How much protein do we really need?

Everyone is obsessed with getting enough protein these days.

It's no wonder. After all, protein comes from the Greek word, "proteios" meaning "of prime importance", so naturally we have been taught to value this macronutrient more highly than any other in our Western diet.

But how much protein do we really need?

The truth is we don't need very much. In fact, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) is only about 10% of calories. That's about .36 grams of protein for every pound that you weigh. So a 120lb adult woman should consume about 43 grams of protein each day. To be on the safe side, the higher range can be .45 grams of protein/lb or 49 grams of protein each day for that same adult female. And for an average adult male who weighs 165lbs, the range would be 59-68g.

Here is a sample menu to show you just how easy it is to get all of your daily protein requirements from plant foods based on RDA above.

MEAL

FOOD ITEM

GRAMS OF PROTEIN

BREAKFAST

1/3 cup oatmeal

4 grams

1 cup soy milk

7 grams

1/4 cup almonds

8 grams

LUNCH

Veggie Burger

16 grams

2 slices of sprouted whole wheat bread

8 grams

DINNER

Quinoa Bowl:

1 cup black beans

15 grams

1 cup quinoa

8 grams

1/2 cup corn

3 grams

TOTAL

69 GRAMS