Regardless of whether you're a vegan or eat meat, protein is an important part of your daily diet. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight though — meaning that the amount of protein you should eat differs from person to person. If you're keen on a high protein diet, be sure to get protein from a variety of sources. Your 100 grams of protein can be obtained from cheese, eggs, nuts, meats and other healthy foods.
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Daily Protein Consumption
Although the Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, certain diets may involve you eating more protein than that. These diets include low carbohydrate diets and ketogenic diets.
High protein diets aren't suitable for everyone, but are often recommended for athletes. According to Today's Dietitian and Christopher Mohr, PhD, RD, between 1.2 and 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is recommended for endurance athletes, while between 1.2 and 1.7 grams of protein per body weight is good for strength and power athletes.
It's not only athletes who should obtain more than the standard amount of protein. Pregnant people should consume 1.1 kilograms of protein per day, while lactating people should consume 1.3 kilograms per day. For people who need to eat more protein, eating 100 grams of protein per day can be a perfectly healthy option. The main thing you should consider is what sources your protein is coming from.
Eating 100 Grams of Protein
Protein can come from a wide variety of sources. The main sources include eggs, cheese, legumes, poultry, meat, nuts, seafood, seeds and soy products. All of these sources of protein are healthy, although most should be consumed in moderation.
For example, the American Heart Association recommends no more than one egg per day as part of a healthy diet. Much more than that can increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Some protein sources are more beneficial than others. Fatty fish are rich in protein and also contain healthy fatty acids. These fatty acids, known as omega-3 fatty acids, have been linked to a wide range of health benefits. The dietary guidelines recommend eating about 8 ounces of seafood per week.
At the end of the day, if you're going to eat 100 grams of protein daily, the most important thing is to make sure you're obtaining it from varied sources. Try and limit your amount of processed meats, like bacon or pate, and red meat; these may increase your risk of colon cancer.
Good Sources of Protein
There are many foods that are good sources of protein. However, remember that these food products, like humans, have high water content. This means that even if your chosen food is low in carbohydrates or fats, 100 grams of chicken breast is not equivalent to 100 grams of protein.
Some examples from the USDA Food Products Database include:
- Chicken, especially cuts like chicken breast, is very high in protein; 100 grams of chicken breast has 14.49 grams of protein.
- Eggs are a great source of protein, and 100 grams of eggs (about two large eggs) has 12 grams of protein.
- Fish, especially fatty fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, are a great source of protein. A fish like salmon will have 30.23 grams of protein in every 100 grams.
- Nuts are good sources of protein, especially for vegans and vegetarians. You can eat almonds —
one of the most protein-rich nuts —
raw, toasted or as a nut butter. One hundred grams of almonds contains 21.15 grams of protein.
- Seeds are also good sources of protein. Sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds are both good options that can be used in salads or other dishes, and 100 grams of pumpkin seeds contains 20 grams of protein.
- Shellfish and crustaceans, like shrimp, are also good sources of protein. One hundred grams of shrimp contains 20.1 grams of protein.
Eating 100 grams of protein in a day should mean using several different protein sources. That way, you can benefit from the different vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients in each food. When planning your meals, remember that a typical 2,000 calorie diet recommends 4 ounces of nuts, seeds and soy products; 8 ounces of seafood; 24 ounces of meat and egg products per week; and that vegetables and dairy can also contribute to your total protein needs. Paneer's protein content, for instance, is equivalent to that of many nuts, seeds and shellfish. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend selecting lean meats and poultry when possible, and substituting seafood for meat twice a week.
- USDA Food Composition Database
- Health.gov: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010
- A Framework for Assessing Effects of the Food System: DIETARY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FISH CONSUMPTION
- Today's Dietitian: Athletes and Protein Intake
- Food and Nutrition Board: Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Recommended Dietary Allowances and Adequate Intakes, Total Water and Macronutrients
- Health.gov: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015
- Harvard Health Blog: How much protein do you need every day?
- American Heart Association: Are eggs good for you or not?
- BBC Good Food: How much meat is safe to eat?
- NIH Office of Dietary Supplements: Omega-3 Fatty Acids