Protein – How much should you be eating?
Protein provides the blocks for building, repairing and making new cells in your body including hormones.
As a guideline, women should aim to eat 0.8 -1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight.
If you are very active you are likely to need more (1.2g protein per kg of body weight).
For example, a 65 kg woman needs approximately 52g of protein per day.
Here’s what 18- 20g of protein looks like (all weights/protein content are approximate)
- 85g of Chicken or turkey/meat/fish = 20g protein
- 3 Eggs = 18-20g of protein
- 170g Tofu and tempeh = 18g protein
- 1 cup cooked lentils = 18g protein
- 100g Nuts or seeds = 18g protein (30g is a portion!)
- 1 1/4 cups chickpeas – 18g
- 200g Greek yoghurt = approximately 18g (may vary depending on the brand)
- Protein powders = can vary, check the packaging
However, plant-based proteins are often incomplete as they do not contain the whole range of amino acids.
Quinoa is an exception and is a complete protein source
If you are vegan or vegetarian you should vary your protein sources and eat foods that complement each other such as beans and rice or nuts and seeds with dairy or legumes.
These vegetables also contain protein but in relatively small amounts – Dark Leafy Greens (Collard & mustard Greens, Spinach) Asparagus, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, and Cauliflower.
You can use a free app like myfitnesspal to calculate your average daily intake and to see if you need to add more 🙂