What does 180 g of protein look like

How Much Protein Should a Woman Have?

Protein is more important than you might think.

It's true what they say: women don't need quite as much protein as men. However, this is only because women generally consume fewer calories than men, and not because protein is not equally important in the female body. So order the grilled sirloin steak. After all, your body needs it.

What it does

You probably already know that protein helps build muscle, but what else does it do? Proteins are large, complex compounds that contain strands of smaller molecules called amino acids. Your body is continually breaking down proteins to get the amino acids it needs to power your brain, build tissue, and support the functions of all cells. Also, your body is a biochemical machine and can convert protein into energy to get you through the end of your workout in the rare event that carbohydrates and fat are unavailable.

Calculation of your protein needs

Track your calories for a few days a week to find out your average daily intake. Once you know the amount of calories you are consuming each day to maintain your current weight, you can figure out how much protein you need. Calculating your protein needs is not difficult. You need to know that protein has 4 calories per gram and that 10 to 35 percent of your calories should come from protein, as stated in the reports from the Centers for Disease Control.

Typical amounts for women

Typically, women need around 46 grams of protein a day, although your specific needs may vary. Typically, if you're sticking to a rigid 1,500-calorie daily diet, 10 to 35 percent of the calories are 150 to 525 calories of protein, or 37 to 131 grams of protein. For a 1,800 calorie daily diet, you need 180 to 630 calories from protein, or 45 to 157 grams of protein, every day. If you follow a 2,000 calorie diet - the amount on which all nutritional information is based - you can get 200-700 calories of protein, or 50-175 grams, every day.

Further considerations

The exact amount you will need will depend on your activity level. If you typically take as many aerobics classes as possible during the week, you will likely need the high end of the range to support your busy day-to-day life. However, if you have an office job and are not overly active, you most likely need the low end of the range based on your calorie needs.

Complete proteins

Skinless chicken breasts, fish, shellfish, beef sirloin, pork loin, egg whites, skimmed milk, and low-fat yogurt are some of the lowest-fat, high-protein foods around. These foods are animal based and contain complete proteins. This means that they all have nearly two dozen amino acids that you need every day. A handful of plant-based foods are also complete proteins. Quinoa and soy are full protein sources that are vegetarian.

Incomplete proteins

In addition to quinoa and soy, vegetarians and vegans have numerous other options for protein sources. Beans, lentils, whole grain breads, oat bran, nuts, and seeds are some of the plant-based proteins that you can enjoy. These proteins are incomplete, which means that any food is missing one or more amino acids. All you have to do is eat a few different types of vegetable protein at any given time of the day to get all of the amino acids you need.

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Author: Sabrina Hansen

Sabrina Hansen is a 23 year old journalist. Wannabe Zombie Maven. Friendly web specialist. Food lover. Analyst. Subtle charming writer.