Calculating Recommended Protein Amounts in Adults
RDA of protein depends on your age, your size, and your gender.
Formula for Adults
Currently, the recommended protein amounts for most adults is around 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day, making the formula:
(bodyweight in kg)(.8g of protein) = protein needed per day.
One kilogram equals 2.2 pounds. So if a person weighs 165 lbs:
165 pounds/2.2kg = (75kg)(.8g protein) = 60 grams of protein per day.
(165)/(2.2)(.8) = 60
Translate Math Into Food – How Much Protein Do You Need?
- One ounce of most cooked meats or fish have 7g of protein
- One portion of meat is 3 ounces, so you get 21 g of protein from one serving, or 1/3 of your daily protein needs IF, you are 165 lbs and need 60 g of protein a day.
That means that an 8 oz. piece of meat provides 56 g of protein, almost a full day’s requirement of protein. 3-4 ounces of meat per meal should satisfy the protein requirements for most adults.
Grains and beans/legumes should be eaten in a 2:1 ratio (grain 2:bean/legume 1), so one portion of each for a meal looks like:
- 1 cup of brown rice (5 g of protein) and 1/2 cup of black beans (20 g of protein) has 26 g of protein – provides a complete protein and the even more protein than 3 ounces of meat (21 g). Amazing right???
Calculating Protein Amounts In Children
Nutritionists at the USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston recommend the following formula for children:
Healthy 1-to-3-year-old children need 0.55 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.
The average 24-month-old weighs 26 to 29 pounds and needs 16 grams of protein each day.
According to the Mayo Clinic:
Children Ages 2-3: 5 to 20% of daily calories (13 to 50 grams for 1,000 daily calories)
Girls Ages 4-8: 10 to 30% of daily calories (30 to 90 grams for 1,200 daily calories)
Boys Ages 4-8: 10 to 30% of daily calories (35 to 105 grams for 1,400 daily calories)
Girls Ages 9-13: 10 to 30% of daily calories (40 to 120 grams for 1,600 daily calories)
Boys Ages 9-13: 10 to 30% of daily calories (45 to 135 grams for 1,800 daily calories)
Girls Ages 14-18: 10 to 30% of daily calories (45 to 135 grams for 1,800 daily calories)
Boys Ages 14-18: 10 to 30% of daily calories (55 to 165 grams for 2,200 daily calories)
The Mayo Clinic gives a large range here, which I think demonstrates the point that all children are different – just like us adults – and that’s ok. So, try to resist the urge to compare your child with the other kids on the block. If your child is healthy eating less protein than others that’s all right, as long as he or she is within what is considered a healthy range.
Children can get all the protein needed from dairy foods, quality whole grains and vegetables.
All of the following provide six to eight grams of protein (about the same amount in each ounce of lean meat, fish and poultry):
- one-ounce serving of cheese (6 g for soft cheese, 7-8 g for medium, 10 g for hard)
- cup of milk (8 g protein)
- one cup soymilk (6-10 g protein)
- an extra-large egg (6 g protein)
- 6 ounces yogurt (8-12 g protein)
- 6 ounces soy yogurt (6 g protein)
- two tablespoons of peanut butter (8 g protein)
- one-half cup of beans (10-20 g protein)
- Breads and cereals: two to four grams of protein in each serving
- Most vegetables: one to three grams per serving
Check Out More Protein Amounts in Foods
Animal Sources of Complete Proteins:
- White meat of chicken and turkey (7 g of protein per ounce, 3 ounces is one portion or 21 g of protein)
- Fish (about 7 g of protein 3 1/2 ounces): tuna, shrimp, cod, snapper, salmon, scallops, although know what fish to limit based on high mercury counts
- Dairy: milk, eggs, cheese (try to eat organic, Omega 3 source) – these sources can increase fat intake and should be limited
- Beef is high in protein, but often high in fat, so try select lean cuts of beef when eating it
Vegetarian Sources of Complete Proteins:
- Soybeans, tofu, soy nuts, soy milk, soy yogurt
- Beans/legumes: (lentils, split peas, kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans and garbanzo beans) combined with whole grains
- Other protein sources: crimini mushrooms; spinach; mustard greens; collard greens, cauliflower; nuts; seeds; many other vegetables