Protein is an essential macronutrient that plays a vital role in supporting a healthy body. It helps with the functioning of cells and hormones, supports muscle repair and growth, and aids in digestion. Knowing how much protein you need everyday can help you maintain good health – but determining the correct amount is not always easy.
In this guide, we will discuss what 60 grams of protein looks like and how to accurately measure it. We will also look at different foods that can provide 60 grams of protein to help you meet your daily needs:
Protein is an important nutrient for health and wellbeing. Knowing how much protein you need and the best sources of protein is key to a healthy diet. 60 grams of protein isn’t a lot, but there are several food items that can help you reach that amount.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the best sources of protein and how much is contained in 60 grams:
Animal sources of protein are some of the most complete sources of this macro-nutrient. Complete proteins contain all the essential amino acids that our bodies need to remain healthy, which is why they’re important for reaching recommended daily use (RDA).
60 grams of protein can be obtained from a variety of animal sources including:
- eggs – 3 large eggs yield approximately 18 grams of complete protein
- lean meats such as poultry, beef, pork and fish – 4 oz (113g) yields approximately 22-29g protein
- dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt – 8 oz (227g) yields approximately 12-9 g protein
- seafood – 4 oz(113g) yields approximately 19-27 g protein
- poultry – 4 oz(113g) yields approximately 22 – 29 g protein
All these foods serve as excellent sources for high quality proteins that provide us with all the essential amino acids necessary to maintain our health. It’s important to recognize how easy it is to meet our daily requirements when selecting high quality animal sourced proteins.
1. Dairy Products: Dairy products are a rich source of high-quality complete proteins. One cup (244 grams) of whole milk provides 8 grams of protein, while 1 cup (245 grams) of plain, low-fat yogurt contains 11 grams. One ounce (28 grams) of hard cheese gives you about 7 grams, while 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of cream cheese provides 3.5 grams of protein. Low-fat dairy products will provide fewer calories than higher fat varieties and are also typically lower in saturated fat.
In addition to providing complete proteins, dairy foods contain a range of other nutrients that can benefit your health, like calcium, potassium and vitamin D. Eating dairy regularly has been linked to improved bone health and may help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancers.
Meat and Poultry
Meat and poultry are excellent sources of protein, providing all the essential amino acids needed to help the body maintain energy reserves, muscle mass and promote an overall healthy metabolism. Meat and poultry generally contains approximately 35-35% protein by weight. For instance, 4 ounces (approximately 113 grams) of beef has about 23 grams of protein and a 3-ounce (roughly 85 g) chicken breast provides about 21 grams. This means that if you want to fulfill your 60 gram daily requirement from meat and poultry alone, you would need approximately 170 grams of beef or 171 grams of chicken, per day.
Fish and Seafood
Fish and seafood offer an excellent source of protein for those looking for a lean, low-fat option. They are also rich in important vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, iodine, selenium, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids.
The white fish species are typically considered to be the healthiest options. Popular lean sources include cod, haddock, turbot, tilapia and pollock. These fish not only provide generous amounts of high quality protein but are usually low in fat with fewer than 5 grams per serving.
Oily fish such as salmon, trout and mackerel are higher in calories because of their higher fat content but this is countered by their substantial levels of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Shellfish including crab, mussels and prawns can also make for a healthy protein source; mussels in particular provide larger amounts of iron than conventional land meats.
Protein is essential for healthy muscle growth, maintenance and repair. It is useful for maintaining a healthy body composition and regulating appetite between meals. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is 46 grams per day for women and 56 grams for men.
Achieving your daily protein needs does not have to come from animal sources, as there are many plant-based proteins available. Good sources of plant-based proteins include legumes, nuts, seeds, grains, tempeh and soy products, such as tofu and edamame. Other options include quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth; hemp seeds or hearts; sprouts; miso; nutritional yeast; and fortified plant-based milks.
Below are some examples of plant-based foods that provide around 60g of protein each:
- 2 cups of cooked lentils (18g per cup)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (8g per cup)
- 4 cups cooked chickpeas (15g per cup)
- 2 cups cooked black beans (14g per cup)
- 5 ounces firm tofu (10g per ounce)
- 1/2 cup cashews (5g each)
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds or hearts (10g each)
Legumes provide both carbohydrates and proteins and should be included in the diet for their great health benefits. Legumes are nutrient rich, containing vitamins A, C, B-6 and folate as well as minerals such as iron, magnesium and phosphorus.
Examples of legumes include most types of beans (except green beans or snap beans), peas and lentils. A single cup of cooked black beans contains approximately 17 grams of protein, while a cup of cooked soybeans contains 28 grams. As a general rule of thumb, one cup of cooked legumes adds approximately 15-17 grams to an individual’s daily protein intake.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds can be excellent sources of protein, although serving sizes must be taken into consideration. Most nuts and seeds are high in fat and therefore contain more calories per serving than other protein sources; the fat content can also vary depending on the specific type.
Typically, 60 grams of protein from nuts and seeds will equal approximately 1 ¹/₂ to 2 cups of an unshelled nut or seed. For example, one cup of peanuts provides 21 grams of protein, while two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 8 grams. Sunflower seeds offer 13 grams in a one-cup serving size and two tablespoons of sesame seeds provide 4 grams.
Whole grains are a valuable source of protein and can contribute to your daily intake. A 1/2 cup (125mL) serving of cooked brown rice, bulgur (cracked wheat), millet, oats, quinoa or wild rice contains approximately 3 grams (g) of protein. Other whole grains that contain approximately the same amount of protein per 1/2 cup serving include teff, buckwheat and barley.
Whole wheat pasta and bread made with whole grain flour provide about the same amount of protein when served in similar portions – roughly 2 g per 1 ounce (30 g). Alternately, many varieties of crunchy snacks such as popcorn and whole grain crackers offer up to 1 g of protein per 17 g to 28 g serving.
In general, most people need around 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight in order to maintain good health. This means that someone weighing around 150 pounds should consume around 54 grams of protein per day. However, people with higher levels of physical activity may require up to 60 grams of protein per day.
Let’s find out the recommended intake for different levels of physical activity:
Recommended Daily Allowance
The Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for protein intakes is approximately 0.75 grams per kilogram of body weight or 0.35 grams per pound. For instance, a 15-year-old boy that weighs 140 pounds would need approximately 49 g of protein daily and a 15-year-old girl at 110 pounds would need 39g.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is the most up-to-date advice for protein intake for healthy Americans, regardless of age and gender. The RDA is considered the right amount of nutrients to meet the needs of 97–98% of healthy individuals in a given demographic group; it’s typically calculated based on averages from epidemiological studies and dietary surveys.
For everyday healthy adults, the RDA recommends taking in 10 percent to 35 percent of your daily caloric intake from proteins; this works out to be around 60–80 grmas per day – up to 8 ounces – depending on an individual’s particular caloric needs.
For serious athletes and bodybuilders, who have higher energy requirements and may have specific goals such as muscle growth or weight loss, it’s generally recommended to increase daily intake to 1 gram or more per pound body weight. So, if you weigh 160 pounds you should aim for 160g or more per day or nearly 10 ounces worth!
Recommended Intake for Athletes
Athletes need more energy and nutrients than the general population, therefore it is important to know how much protein is the recommended intake for athletes to maintain state of health and performance.
Generally, it is recommended that protein intake should range from 1.2-2 g/kg of body weight per day. That means a person who weighs 70 kg should aim for between 84 to 140g of protein each day. This number may be higher depending on activity level, age, and gender composition. Specifically, young people, those with higher activity levels, and men tend to require more protein than others.
For athletes looking to build muscle mass or enhance physical performance, a daily intake of 1.4-2 g/kg may be necessary for optimal gains in strength and muscle size compared with a lower peptide diet (1). Studies have also found that consuming 20-60 grams of protein per meal can increase muscle synthesis (2). This is further supported by research demonstrating that dividing total daily protein into 3 meals averaging approximately 25-30g each was superior for increasing lean body mass when compared with a single meal of the same total quantity (3).
In summary, 60-grams per day should be the target for most athletes looking for improved muscle health and performance. Further dietary adjustments should be considered depending on factors such as gender composition, age skewing towards younger individuals or those who are more physically active than others as they tend to need slightly more protein daily intake than others in order to support their fitness goals.
When it comes to protein, when we look at the benefits that are associated with it, they apply to all people regardless of age, sex and level of activity. While the recommended daily amount of protein you should be consuming depends on individual factors such as height, weight and activity level, a minimum intake of 60 grams per day is still recommended for adults.
Additionally, when getting your protein from animal sources like meat or dairy products, make sure you are eating lean cuts in order to limit the consumption of fat and cholesterol. When choosing a dietary supplement for your protein intake, make sure to read the nutrition labels and find one that is high in essential amino acids to ensure muscle growth and repair.
By understanding how much protein you need in your diet and where best to get it from, you can ensure that you’re getting all the important benefits from this essential nutrient.