1979
    How Much Protein Do You Need?
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    “How Much Protein Do You Need?” Ensign, Aug. 1979, 62

    How Much Protein Do You Need?

    Proteins are essential to life. But people who consume a varied diet of meat, fish, milk, eggs, cereals, vegetables, and fruits will get adequate amounts in their daily diet. On such a mixed diet, a man weighing 154 pounds (70 kg.) requires about 56 grams of protein a day, a 125-pound (57 kg.) woman requires 46 grams, a sixteen-year-old boy 54 grams, a sixteen-year-old girl 48 grams, a twelve-year-old 44 grams, and a five-year-old 30 grams.

    These amounts of protein are easily obtained from the basic food groups. Two glasses of milk supply 18 grams, four slices of bread 8 grams, four servings of fruits and vegetables about 6 grams, and one serving of meat (3 oz. or 85 grams raw weight), plus an egg or a serving of baked beans or Italian spaghetti, approximately 24 grams. Such a diet totals 56 grams of protein.

    The following list shows the calories and protein in some popular foods. (Figures taken from the USDA Agricultural Handbook, no. 456, 1975.)

    Food

    Amount

    Calories

    Protein (grams)

    Milk, skim or whole

    8 ounces

    90–160

    9

    Bread

    1 slice

    65

    2

    Waffle

    7-inch

    205

    7

    Egg

    1

    80

    6

    Bacon, medium thickness

    2 crisp

    85

    4

    Hamburger (2 oz.) and bun

    1

    220

    15

    Hot dog (2 oz.) and bun

    1

    295

    10

    Baked beans and pork

    3/4 cup

    235

    12

    Cheese, grated

    1/2 cup (2 oz.)

    225

    14

    Pizza

    1/8 of 14-inch diam.

    155

    8

    Ice cream

    1/2 cup

    130

    3

    Milk pudding

    1/2 cup

    160

    4

    Green beans

    1/2 cup

    15

    1

    Potatoes

    1/2 cup

    50

    1

    Corn

    1/2 cup

    70

    2

    Fruit

    1 cup

    75–210

    1

    Peanuts, roasted (Virginia type)

    10

    55

    2

    Peanut butter

    1 tablespoon

    95

    4

    Macaroni and cheese

    3/4 cup

    325

    13

    Jam

    1 tablespoon

    55

    Margarine

    1 tablespoon

    100

    While it is important to get adequate protein, additional amounts are wasteful as they are used only for energy or fat storage. It is also possible that high amounts of protein aggravate some types of liver and kidney disease. Dr. Ruth M. Walker, assistant professor of food science and nutrition, Brigham Young University

    Illustrated by Mary W. Garlock