How Much Protein Do You Really Need?
In general, it's recommended that 10 to 35 percent of your daily calories come from protein, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Women aged 19 and older should aim to eat 46 grams of protein daily. To put that in perspective, that’s an eight-ounce container of yogurt (about 11 grams of protein); a three-ounce portion of meat (about 21 grams of protein); and one cup of dry beans (about 16 grams of protein). That’s already 48 grams of protein, so you can see how easy it is to have more than the recommend daily amount.
That said, there are a few cases where getting in a small amount of extra protein can be beneficial. Eating more than the recommended dietary allowance helps support a growing fetus and milk production in pregnant and breastfeeding women, respectively, and it can also help repair a professional athlete’s muscle tissue after intense training.
But unless you fall into one of these three categories, it’s best to stick with the traditional sources of protein: lean meat, fish, eggs, dairy, beans and nuts. Products advertising added protein are almost always processed foods that people should avoid anyway, recommends Kirkpatrick.
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