Protein is an essential part of our diets. It is made up of chemicals called amino acids. Your body needs protein to help build and repair muscle, skin, and other body tissues. Protein also helps fight infection, balance body fluids, and carry oxygen through the body.
How much protein you need each day depends on your age, sex, and how active you are. It's recommended that most adults eat 2 to 3 food guide servings of protein foods a day. Sometimes you may need to eat more protein. Your doctor or dietitian may advise you on the right amount of protein you need.
Protein is found in a variety of foods. High-protein foods include lean meat, poultry, and fish. A serving of these foods is 2½ ounces (75 g). (2½ ounces is about the size and thickness of a deck of cards.)
Protein isn't just found in meat. If you are looking for other types of protein, the following foods are equal to about 2½ ounces (75 g) of meat:
Other sources of protein include cheese, milk, and other milk products. You can also buy protein bars, drinks, and powders. Check the nutrition label for the amount of protein in each serving.
You can get more protein in your food by adding high-protein ingredients. For example, you can:
You can also:
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Current as of: March 16, 2017
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
& Colleen O'Connor, PhD, RD - Registered Dietitian & Elizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine & Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
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