary among individuals. Knowing how much to get, when to consume it, what foods to eat - these are just a few of the questions that might come up. It doesn’t help that all the marketing for food products can lead us down rabbit holes of confusion. Protein can be as easy as 1-2-3.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
Protein needs are based off your body weight, health conditions, exercise level and health goals. While very high protein diets are popular, the average person can meet their protein needs quite easily.
||Protein Recommendation grams multiplied by kg body weight per day
|Dietary Reference Intake
||.8 grams protein x kg of bw
||.8-1 grams protein x kg of bw
|Stress (Cancer, IBD)
||1-1.5 grams protein x kg of bw
What Foods Have Protein?
There are a variety plant and animal sources available that are excellent sources of protein. Consuming a variety of protein-rich foods is encouraged, this is especially important with plant-based diets. While there are many packaged protein foods available – protein bars, protein chips, protein drinks; Whole-food protein options can have naturally occurring added benefits from vitamins, fiber and more.
||Average Protein Amount (grams)
|Chicken, Beef, Pork – 3 oz. portion
|Cottage Cheese, ½ cup
|Peanut Butter 2 Tbsp.
|Kidney Beans, ½ cup
|Nuts: almonds, pistachios, peanuts, 1 oz.
How to Make Sure You Get Enough Protein
Planning! Plan to have a source with each meal to spread your protein throughout the day. It will help to keep you full, balance blood sugar and provide energy. Try to plan your meals around your protein foods– here are some ideas to get you started.
- Greek yogurt Parfait with almonds and berries
- Taco salad with black beans and shredded chicken
- Veggie scramble with eggs and cheese
- Whole grain toast with peanut butter and banana
Protein foods are imperative for health. I challenge you to try a new protein food this week! Love black beans – try chickpeas. Always make chicken – try venison. Have almonds daily – try pistachios. Eating a variety of protein sources is key and will expand your eating options!
For more questions, reach out to the CHI Health Weight Management department.