What should be my required daily protein intake?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Eating the Right Amount

There is no hard and fast way to measure your required protein intake -- but rather, there are a few: by percentage of calories, by weight and by age. This may be confusing, but the end numbers for all measures are not so much conflicting as they are inclusionary.

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) change with age:
  • Infants require about 10 grams a day.
  • Teenage boys need up to 52 grams a day.
  • Teenage girls need 46 grams a day.
  • Adult men need about 56 grams a day.
  • Adult women need about 46 grams a day.
  • Pregnant or lactating women need about 71 grams a day.
Try Them All: Protein Sources

Consider this: a 6-oz. porterhouse steak will provide 38 grams of protein -- and 44 grams of fat, 16 of them saturated (three-quarters of the recommended daily intake). An equal portion of salmon will provide 34 grams of protein and 18 grams of fat, 4 of them saturated. A cup of cooked lentils will give you 18 grams of protein and only 1 gram of fat. When choosing how you'll get your daily recommended dose of protein, try to incorporate as many plant-based sources first, then animal sources -- and red meat last.

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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.