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If good health and weight loss are your goals, be sure to get the right amount of protein. Learn about how much protein you need, how often you need it, and the best plant sources of this crucial nutrient.

Protein is an important nutrient that helps your body in many different ways. It plays a role in healthy cells, assists with building and maintaining your bones, skin and muscles, and supplies your body with the amino acids it needs to make hormones.

Protein also helps maintain a healthy immune system, assists with digestion, and plays a part in the synthesis of important brain chemicals.

In addition, protein is important for people who are trying to lose weight, because it is more satiating than carbohydrates.

Because protein is so important to your overall health, it’s important to get enough protein in your daily diet. But how much is enough? And can you consume too much protein?

Here, the providers at NutriHealth Weight Loss, with offices in Georgetown, Middletown,  and Milford, Delaware, offer some important context about how much protein you need and where you can turn to make sure you’re eating enough protein-rich food.

The just-right amount of protein for you

There is no one amount of protein that is right for everyone. Protein needs vary from person-to-person based on age, weight, gender, fitness level, and other factors.

However, there is one simple rule of thumb for protein: You need to eat it every day, because your body can’t store it for future use. Be sure to spread it out throughout your day, rather than eating it mostly at one meal.

In general, most adults need anywhere from 50-175 grams of protein daily. But that’s a huge range. You can determine precisely how much protein you need by using this handy online protein calculator from the US Department of Agriculture. You can also contact our practice to schedule personalized nutritional counseling.

Fortunately, the chances are pretty good that if you’re healthy and you’re eating the right amount of a wide range of nutritious foods, including protein-rich foods, you’re getting enough protein.

Good food sources of protein

Like many people, you may believe that to get enough protein, you need to eat large amounts of meat, fish, eggs, cheese, and dairy foods. But the fact is, you can meet all of your protein needs without relying on meat and other dairy foods.

Some excellent sources of plant-based protein include:

  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Peas
  • Seeds
  • Some veggie burgers
  • Soy foods such as soymilk, tempeh, and tofu

In addition, protein is found in whole grains such as quinoa as well as certain vegetables such as leafy greens, seaweed, broccoli, and green peas.

If you have trouble getting enough protein, you can get an extra boost from protein shakes, smoothies, bars, or drinks. But unless you have special protein needs, it’s preferable to get your protein from whole, plant-based foods.

Learn where to find the nutrients you need

The care providers at NutriHealth Weight Loss look forward to offering you guidance on weight loss, nutrition, and optimizing your diet. To schedule a consultation, make an appointment online, or call one of our two conveniently located offices.