How Much Protein Do You Need?

Health poobahs and the government’s food pyramid recommend that we eat very little protein, which happens to be a no-science, no-facts recipe for disaster.

In fact, most politically-correct diets can lead to poor health, disease, and death.

How much protein you need is a case in point.

Without protein, your body’s in a world of hurt. Your brain doesn’t work. Your endocrine system doesn’t work. Your digestion doesn’t work. In short, life is less than wonderful.

But it’s hard to overdose on protein.

An aside: If your stomach acid is low, you won’t get the full benefits of protein. The little purple pill so many people take to lower stomach acid–which is usually too low already (and why don’t doctors actually test before they start with the purple pill?) can make it impossible for your stomach to fully digest protein. Chaos ensues, telling you “loud and clear” that you need to fix the mess so you can digest protein. It’s not optional.

Growth requires protein, so children and expectant mothers should go for it. Aging gracefully also requires protein. I’m assuming you don’t want to just fall apart?

Weight loss requires protein, too, and cutting back carbs. That was established in 1863–and argued about ever since. Arguments aside, protein boosts your metabolism.

You need protein with every meal, especially breakfast.

Plant proteins are incomplete. Animal proteins–eggs, fish, red meat, for instance–offer the most nutrition.

However, red meat requires a discussion: The nutrition in grocery store beef is so severely compromised by the cows’ diet of corn and soy, it lacks nutritional oomph. Big time.

And grocery store beef comes loaded with hormones and antibiotics. Studies blare out that red meat causes colon cancer, but it’s not the meat; it’s the antibiotics and, especially, the hormones. Buy 100% grass-fed beef–no antibiotics, no hormones, no corn, no soy–and all those problems go away.

Let’s break down a healthful diet.

To calculate your daily protein needs, multiply your ideal weight by .75. Then multiply your actual weight by .75. For example, if your ideal weight is 150, and your actual weight is 180, you’ll calculate 112 and 135. This means your diet should include between 112 and 135 grams of protein a day, about 30% of your diet.

If you have kidney disease or diabetes, ask your doctor to monitor your progress.

Here are some sample numbers to calculate your protein intake:

  • Large egg: 6 grams
  • ½ C cottage cheese: 15 grams (get organic to avoid antibiotics, etc.)
  • 1 ounce cheddar or swiss cheese: 7-8 grams per ounce
  • 1 ounce beef, chicken, fish, pork: 7 grams per ounce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter: 8 grams
  • 1/4 C almonds: 8 grams
  • 1/4 C peanuts: 9 grams
  • 1/4 C pecans: 2.5 grams
  • ½ C cooked split peas: 8 grams
  • ;½ C cooked beans (black, pinto, lentils, etc.): 7-10 grams

Carbs should be low. Some recommend a diet with 30% carbs, but that’s pushing it. If you want to lose weight, your diet should be no more than 10% carbs, and the carbs should be complex so they don’t turn to sugar as soon as they enter your mouth.

Include enough saturated fat in your diet to add up to 100%. So, if protein is 30% and carbs are 10%, fat should be 60%. With all the ranting and raving about fat, the very thought of 60% fat may give you heart palpitations, but don’t fret fat; be in peace. Your heart, your brain and your endocrine system will rise up and bless you.

More and more research is rolling in about how diets with plenty ‘o saturated fat are reversing a whole bunch of diseases that were always thought to be irreversible. And saturated fat lowers your cholesterol. Bonus!

Saturated fat also satisfies your appetite so you don’t nibble all day.

Consider coconut oil. (Use the search feature, in the right column, to learn more about it.)

Eggs offer a fabulous combination of saturated fat and protein. Get pastured eggs raised without soy.

Beef always does a body good. And it provides a lot more than protein and saturated fat. For instance, it contains heme iron to prevent anemia. With beef, unlike iron pills, the body can dump any iron it can’t use.

This unexpected praise of saturated fat may come as a surprise and make you question if it’s true. Not to worry; it’s been proved, with solid research, time and time again.

God is good,
Bette Dowdell

About the author: Bette is all about determination. A drunk driver smashed into her parents’ car when she was a baby, and she ended up with a concussion. The concussion put her endocrine system (the thyroid and the rest of the gang) pretty much out of business. Well, that system controls all of health, life was a mess, and doctors didn’t help. So, she got her Oh-Yeah! attitude in gear and researched her way out. It took years. Along the way, her fascination with how our bodies work grew, and grew, and grew, so Bette’s still researching. Subscribe to her free health e-mails at

The content of the Too Pooped To Participate blog is provided as general information only.

© by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved

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