Protein! We all know it is important for a healthy diet, but how much do you really need?
Trimino Brands breaks down why protein should be an essential part of your daily diet, how daily protein requirements vary according to age and lifestyle, and what protein choices you can make to achieve your personal health and fitness goals.
Why Is Protein Important?
Next to water, protein is the most plentiful substance in your body. Proteins are the building blocks of muscle, blood, skin, hair and internal organs. It's found in every human cell. In fact, the word protein comes from the Greek term "of utmost importance."
It seems simple: eat some protein = be healthy. Yet not all proteins are alike — and different people have different protein needs. The U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion offers dietary guidelines on daily protein requirements — but they reflect and average for all Americans. You may need more protein for optimal health based on age, lifestyle or activity level.
Who Needs What?
Kids, sedentary adults, active adults, training athletes and seniors all have different dietary needs. Besides your age, gender and activity levels, you may have other more personal criteria for your protein needs, like losing weight or improving cardiovascular health. In a very general sense, 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight is a good daily minimum of protein for sedentary adults. Growing children, age 16 and under, need slightly more protein per day to develop optimally. High-performing athletes tend to need a lot more protein to keep up with demanding exercise regimens. And seniors may need more protein to combat the muscle loss that occurs naturally with age.
How to Determine Your Protein Needs
There are two ways to figure out the optimal daily protein requirement for you: by grams of protein per body weight or by the protein percentage of your total caloric intake. Whichever method you choose, it’s a good idea to get advice from your family physician or a nutritionist when making changes to your diet.
Calculate Grams by Body Weight:
1. Determine your body weight in kilograms (weight in pounds divided by 2.2).
2. Determine the appropriate number of grams of protein per kilogram with the advice of a professional
0.8 grams is the minimum RDA for sedentary adults.
1-1.2 grams is often recommended for those recovering from illness or engaged in intense exercise programs.
3. Multiply that number by your weight in kilograms.
Calculate Percentage of Total Calorie Intake:
1. Determine the total amount of calories your body needs to maintain, lose or gain weight. (Many apps are available to help with this or get advice from your physician. )
2. Determine how many calories you burn every day.
3. Determine the optimal percentage of protein for your total caloric intake. This can be anywhere from 10% to 35%.
4. Multiply the percentage of protein by your total calorie number, then divide that number by four. Why? Because one gram of protein contains about four calories.
How to Meet Daily Protein Requirements
A good general rule is to choose lean sources of protein that complement a varied diet that’s also rich in vegetables, multigrain choices and healthy fats — while limiting added sugar and carbs.
Vegetarians, vegans and people with dietary allergies may have a more difficult time meeting daily protein requirements. Whey protein isolate, like that found in trimino, is free of gluten and lactose. Here are some suggestions and their protein contents:
• Three ounces of fatty fish, like tuna or salmon = 21 grams
• Six ounces plain Greek yogurt = 17 grams
• One ounce of any kind of nuts = seven grams
• One egg = six grams
• One bottle Trimino™ protein infused water = seven grams