Protein For Women



Is Adequate Protein For Women Really An Issue?

The question regarding what the daily intake of protein for women should be likely stems from the knowledge that protein is found in every part of the body, every cell in fact. Up to a third of our daily intake of calories usually comes from protein, and it is well documented that a diet lacking in protein can cause numerous health problems and even death. The protein we get from the foods we eat supplies the amino acids we need to create protein in the body. Amino acids are not stored, so must be constantly replenished through our food in take.


How Much Does One Need? - The amount of protein we need in our diet is proportional to body size, so in general women require less on a daily basis than do men. A man of average size, about 155 pounds, needs 60 grams of protein per day, while a 130 pound woman needs between 48 and 50 grams per day. To find your specific requirement for protein, multiplying your body weight in pounds by 0.37 will give you the number of grams of protein you need. The amount of protein for women who are pregnant or nursing is higher, 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight, plus an additional 25 grams for good measure.

To determine whether you are getting the right amounts of protein, all you need to do is match the calculated figure that applies to your own situation, and compare it to the amount of protein contained in your daily diet. That means taking into account serving sizes, different foods, and converting percentages into grams. It can be done, but if you eat a variety of different foods, changing from one day to the next, you can spend lots of time doing your calculations. Still, doing the math on a one time basis could prove to be enlightening.


In General, We Get Plenty Of Protein - What you'll likely discover, if you live in North America, or most of the developed countries for that matter, you get plenty of protein every day. In the United States it's been estimated that we get two to three times the recommended daily requirement on the average. Cases of protein deficiency are really quite rare in this country, even among nursing and pregnant women. When you consider the fact that a 3 ounce cut of lean meat provides roughly half the protein most women need in a day, it's easy to see that it isn't all that difficult to get an adequate supply.

Meat and dairy products provide the greatest amount of protein on a per serving basis. A glass of skim milk and an egg gives you a quarter of your daily requirement. Beans, other legumes, and whole wheat bread are all excellent sources of protein. Vegetables on the average provide less amounts of protein, as do fruits, but of course provide other elements of nutrition our body needs. Vegetarians need not worry about having a protein deficiency if their diet includes a reasonable amount of whole grain breads and cereals. If not, vegetarians may be at some risk of incurring a protein deficiency. There are occasional instances where a vegetarian diet might not supply sufficient protein for women who are nursing or pregnant.

Protein Supplements - Much is made about the need for protein supplements in our diet. There are both positives and negatives regarding supplements. It is good that they are available if you need them, and even if you absolutely don't need them, but in taking them you get some peace of mind, it may not be a bad idea as long as you don't overdo it. The negatives are, any time you take a supplement, such as protein powder or a protein shake, you may not know what other ingredients are included, and you want to be aware of what you're ingesting. In addition, too much protein is not good for you, since excess protein draws calcium from your bones, which in the long term could lead to osteoporosis. This is one of those cases where, when the symptoms become apparent, it may be too late to do anything about the problem. If you do feel the need for a protein supplement, consult with a dietitian, or your doctor, instead of reading the advertisements for the product. Eat healthy foods, take things in moderation, and you should not have to worry about your protein needs.