How Much Protein Should You Eat Every Day for Optimal Health and Weight Loss?

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This means that if you eat around 2000 calories a day, you should consume between 50 and 175 grams of protein in your daily diet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 to 35 percent of daily calories should come from protein, which is equivalent to 46 grams for adult women and 56 grams for adult men. It is best to spread out your protein intake throughout the day, rather than consuming a large amount in one meal. People who are very active should aim for 1.2 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

Protein contains 4 calories per gram, so it takes longer to digest than other types of nutrients, keeping you full for longer. Supplements are not a good substitute for protein-rich foods, as they often lack other essential nutrients such as fiber. Studies have shown that eating a high-protein diet over a long period of time can lead to eating less and weighing less. A 3-ounce piece of meat (about the size of a deck of cards) contains 21 grams of protein, while a cup of dried beans has 16 grams. This can help you meet the 56 gram requirement for an adult male. A high-protein diet is not recommended for people with kidney disease or those on dialysis.

Excess protein can hinder the functioning of the kidneys and their ability to filter waste, acids and excess water from the body. Not eating enough protein can lead to overeating other types of food. Protein is an essential nutrient that plays an important role in building and maintaining the health of the body, including muscles, skin and bones. The DRI calculator for health professionals is an interactive tool that can help you calculate daily nutritional recommendations based on dietary reference intakes (DRI) established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Many Americans still remember the struggles of the Great Depression, when many families couldn't afford protein, especially meat. Eating the right amount of protein as part of a balanced diet is only one part of achieving a healthy weight.