How much protein do I REALLY need? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-04-2005, 07:35 PM
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I was lacto-veg for a long time and I am now newly vegan. I'm obviously getting less protein now than when I used to eat a lot of dairy. I go to a very UN-vegatarian-friendly dietician and she stresses/exaggerates the amount of protein and dietary fats I need. She told me that if I was going to be vegetarian that I add milk powder in my milk, increase the amount of cheese I eat (full fat of course), etc, etc. She also says it's a good idea to use margarine and butter and add a ton of fat to stuff I eat. So I obviously concluded that she's really bad at her job.



I've done research about this and all the online sites' recommendations don't seem to be substantial (.4-.5 gm per lbs). I'm not on a sports team, but I do lift weights, do pilates, and in phys ed we can ride bikes, do aerobics and jog. So I can't just have the bare minimum, I want to give my muscles enough. When I was lacto-veg I followed the "eat 1 gm of protein for every lbs of your weight" guideline. It's what my body's used to, but it seems like too much for a vegan (that's way too much soy to eat!). I know it's nearly impossible be deficient with a good diet, but I don't want to be eating "just enough". So what's your input on a happy medium?
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#2 Old 09-04-2005, 07:48 PM
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One gram of protein per pound is insane! Of course it's probably fairly accurate in the omni protein overdose world of meat three times a day. The 0.4-0.5 grams per pound figure sounds a lot more accurate, and I believe that I have read it in at least a few sources.
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#3 Old 09-04-2005, 08:02 PM
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How much do you weigh? I'm about 135lbs, and I try for about 45g of protein a day. That's what I've found that I'm supposed to take from looking around. Maybe try 1g of protein for every 3 pounds? I'm not sure what the exact calculation is, but that's how mine works out.
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#4 Old 09-04-2005, 08:08 PM
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WOW! I agree!!! I haven't even heard the .05 grams per pound ratio, but that sounds closer than 1 gram per pound! WOW! That's really extreme!



I would imagine teens, athletes and pregnant women do have higher needs than us "average" adults. I'm not an expert though, you should probably read up on it, or consult another nutritionist.



Not being nosey, but are there any concerns about you being underweight? You may not "feel" like you're underweight but if your dietician seems to think there is evidence to be concerned, this may be why they are pushing the increased fats? Just asking.
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#5 Old 09-04-2005, 08:11 PM
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I haven't weighed myself in a long time, but I'm guessing I weigh about 108-110 lbs at 5'3ish. I also might have a few more years to grow.
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#6 Old 09-04-2005, 08:18 PM
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Tofu-

I used to be a gymnast for 4-5 years, but I broke my ankle so I quit. I lost some weight & muscle after that, which is how I ended up going to the dietician. I gained back a few lbs and some muscle, so she said I'm fine where I am.
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#7 Old 09-04-2005, 08:30 PM
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10% of your caloric intake from protein should be plenty. There's 4 calories per gram of protein, so that's 50 grams for a 2000 calorie diet.
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#8 Old 09-04-2005, 09:38 PM
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1 g of protein per pound of bodyweight is way too much! The number I've heard is 1g per kilogram (2.2lbs=1kg) of body weight OR 10-15% of your total caloric intake.
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#9 Old 09-05-2005, 12:42 AM
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I don't know how much protein you're suppose to have. I'm not a full vegetarian yet.



I just wanted to say wow OhSewRetro. You were a gymnast. That's so cool. You're short just like me. I'm 5'2". Hooray for short peopleeeeeeee .
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#10 Old 09-05-2005, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinga View Post

1 g of protein per pound of bodyweight is way too much! The number I've heard is 1g per kilogram (2.2lbs=1kg) of body weight OR 10-15% of your total caloric intake.



This topic seems to come up over and over again.



Jinga is right in citing (again) the 1g protein per 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) body weight rule. This equates to 0.4545 grams of protein per pound of body weight.



Arguably, a very physically active person or a person involved in weight-training might need more than the normal amount of protein, but I've not seen any standards for this, and it is usually said that most people get more protein than they really need.



A local vegetarian author, Bo Sebastian, has written a book called the Protein-Powered Vegetarian, consisting of high-protein vegetarian recipes. http://www.bosebastian.com/Vegan.htm



He claims that he felt deprived and failed to thrive on a vegetarian diet, until he adopted one high in protein.
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#11 Old 09-05-2005, 04:12 PM
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OhSewRetro here's a fun fact. Most omni's actually eat double the amount of protein that is needed daily. All that extra protein doesn't get stored away like calcium does. It just turns into fat deposits. So really too much protein isnt healthy either. I know that didn't answer your question but it seemed like everyone else already did, so i just through in that tidbit of info.
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#12 Old 09-05-2005, 07:17 PM
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Thanks Ramona! I think my body is adjusting to a more normal amount of protein already, the 1 gm/lbs was wayy to much, but it's what my body was used to, blech!
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#13 Old 09-07-2005, 12:40 PM
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0.7 g's per kilo is a good amount... for example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you shouldn't get more than 70 g's of protein, unless you're REALLY into working out
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#14 Old 09-07-2005, 11:41 PM
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I have heard a much more conservative amount of 30 to 50 grams for the average adult. The problem (as I understand it) it that to much protein, and especially the super concentrated protein in animal products, leads to calcium loss in the bones. I guess when your body breaks down the protein, it is turned into an acidic substance, which then leaches out the calcium. I think it is called Hypercalciuria, which translates in to too much calcium being lost through the urine. This is all hearsay, but it certainly makes sense. There are numbers to back it up. America and some european countries have the highest dairy and meat consumption of all countries, but also suffer the highest incedence osteoporosis, while countries with virtually no dairy and meat in thier diet have the lowest. This is all gleaned from an interview with Dr. Michael Klaper, who is an MD who strongly supports vegan lifestyles.



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#15 Old 09-11-2005, 07:16 PM
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I've read that if you eat to much protien you'll stop absorbing it and it'll go into extra places.
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#16 Old 09-11-2005, 07:21 PM
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animal proteins contain more sulfurous amino acids, i belive, which contributes to calcium leaching



too much protein doesn't stop getting absorbed, most of it just ends up as nitrogenous wastes which puts straian on our kidneys (primarily, but also our livers, etc.)
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#17 Old 09-13-2005, 09:46 AM
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0.8-1.0 g per kilogram should be lots. So that's about 50g of protein per day if you are 110lbs, using 1.0 g/kg.



You don't need to worry so much about combining proteins at meals. But you should eat a variety of proteins throughout the day (grains, legumes, etc) to be sure you are getting all of your essential amino acids.



From my experience, dietitians are ok with lacto-ovo vegetarianism, but not veganism. It could be because of a few scary cases where vegans had no idea what they were doing and ended up with a bunch of deficiencies.



It is generally recommended that vegans eat a few extra tablespoons of (good) fats per day - just to increase caloric intake. I'm not so sure if there is any good reasoning behind this. If you're getting all the calories you need from other sources, I wouldn't worry about it.



It might be a good idea to monitor your weight to make sure you are getting enough calories. At 5'3" and 100lbs, your BMI is on the low end of the healthy weight range.
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#18 Old 09-13-2005, 10:15 AM
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There is no such thing as protein deficiency in people who eat enough calories to quell hunger. Scientists researching it have to create an artifically protein stripped diet just to evoke symptoms; the name is protein-calorie malnutrition, which actually comes from starvation, and not from lack of protein.



http://drmcdougall.com/debate.html



Basically only animal protein is harmful, not plant protein. And yes, animal protein is very high in sulfur amino acids, thus causing osteoporosis since the body takes calcium from the bones to buffer the acidity.

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#19 Old 09-13-2005, 10:16 AM
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Your body doesn't store protein, it just gets rid of the extra. In America, they encourage people to eat something like 1/3 more protein than we need, mostly because it sells more animal proteins, which in turn makes a lot of money. I read once that I was supposed to get 65g of protein per day...which now I think is a load of bull. I'm 135 and getting 65g of protein is quite excessive, I think.
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#20 Old 09-13-2005, 10:22 AM
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Another interesting point is that mother's milk is only 5% protein by calories. An we all know how fast infants grow. A 2000 calorie diet at this level would be a mere 25 grams of protein. I think 5% is actually the World Health Organization's recommendation as well.

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#21 Old 09-13-2005, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coney View Post

Your body doesn't store protein, it just gets rid of the extra.



I've heard that any "unused" protein gets turned into fat, but I could be wrong.



Anyway, 1 gram per kilogram of bodyweight seems a bit much too.. I'd have to have 67 grams per day! That's...a LOT of beans, haha. But then again I don't exercise all that much.. :P
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#22 Old 09-13-2005, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veganmaster View Post

There is no such thing as protein deficiency in people who eat enough calories to quell hunger. Scientists researching it have to create an artifically protein stripped diet just to evoke symptoms; the name is protein-calorie malnutrition, which actually comes from starvation, and not from lack of protein.



http://drmcdougall.com/debate.html



Basically only animal protein is harmful, not plant protein. And yes, animal protein is very high in sulfur amino acids, thus causing osteoporosis since the body takes calcium from the bones to buffer the acidity.



So you are saying a person that lived off candy and soda wouldn't have a protein defiency? That doesn't seem believable. We need some protein, just not as much as we are lead to assume.
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#23 Old 09-13-2005, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Meidi View Post

I've heard that any "unused" protein gets turned into fat, but I could be wrong.



Anyway, 1 gram per kilogram of bodyweight seems a bit much too.. I'd have to have 67 grams per day! That's...a LOT of beans, haha. But then again I don't exercise all that much.. :P



Any extra calories are stored as fat, no matter where they come from. If you eat too much protein, but not too many calories, I think your body just filters the excess protein out. If done to excess, it causes undue strain on your system.
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#24 Old 09-13-2005, 12:40 PM
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I studied nutrition in school for a few semesters in the 1990s. We were told that 25-30 grams is adequate for an adult. This is about one small piece of meat (no wider than a fist). Say a small chicken breast. Contrary to popular belief (and the propaganda from the meat and dairy industry) vegetables such as potatoes and broccoli do contain protein and in sufficient amounts for most vegetarians.



I have a moderately active lifestlye and a fast metabolism. I am fairly small and thin. I eat a mostly raw vegan diet. When I need protein, I will take a soy protein shake (there are also rice, whey, hemp, and vegetable protein formulas, so choose one that works for you). One scoop of powder is generally 15-25 grams. Sometimes I use half a scoop. I generally do not do a shake every day. I know when I need protein because I become so hungry that I need to eat more but other types of foods only satisfy me for a short while. Then after I take the shake, I feel fine again. I can go for longer between meals. I prefer not to take the shakes every day because they are processed foods. But they are good supplements. Tofu is cooked (I am trying to eat raw foods). I have been able to find fresh raw edamame at Trader Joe's from time to time.



There is a danger to eating too much protein as many others have pointed to in this thread. Protein is acid forming in the blood and body fluids (just think of all the hydrochloric acid in the stomach that is produced to digest the protein; it travels into the intestines with the food for absorbtion; the intestines are alkaline and need protection from this acid). The body needs to protect itself from the acid, so it leaches calcium from the bones to escort the protein out of the body. In addition, the body surrounds acid with fat cells as protection. These fat cells are then transported to areas of the body that are farthest from the vital organs (which need to be alkaline). This is major cause of weight gain. For more information about this, read the "pH Miracle" by Robert and Shelly Young.
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#25 Old 09-13-2005, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meidi View Post

I've heard that any "unused" protein gets turned into fat, but I could be wrong.



Anyway, 1 gram per kilogram of bodyweight seems a bit much too.. I'd have to have 67 grams per day! That's...a LOT of beans, haha. But then again I don't exercise all that much.. :P



Actually, if you are 110 lbs:



110 lbs divided by 2.2 (pounds per kg) = 50 kg. So at 0.8-1.0 grams of protein per kilogram, that 40-50g of protein. And that's being conservative.



One cup of soy milk (Silk) has 7g of protein. One veggie dog has about 10 g of protein. So if you have those two at a meal, that's 17 g protein right there. Half a cup of almonds throughout the day as a snack gives you another 15. That's 32g.



Just about everything you eat (unless it is pure sugar or fat) has at least some protein in it.
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#26 Old 09-15-2005, 03:54 AM
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i weigh 105 pounds and when we calculated our exact protein needs in my nutrition and dietetics classes, my protein needs only total about 38g/day
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#27 Old 09-15-2005, 08:19 AM
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i weigh 105 pounds and when we calculated our exact protein needs in my nutrition and dietetics classes, my protein needs only total about 38g/day



Keep in mind that that is at a rate of 0.8 g protein per kilogram of body weight. You would need slightly more if you were particularly active.
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#28 Old 09-15-2005, 10:18 AM
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this post has got me worried. i weigh around 50 kg, and after looking at the different things I eat during the day, it looks like i get around 60g of protein most days. now i'm worried that i'm getting way too much protein and i'm losing all my calcium. i think i need to reconsider my diet. :/
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#29 Old 09-15-2005, 02:05 PM
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this post has got me worried. i weigh around 50 kg, and after looking at the different things I eat during the day, it looks like i get around 60g of protein most days. now i'm worried that i'm getting way too much protein and i'm losing all my calcium. i think i need to reconsider my diet. :/



0.8 g/kg is just a rough guide. At that rate you are getting 1.2g/kg. Many people get way too much protein, in the order of 2-3 times as much as they need. You would need to be getting more protein than you are for there to be a severe negative effect. Don't worry too much about it
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#30 Old 09-19-2005, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by fyvel View Post

0.8 g/kg is just a rough guide. At that rate you are getting 1.2g/kg. Many people get way too much protein, in the order of 2-3 times as much as they need. You would need to be getting more protein than you are for there to be a severe negative effect. Don't worry too much about it



thanks for the reassurence.
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