Protein is one of the most important nutrients and performs a variety of tasks in the body, including acting as enzymes and hormones (including insulin). The Nutritional Adequacy Ratio (RDA) for protein is the average protein requirement for healthy people which can be used as a reference for approximately 97% of the population. The amount of protein you need will depend on your personal caloric needs, taking into account your age, gender, overall health, activity level, and whether you need to gain or lose weight. Calculating the right amount of protein is very important because too much of this substance can cause problems. Excess protein can put pressure on and burden the kidneys, be converted into body fat, cause dehydration, and even increase the risk of diabetes, kidney disease, and prostate cancer.
Part 1 of 2: Determining Protein Intake
Step 1. See a dietician/nutritionist
Since everyone is different and influenced by various factors, consider hiring a licensed Nutritionist and Nutritionist who is skilled in determining your particular dietary needs.
Ask for a nutritionist referral from a doctor to get a registered dietitian with Persagi (Indonesian Nutritionist Association)
Step 2. Calculate the nutritional adequacy rate (RDA) for protein
Weigh in the morning after urinating. Do it for five days, and calculate the average. Multiply the average body weight in kg by 0.8. The result is the recommended protein intake in grams because the body's RDA for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.
- You can also use an online calculator to determine your RDA:
- For example, a person weighing 70 kg needs to eat 56 grams of protein daily (70 x 0.8 = 56).
Step 3. Determine the RDA by percentage
Another way to find your protein intake is to look at the percentage. Depending on your age, gender, health condition, activity level, and whether you need to gain or lose weight, your protein goal should be around 10–25% of your total calorie intake.
Although this number seems a lot when calculating percentages, nutritionists caution that the RDA is the minimum amount your body needs to function. Most Americans get 16% of their calories from protein, although more should be
Step 4. Adjust the RDA
Some people need more protein than others. In general, children and adolescents need more protein (20–25% of calories) than adults. Men need more protein than women. Pregnant or lactating women need more protein than non-pregnant women (about 75-100 grams per day). The elderly need more protein to prevent sarcopenia (stopping growth of bone muscle mass), approximately 1.2 grams of protein per kg.
If you suffer from kidney or liver disease, you should reduce your protein intake as directed by your doctor
Step 5. Consider the function of proteins
Proteins can function as hormones that act as chemical messengers that tell cells what to do and when. Proteins also have enzymes, which are substances that can carry out chemical reactions repeatedly. In addition, proteins can act as antibodies that bind to foreign particles and cause infection. Antibodies are one of the body's main lines of defense.
Protein also forms the structure and supports every cell in the body. The transfer of proteins allows substances to enter and leave the cell
Step 6. Understand how protein is formed
When we eat a complete protein, a group of amino acids is broken down into individuals, which are then reordered into whatever type of amino acid the body needs at the time. Amino acids are linked and folded in a variety of ways. There are two types of amino acids in proteins that fall into three main categories:
- Essential amino acids: You must get them from food because these substances cannot be produced by the body.
- Nonessential amino acids: Amino acids that the body can produce.
- Conditional amino acids: These are amino acids that the body can produce in certain amounts, but the need for these amino acids increases during stress or illness.
Part 2 of 2: Including Protein in Your Diet
Step 1. Distinguish between nutrient-dense protein and low-quality protein
The benefits of high-quality or nutrient-dense protein for the body are greater than low-quality protein. For example, the efficacy of protein rich in saturated fat is not as great as protein which also contains other nutrients. While emphasizing low-fat meats and other protein sources, don't think you can't eat meat at all.
For example, although it contains protein, red meat can also increase blood pressure and cholesterol. We recommend choosing low-fat meats such as turkey or chickpeas
Step 2. Include protein from meat and fish
Beef and pork are rich in protein, but should not be consumed too much. Instead, increase your intake of low-fat meats, such as skinless chicken or turkey. You can also eat fish such as tuna or salmon.
Eggs have the greatest biological content of all proteins. The biological value shows a measure of the efficiency of the body in utilizing the protein consumed from the diet. Eggs and other animal proteins are considered “complete” proteins because they contain all the essential amino acids. Two eggs contain 13 grams of protein
Step 3. Include vegetable protein
Vegetarians need a minimum of 105 grams of protein daily (for a 2,000-calorie diet). You can get healthy protein easily from eggs and dairy products. If you are a vegan, get protein from a variety of plant sources, for example:
- Soy products (eat 75 grams of tofu to get 21 grams of protein)
- Meat Substitute
- Nuts (try 3/4 cup cooked lentils for 13 grams of protein)
- Nuts (try 1/4 cup almonds for 8 grams of protein)
- Whole grains (eat 1/2 cup of whole wheat pasta for 4 grams of protein)
Step 4. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
Although they don't contain as much protein as meat or dairy products, fruits and vegetables can be a good source of protein along with other important nutrients. Here are some fruits and vegetables with the highest protein content:
- Potato with skin (5 grams of protein)
- 1/2 cup broccoli (2 grams protein)
- Avocado (3 grams of protein)
- Banana (1 gram protein)
Step 5. Consume dairy protein
Dairy products are a great source of protein for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Research shows that protein from milk is easier to digest than protein from meat, soybeans, or wheat. Consider consuming:
- 1 cup milk (8 grams protein)
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese (15 grams protein)
- 55 grams cheddar cheese (12 grams protein)
- 3/4 cup yogurt (8 grams of protein)
Step 6. Monitor the protein in the diet
Track the amount of protein in the food you eat throughout the day. An American institution called the Agricultural Research Service under the auspices of the USDA has a nutrition database here: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods. This way, you can track how much protein you eat.
- For example, the breakdown of protein intake from a regular breakfast such as oatmeal with blueberries, milk, and yogurt is as follows:
1 cup of oats (11 grams of protein), 1/2 cup of blueberries (0 protein), 1 cup of low-fat milk (4 grams of protein), and 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt (10 grams of protein) = 25 grams of protein
Step 7. Calculate your daily protein intake
After monitoring all the protein for a day, determine if you are eating enough protein. For example, if you weigh 70 kg, you should consume at least 56 grams of protein per day. If the amount of protein intake is still lacking, for example only 50 grams, add protein to your diet.
Remember that there are special situations where you need more protein in your diet. For example, if you weigh 70 kg and are breastfeeding, you should consume at least 90 grams of protein per day
- Many athletes and bodybuilders eat more protein each day. However, medical and scientific experts still doubt the benefits of increasing protein intake for the formation of muscle mass.
- Online nutrition calculators can also determine the recommended intake for carbohydrates, minerals, fat, and cholesterol. This calculator can also determine the Body Mass Index (Body Mass Index aka BMI). Try the USDA calculator here: