Protein is essential for your body; it’s in all of your cells, tissues, and organs. When you eat protein, your body breaks it down to amino acids, which are then used to replace protein in your body. Most people generally know that protein is a good thing for a healthy diet. After all, the media is saturated with ads for the latest protein powders, shakes, and bars. Indeed, protein is an appetite suppressant that can help prevent you from overeating. But many people already get plenty of protein from their diets. So how do you know how much protein you really need?
The typical woman aged 19 and up needs about 46 g or protein daily and the average man of the same age group needs about 56 g daily. That sounds like a lot, but just one cup of dry beans has about 16 g of protein. Plus, your protein needs change depending on your weight and activity level. Check out FitSugar’s protein calculations. While it is certainly essential to meet your protein requirements, remember that not all sources of protein are created equally. Red meat also has plenty of saturated fat, for example. Aim for lean sources of protein like fish, quinoa, and tofu.