How Much Protein Do I Need Every Day?

This post is coming on the heels of “Should My Child Be a Vegetarian?”  I was besieged with questions as to what is the best source of protein and how much do I need every day.

Protein is essential to a healthy heart and body, however too much or too little protein can have negative effects on the body. It so happens that the egg is the perfect protein, because it contains all 22 amino acids is the proper ratio. A good source of daily protein is necessary every day as our body can not store protein.

Protein is needed for:

  • carrying fat and cholesterol throughout the body
  • carrying oxygen that reddens our blood
  • healthy chromosomes that pass on our characteristics to our children
  • producing the necessary energy when fat and carbohydrates are insufficient

Proteins are made up of amino acids, there are 20 amino acids that are important for the body. Of the 20 amino acids that are important  for proper development building of the body, 8 for adults and 9 for children must come from food, because the body can not manufacture them. Once the initial grouping of amino acids are present, the body can synthesize the remaining amino acids into important building blocks that keep us healthy and provide a solid framework for health and development.

In order to receive the basic 8/9 amino acids, one must be careful and selective concerning the source. A plant based diet must studiously select the right combination of grains and beans to insure the delivery of the base amino acids needed. Unlike plant based diets eating pure proteins every day absolutely guarantees the necessary amino acids that become the building blocks of health.

You will be surprised at how little protein is needed every day to maintain and protect your health. The list below is from “Wise Traditions – Fall 2011”

  • Adult Male –  47.4 grams or 1.67 ounces a day
  • Adult Female – 44.6 grams or 1.57 ounces a day
  • Child (65 pounds) – 59.0 grams or 2.08 ounces a day
  • Pregnant Women – 67.0 grams or 2.36 ounces a day
  • Adolescent (100 pounds) – 39.2 grams or 1.38 ounces a day
  • Pregnant Teenager – 62.5 grams or 2.20 ounces a day

It is surprising at how little pure protein is needed on a daily basis.

Switzerland started measuring the amounts of pure protein that was consumed on a daily basis in 1950, the amount consumed was 42 grams a day or approximately 1.7 ounces. At that time the Swiss population was considered to be a healthy population. As the decades passed the amount of protein consumed rose to almost 4 times the original amount measured in 1950. During the ensuing 5 decades it was noted that the populations health also started to decline, cancer rates rose as well as individuals seriously suffering with Lyme Disease.

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Very often my clients complain to me about how difficult and expensive it is to feed a family in a healthy manner. They whine that they can not afford organic meat for their family. My response is, if you remain close to the pure protein requirement needs for the individuals in your family you can afford to buy organic meat because you will be eating less of it!  All joking aside, an 8 ounce steak could easily feed a family of four vs. the american way of 4-8 ounce steaks!

Do not disregard eggs as they remain the most nutritious source of protein, they contain all 22 amino acids at only 6 grams of  pure protein which is about 8-10% of the necessary daily intake. At a price .30 per egg for an organic farm raised egg they are also an inexpensive protein source.

Please look for my next post about “Is Excess Protein Dangerous To Your Health?”

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