Protein is essential for ones diet. Along with carbohydrates and fat, protein is a “macronutrient” which means we require a relatively large amount of it in our diets. Almost every cell in our body is made up of protein molecules. Protein helps make up our skin and hair. It is used to build and repair tissues and to make enzymes, hormones and other chemicals in the body. Proteins also make up muscles, cartilage, skin, blood and bones. So basically, you need protein to live. In the body, protein is not stored and thus one should consume protein at every meal to fuel the body.
So how much protein are we talking about?
According to the Recommended Dietary Allowance (the RDA) for protein, one should consume 0.8grams of protein per pound of body weight. However depending on one’s activity level, the ideal protein range daily is 0.8-1.5grams per pound of body weight. When in doubt, use the old rule of 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
This chart should help:
|Activity level||Recommended protein amount|
|Sedentary adult – does not work out||0.5-0.7 per lb of body weight|
|Moderately active – does some form of exercise||0.8-1 per lb of body weight|
|Female – whose goal is to building muscle, maintaining muscle while losing fat, and increase strength/improve performance.||1-1.2 per lb of body weight|
|Male – whose goal is to building muscle, maintaining muscle while losing fat, and increase strength/improve performance.||1-1.5 per lb of body weight|
Once you have figured out the grams you need per day, multiply it by 4 to figure out how many calories of protein you should eat daily. 1 gram of protein contains 4 calories.
HIGH PROTEIN FOODS:
- Skinless chicken
- Skinless turkey
- Lean cuts of beef and pork