Recommended Amount

The British Nutrition Foundation states that the Reference Nutrient Intake is 0.75g of protein per kg of bodyweight per day in adults. This would be approximately 56g per day in men and 45g per day in women aged 19-50 years. However the are other factors to think about.

Considerations

Age– Extra protein is required in growing infants and children

Sport– For endurance athletes and those doing strength training you may considfer a higher intake of protein at a rate of 1.2-2.0 g per kg of body weight

Diet – Depending on the diet you are following you may be more or less likely to be hitting the protein recommendations. Currently the vegan diet is very popular, and this does provide many benefits in terms of the general higher intake of plants, and therefore nutrients that they provide. However it is important to be mindful that many vegan protein sources do not contain all the 9 essential amino acids, and that you may need to mix sources together to gain a full profile.

Medication– With some medication the intake of protein can impact on the absorption and it may be that you need plan timings. This is something that you should consult with your HCP.

Timing– It is advised that you consume 15-20g of protein 30minutes- 2 hours post training. High fat consumption with this may slow down the digestion, so go for protein and carbs.

Other considerations– Extra protein is recommended in pregnant and breast feeding women.

Protein Ideas and Amounts

The table below is taken from the British Nutrition Foundation and give a good overview in the protein content of various foods- Protein – British Nutrition Foundation – Page #1

Food type Protein content (g) per 100g
Meat protein
Meat Chicken breast (grilled without skin)
Beef steak (lean grilled)
Lamb chop (lean grilled)
Pork chop (lean grilled)
32.0
31.0
29.2
31.6
Fish Tuna (canned in brine)
Mackerel (grilled)
Salmon (grilled)
Cod (grilled)
23.5
20.8
24.2
20.8
Seafood Prawns
Mussels
Crabsticks
22.6
16.7
10.0
Eggs Chicken eggs 12.5
Dairy Whole milk
Semi-skimmed milk
Skimmed milk
Cheddar cheese
Half-fat cheddar
Cottage cheese
Whole milk yogurt
Low fat yogurt (plain)
3.3
3.4
3.4
25.4
32.7
12.6
5.7
4.8
Plant protein
Pulses Red lentils
Chickpeas
7.6
8.4
Beans Kidney beans
Baked beans
Tofu (soya bean steamed)
6.9
5.2
8.1
Grains Wheat flour (brown)
Bread (brown)
Bread (white)
Rice (easy cook boiled)
Oatmeal
Pasta (fresh cooked)
12.6
7.9
7.9
2.6
11.2
6.6
Nuts Almonds
Walnuts
Hazelnuts
21.1
14.7
14.1

Here are a few little ideas for increasing protein- (more recipe ideas on linkedin (Leap Health Anna Reddy) and Instagram (leaphealth.co.uk))

  • Swap mayo/salad cream for greek yoghurt
  • Add in mixed pulses/beans to meals where possible
  • Try a thin omelette as a bread alternative to a wrap
  • Add nuts/ seeds to meals
  • Try making in bulk and just save small portions for snacks- e.g. salmon/ chicken with a dollop of hummus?
  • This is one of my favourite recipes that you can save smaller portions for as a snack. Also easy to make with Aimee, and you can marinade in advance so quick to cook- Chicken Satay | Children’s Food Recipes | Annabel Karmel
  • Pancakes rather than bread, as eggs and milk/greek yoghurt in
  • Frittata’s- Make in mini bun cases and freeze so that they are easy to grab
  • Rice cakes with a protein topping will reduce the carb/protein ratio than bread
  • Salad dressings with yoghurt base such as Tzatziki – Tzatziki sauce recipe | BBC Good Food or this is good –Herby yogurt dressing recipe | BBC Good Food
  • Try cream cheese or cottage cheese in wholemeal pasta
  • Milkshake for snack- milk, banana, yoghurt, tsp honey tsp cocao powder
  • Use lettuce leaf as your wrap and fill with protein based foods, and drizzle of oil

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