How Much Protein Do You Need In Your Diet?

how much protein do you need in your dietProtein is an important part of every woman’s diet because it is essential for healthy muscles and bones. It provides sustenance and strengthens body tissues. Consumption of protein helps cell growth. Many women are unsure about how many grams of protein they should consume in day.

How Much is the Ideal Protein Diet?

The daily protein recommendation for women is around 50 to 60 grams. According to the Institute of Medicine, you can also multiply your weight by .8 to find out your protein needs in grams. Another determining factor is based on your lifestyle and activity level.

Being more active means you need to consume more protein to fuel your muscles. Eating enough protein prevents lean muscle loss. Bodybuilders and competitive athletes in particular will need more protein than those with sedentary lifestyles.

Women are encouraged to consume complete proteins. These types of protein have nine essential amino acids for enhanced nutrition. Some great sources of complete protein are meat, fish, dairy, eggs and soybeans. Getting enough amino acids just from fruits, whole grains and vegetables can be challenging. However, you can combine each food type for a meal with complete protein.

Best Ideal Protein Foods

Meats contain many grams of protein. However, certain cuts of meat contain high levels of saturated fat. For example, an individual serving of steak could contain about 75% of your daily recommended allowance of saturated fat. Choose lean meats like tuna, salmon, flank steak, lamb, turkey and roasted chicken.

Animal Protein

Types of animal protein include:

  • Poultry
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Fish
  • Whey and casein
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Seafood


Poultry contains many vitamins and minerals to develop muscle growth. It is high in protein yet low in calories and fat. This high protein choice is ideal for weight management. There is a high amount of an amino acid called tryptophan in poultry. After consumption, tryptophan fills you up and boosts mood. Tryptophan also reduces stress and improves sleep.


Beef is full of nutrients such as zinc, vitamin B and iron. This high protein selection contains 50% healthy monounsaturated fat which is also found in olive oil. Monounsaturated fats are good for the heart.


Lamb has monounsaturated fat and contains vitamin B to improve metabolism. It is rich in iron and has about 45% zinc to meet the daily requirement. These minerals found in lamb are easier for the body to process than other protein sources.


pork chopPork supplies various vitamins and minerals like phosphorus and vitamin B12. Phosphorus promotes body growth and helps maintain good overall health. Vitamin B12 improves blood formation and boots brain function.


Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which contribute to immunity, better vision and brain health. It has a high vitamin D content which benefits bone and teeth health and protection against disease. Regular consumption of fish may prevent or alleviate depression.

Whey and Casein

Whey is a leftover liquid by-product from cheese production. After being concentrated and dried, it becomes protein powder. Whey protein is quickly metabolized. It is easy to digest and feeds muscles. It contains nine amino acids.

Casein is a main protein in milk. It takes a longer time to metabolize than whey protein. This by-product has every essential amino acid.


Dairy is full of calcium for great bone health and body maintenance. Other nutrients found in dairy include potassium and vitamin D. Potassium helps lower blood pressure and reduces the risk of cardiac disease. Milk, soymilk and yoghurt are dairy products that contain potassium. Vitamin D strengthens bone mass. Fortified vitamin D dairy products like cereals and yoghurt are healthy breakfast choices.


Eggs are great sources of protein because they contain many minerals and vitamins. Some minerals and vitamins found in egg whites are selenium, vitamin B, vitamin D, iron, copper and zinc. Egg whites contain more than 50% of an egg’s protein.


Seafood is high in protein but low in fat. Due to low cholesterol and high amounts of unsaturated fat, seafood limits the risk of cardiac disease when consumed on a regular basis. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in seafood.

Vegan Protein

Types of vegan protein are:

  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Quinoa


Beans are great for lowering cholesterol for excellent heart health. With a high fiber content, beans are beneficial for digestion. Compared to many sources of animal protein, beans do not contain any saturated fat. Beans have many minerals.

Edamame are soybeans that contain approximately 11 grams of protein from half a serving. They are a great source of natural protein for those with celiac disease because they are gluten-free and low in calories. Edamame does not contain any cholesterol. They are rich in iron and calcium.


Lentils provide many health benefits. They stabilize blood sugar. Lentils lower cholesterol and monitor blood sugar levels. Rich in fiber, lentils are excellent for boosting energy. Lentils improve digestive health, metabolism and promote weight loss. They help decrease bloating.

Lentils have many nutrients. They contain folate for DNA repair and cell growth. They provide approximately 90% of your daily requirement of folate. Lentils contain magnesium which contributes to better blood flow and good heart health. A serving of lentils provides about 50% of your daily requirement of manganese.

They are full of iron because they are complex carbohydrates which are slow to process. Lentils help boost energy. Unlike meat, lentils are not high fat and calories. Lentils are rich in protein.

Lentils tend to be easier to prepare than other variations of dried beans. When lentils are cooked with other ingredients, they absorb surrounding flavourings and foods for great taste. Consumption of lentils contributes to healthy hair, better looking skin and prevents the risk of disease.


best ideal protein foodsPeas are a great source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. They reduce bad types of cholesterol. Peas aid in digestion and regulate blood sugar levels. They provide energy, contain antioxidants and decrease inflammation. Peas are great for improving vision and eye health. They are high in protein. Peas contain omega-3 fatty acids and they are low in fat. They help protect against disease.


Nuts have lots of fiber which helps curb cravings and keeps you feeling full. All types of nuts are great in moderation and similar in comparison to calories per ounce. Almonds are the best low calorie option. They contain 6 grams of protein.


Seeds help satisfy appetite because they contain fiber and many nutrients. They contain antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. You can only eat seeds raw otherwise they won’t have any nutrients from being coated or roasted due to heat exposure.


Quinoa is great for cell growth, tissue repair and metabolism. This superfood contains essential amino acids, iron, manganese and magnesium. Iron helps regulate body temperature. Migraines can be reduced due to the effects of magnesium. Quinoa is high in riboflavin (B2) and fiber. B2 contributes to increased energy for the brain and muscles. Quinoa helps manage red blood cells because of its manganese content.

Animal and vegan protein are vital for women’s health. The development of strong bones, muscles and tissues will benefit from at least 50 to 60 grams of protein a day. Complete proteins contain amino acids are high in protein. They are the best choices for a balanced diet.

Samantha Merz

Samantha lives in Vancouver, BC. Samantha is an avid volunteer in the community, enjoys singing and playing badminton.

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