How Much Protein Should You Eat per Day?

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Fitness demands protein. Protein—from Greek protos, "first"—is human nutrition's main nutrient. Hair, blood, connective tissue, antibodies, enzymes, and more require protein. 

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The RDA for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram, or 0.36 grams per pound. The RDA is the nutrient amount needed for basic nutrition. 

How much protein do I need a day?

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In terms of protein, that's 53 grams a day for a 140-pound woman who is 50 years old and doesn't exercise.

Women's daily protein intake

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Your brain may benefit from golden milk. Research suggests curcumin may increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor. BDNF grows brain cells and connections.

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Women need more protein during pregnancy. For fetal tissue, placental, breasts, and blood supply growth, experts recommend 75–100 grams of protein each day. 

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Some research in the summit papers suggest that protein is more effective when spread out over the day's meals and snacks rather than loaded at supper like many Americans do.

Protein: Is more better?

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But in the last few years, the public health message has moved away from talking about the right amounts of protein, fats, and carbs. 

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The appropriate protein intake for health is still being studied. High-protein diets for weight loss or cardiovascular health are debatable.

To get daily protein, think "protein package"

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Please consider these before eating more protein. Not "eat more meat," but "get more protein" from healthful grains, beans, nuts, and sprouts. List of healthful protein sources.

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Also consider the protein "package"—fats, carbs, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that come with protein. Choose protein with few saturated fats and processed carbs and lots of nutrients.

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Another thing: To maintain your daily calorie intake, increasing protein requires eating less of other foods. Changes might improve or hurt your nutrition. 

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