We are all well informed about the importance of protein in our daily diet.
So what about 120 grams of protein a day? Is it safe to consume? What’s the optimal amount of protein for the average person? What if you want to lose weight or gain muscles?
Learn this and much more in our comprehensive review.
IN THIS ARTICLE:
Protein – Nutritional Value
Proteins are essential nutrients made up of amino acids – chemical building blocks.
Your body needs protein to work properly, to grow and repair cells, etc. Protein can be found in your muscles, bones, skin, hair and every other body part. Therefore, you need to eat protein-rich food to stay healthy.
How much protein should someone gets from their diet, depends on the person’s age, gender, health and weight? Protein from food comes from plant and animal sources. That includes meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, seeds and nuts, legumes, etc.
It is measured by the quantity of essential (those your body cannot make) amino acids it contains:
- Animal products – Such as chicken, beef or fish and dairy products. These products have all of the essential amino acids, so they are known as complete protein (or ideal/high-quality protein).
- Plant proteins – Including beans, lentils, nuts and whole grains. These are incomplete proteins because they lack some of the essential amino acids.
- Soy products – Also quinoa and amaranth contain all of the essential amino acids.
How Much Of Protein Is Recommended?
The Institute of Medicine recommends a daily allowance (RDA) of 0.8 g for every kg of body weight.
To find your weight in kilograms, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2.
For example, a 130-lb woman should take at least 47 g of protein per day. Accordingly, a 150-lb man should include at least 54 g of protein (per day) in his diet.
Keep in mind that this is a minimal amount of protein per day. Some experts claim that consuming up to twice the RDA of protein is still safe for the average adult active person.
What About 120 Grams?
You may find this number online, so let’s clarify it.
Some experts recommend that this amount of protein is required for people who want to lose weight. Proteins are important when a person tries to lose some weight because proteins help to burn more fat. It takes longer to digest protein than carbs, which makes you feel full for longer. Keep in mind that your body needs to be in a calorie deficit.
Also for people who want to gain some muscles, it is recommended to increase daily protein intake.
In the section below, you can check two daily plans both including protein amount of 120 grams.
120 Grams Of Protein – Daily Meal Plan
To consume 120 grams per day, you need to include various food in your meals.
For example, you can choose between:
- Protein shakes
- Chicken breast
- Beans and lentils
- Greek yogurt.
Also, there is a simple meal plan that includes 120 grams.
- 8:00 AM – Overnight oats – 1/2 cup oats, 3/4 cup almond milk, 3/4 tbsp honey, 1/4 cup blueberries, 1 scoop vanilla whey protein. Total – 33 grams of protein
- 11:00 AM – Turkey Sandwich – 2 slices of bread, lettuce, tomatoes and string cheese. Total – 33 grams of protein
- 3:00 PM – Protein bar and fruit – 1 quest bar and 1 medium apple. Total – 21 grams of protein
- 7:00 PM – Chicken veggies – 4 oz grilled chicken, 2 cups of veggies, 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Total – 39 grams of protein
Vegetarian Daily Meal Plan
If you are a vegetarian, things become a little more complicated but still possible.
Actually, there are many options, quinoa, vegetarian burger, protein shake which contains protein powder, almond milk and peanut butter. These burgers should contain whole wheat bread, lettuce or cauliflower, tomatoes, vegan cheese, etc.
You can divide these 120 grams by 4 and get 30 grams. Meaning you need to take about 25-30 grams of protein 4 times a day. Easy, right?
- 8:00 AM – Two full-fat paneer sandwiches – brown bread, thin roti plus paneer, tomato, a hint of black pepper, a bowl of yogurt.
- 12:00 PM -Seitan pasta with marinara – chorizo seitan, chickpea pasta, broccoli, green bell pepper and vegan marinara sauce
- 3:00 PM – Some fruit or snack/cheese
- 7:00 PM – Thai noodle soup – coconut milk, cilantro, onion, great northern beans, frozen peas, mushrooms, edamame spaghetti.
Sources Of Proteins To Add To Your Diet
Here are some suggestions on how to add more protein to your daily diet.
Try to eat a peanut butter sandwich. Of course, you should use natural peanut butter without added salt, sugars or other fillers.
Low-fat cottage or ricotta cheese will go perfectly with your scrambled eggs, pasta dish or mashed potato.
Nuts are seeds are fantastic for various salads, for example, add flaked almonds to a green salad.
Greek yogurt is rich in proteins and you can add it to your breakfast cereal or serve it as a dessert with your favorite fruit.
Eggs are versatile and you can add them to many dishes or eat them on their own.
That means your daily diet is poor in protein and your body getting a too small amount of protein.
Some symptoms of protein deficiency are wasting and shrinkage of muscle tissues, oedema (build-up of fluids, mainly in the feet and ankles), anemia (blood can’t deliver enough oxygen to the cells) and slow growth in children and so on.
High-protein Diet – What If You Take More Than 200 Grams?
Some diets recommend a very high protein intake, which goes from 200 g up to 400 g. Per day.
That is 5 times more than recommended daily intake. This is way too much for any person – average, athlete or bodybuilder.
This kind of diet with a too high protein content can strain the kidneys and liver. Also, it will increase the excessive loss of calcium which can lead to osteoporosis.
To Wrap It Up
Getting enough protein in your diet is very important, they have a crucial role in keeping your body healthy. What about the “120 grams of protein” diet you can see everywhere? Here you’ll learn what the daily protein needs of an average person are and when you should add more protein to your diet.