Before I get into today’s subject, I wanted to inform my readers that I have not forgotten about my promise to have my blood work done and share the results with them. Apparently, it takes more than a week for the fasted leptin result to be available but I should be getting it in a few days.
Where did the amount of protein we need to consume come from? Well, in the picture below you see a gathering of my classmates and I from Robert College (we’re talking about more than 60 years of friendship) having a reunion lunch yesterday.
We were talking about some of the subjects in the blog when one of my friends asked me how much protein we needed to consume.
So here goes.
Given the popularity of “high protein” diets these days, one might be lead to believe that you simply can’t overeat protein. However, the truth is that consuming excessive amounts of protein can be quite detrimental to your health.
We all know that the body needs protein and that its array of amino acids are the primary building blocks for your muscles, bones, and many hormones. YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT PROTEIN.
As you age, and during pregnancy, consuming sufficient amounts of high-quality protein is especially important, as your ability to process protein declines under these circumstances.
With advancing age, and of course inactivity, males have a propensity to lose lean muscle mass. High quality animal protein helps slow down this process.
Having said that, there is an upper limit to how much protein your body can actually use.
So, your goal should be a diet with enough, but not too much, high quality protein from a variety of plant and animal sources.
EXCESS PROTEIN MAY FUEL WEIGHT GAIN, YEAST OVERGROWTH, AND CANCER
If you eat more protein than your body requires, it will simply convert most of those calories to sugar and then fat. Increased blood sugar levels can also feed pathogenic bacteria and yeast (remember Candida from my September 28, 2015 post), as well as fuel cancer cell growth.
Additionally, when you consume too much protein, your body must remove more nitrogen waste products from the blood, which will stress your kidneys.
LOWERING YOUR PROTEIN INTAKE MAY EXTEND YOUR LIFESPAN
If you implement approaches like protein cycling (for example no meat on Mondays) in which you replicate our homo sapien ancestral patterns of going through feast and famine, you can help normalize your amino acid levels. That is one of the reasons why I keep advising my readers to practice INRETMITTENT FASING.
HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR PROTEIN REQUIREMENTS
You most probably need about ONE GRAM of protein PER KILOGRAM OF LEAN BODY MASS.
For most people, this means consuming 40 to 70 grams of protein a day. This comes down to a protein serving that is about the size of a deck of cards.
Let’s be a bit more exact. First, determine YOUR LEAN BODY MASS. There are some scales that give out a reading of “Percentage of Body Fat”. You can get a more exact reading in some sports salons or from your dietician.
Let’s say you have 20 percent body fat, then you have 80 percent lean body mass. If you weigh 75 kg. this means your lean body mass is (75 x 0.80) 60 kg. SO, YOU NEED TO CONSUME 60 GRAMS OF PROTEIN PER DAY.
For example, I weigh 73 kg. and my percentage of body fat is 12 %. This means I should consume about 64.24 gm. of protein a day.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN TERMS OF FOOD?
Red meat, 100 gm. 23 gm.
Chicken breast, 100 gm. 16,79 gm.
Sea bass, 100 gm. 17.73 gm.
Anchovies, 100 gm. 23.35 gm.
Salmon, 100 gm. 19.79 gm.
Turkey breast, 100 gm. 30.35 gm.
Eggs (whole), 2 12.56 gm.
Almonds, ½ cup 15.12 gm.
Hazel Nuts, ½ cup 8.6 gm.
Pistachios, ½ cup 12.4 gm.
Cooked grains, 1 cup 5-7 gm.
Cooked beans, 1 cup 14-16 gm.
Fata Cheese, 50 gm. 7.10 gm.
Swiss Cheese, 50 gm. 13.48 gm.
You are probably thinking that a 100-gram serving is not much, and you are probably right. But let’s see what this adds up to. I’m not including the protein one would get from vegetables, nuts, etc. If, for example, I had 2 eggs for breakfast and a 200 gm. serving of steak for lunch or dinner, I would be getting 61.56 gm. of protein; that’s almost my daily limit.
If you don’t want to bother with all these calculations, just stick to the “deck of cards” rule and you should be OK.
I know that this might be difficult in Turkey, but try to eat “grass-fed” animals, “free-range “chickens and their eggs, and wild (not farmed) deep sea fish.
I hope this will answer the question my dear friend asked.
See you all next week.