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Topic Originator Date Posted
Protein Needs
By: Anonymous
10/30/2012 8:58:45 AM

I was wondering how much protein I need to eat on a daily basis.  I am a middle-aged female and want to make some healthy changes in my diet.  Thanks!


Reply Posted By: Gail Peitzmeier, Ed.D, RD, LD - Female, Des Moines, IA, 50309

Date Posted: 10/30/2012 10:38:18 AM

Expert Reply

By: Gail Peitzmeier, Ed.D, RD, LD


Thank you for your great question.  

Proteins make-up every cell, tissue, and organ in our body.  As the body uses the proteins to do various tasks, they are broken down and will then need to be replaced.  The protein we eat in food is digested and then broken down into amino acids and are then used later to replace the proteins in our body.

Nutrient needs, such as protein, can vary among individuals.  Age, gender, health status, and activity level are all factors in determining nutrient needs.  In general, protein should make up 10-35% of your total caloric intake.  So for a middle-aged woman, this could be 45-50 grams per day.  

Protein is found in the following foods:

  • meats, poultry, and fish
  • legumes (dry beans and peas)
  • tofu
  • eggs
  • nuts and seeds
  • milk and milk products
  • grains, some vegetables, and some fruits (provide only small amounts of protein relative to other sources)

Ideally, one should consume protein with each meal.  Contact your Better Living Dietitian or Health Coach to assist you with your lifestyle changes.