Because protein is so important to our health, there seems to be a lot of concern with getting enough. Well, I’m here to tell you that, if you have enough food to eat and you’re getting the variety you should, this won’t be a problem. Now, I’m not saying that getting adequate protein is not an issue for some people. Lots of people around the world are struggling with this right now because of lack of access to food or a lack of resources to purchase food. It is a real problem that I do not want to minimize. But, for those of us who have an adequate diet, getting enough protein is usually not a concern.
So how much protein do we need? Well, we’re gonna have to do a little math. For the average, healthy adult, the standard is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram body weight per day. For example, if someone weighs 150 lbs, you divide that by 2.2 to convert to kilograms. This comes out to 68.18 kg. Then, multiply this number by 0.8 to get 54.5 grams of protein per day. That’s not a lot. What does that look like in real food? 4 oz lean meat has approximately 28 grams alone (and most meat-eaters eat a much larger portion). A cup of black beans has 15 grams and a cup of milk has 8g. Add in two slices of whole wheat bread (about 3 grams of protein each), and we’re at 57 grams of protein total.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you should limit or track your protein intake. For some medical conditions, protein restrictions are necessary, but, if you are healthy, you don’t need to worry about it. Also, it’s important to note that it’s not hard for those who follow a vegetarian diet to get enough protein either, as long as they are not living on chips and cookies. Eating foods like beans, whole grains, eggs, and dairy products makes meeting the protein requirements more than doable. So, while protein is essential to living a healthy life, try not to get wrapped up in all the hype. If you’re eating a variety of whole foods and have enough food to eat overall, you will likely be just fine.