Protein Requirements

Jacqueline Alwill

Brown Paper Nutrition

Protein can be found in both animal and plant food sources. Our bodies need amino acids – the building blocks of protein – to manufacture hormones and enzymes, and for growth, development and repair.

Protein requirements vary male to female and depending on stage of life. The demands will also go up based on activity levels, in pregnancy to support foetal growth and in older demographics… usually a time when protein intake declines when it is actually needed most. These RDI are a general guideline for you.

Meeting your protein needs is relatively simple, but don’t assume high / excessive protein intake means extra gold stars. As always focus on the QUALITY of your protein before excess QUANTITY. Not all protein is created equal.

Another misconception I’ve often worked through with clients is that gram weight doesn’t equal protein weight. So I’ve listed a few foods below to give you a rough idea of protein vs food weight.

160 piece atlantic salmon approx 31g
1 cup cooked lentils approx 17.9g
2 eggs approx 12.5g
3 tbsp hummus approx 2.5g
10 almonds approx 2.5g
1 cup cooked quinoa approx 8.1g
1/2 cup greek full fat yoghurt approx 11g

Adequate protein intake can also help curb sugar cravings and excessive snack snackity snacking so if that’s you then consider looking at the quality and quantity of protein across your day and make sure you’re meeting the RDI based on your body weight.

A day on a plate of good quality and adequate quantity of protein may look like:
BF: 2 eggs whisk with a mashed banana 🍌 and vanilla as a delicious pancake or 2 boiled eggs if you’re on the go
AM SNACK: 1/2 cup Greek yoghurt or cottage cheese with some berries
LUNCH: Lentil quinoa salad with heaps of veggies too of course
PM SNACK: handful raw nuts and seeds / soy coffee
DINNER : piece of salmon or protein of choice with stacks of greens and nourishing carbs
DESSERT if that’s you (definitely me right now) fresh medjool date with spoon of natural peanut butter – frozen is ALL TIME. 🤤

All easily accessible and delicious whole food sources !