What is the recommended dietary allowance for proteins based on?

Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

The government-mandated Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for proteins is based on body weight. Take a minute to calculate your protein requirement. The amount is considerably less than the amount most Americans typically take in. The RDA is as follows: Multiply 0.36 gram by your weight in pounds or 0.8 gram by your weight in kilograms. This will equal the grams of protein needed each day. For example, a woman who weighs 118 pounds would require 43 grams of protein each day. A man who weighs 60 kilograms would require 48 grams of protein each day.

The average American easily reaches and often exceeds this protein requirement without even being on a high-protein diet. Actual daily protein consumption ranges from 88 to 92 grams for men and from 63 to 66 grams for women. There are, however, many conditions in which extra protein is needed, including childhood/ adolescence (growth), pregnancy, lactation, intense strength and endurance training, and when living with some diseases, such as AIDS and cancer. Elderly persons also may require additional amounts of protein. In these cases, multiply .8 gram by your weight in pounds. This will equal the grams of protein needed each day in a high-protein diet.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.