How Much Protein in a Balanced Diet?

Requirement and Level of Intake

How Much Protein in a Balanced Diet? The answer is not simple, as the organism is able to adapt to different nutritional conditions.

avoid protein deficiency, it is generally recommended to take a quantity equal to 0,8-1,0 g per kg (g / kg) of desirable physiological body weight - the correct one, indicator of eunutritional status - which in a sedentary subject corresponds to 12-13% of the total daily calorie intake.

Overall, especially for those who practice intense and prolonged sport, these quantities may not be sufficient. It is generally recommended that all adults not go below 1,2 g / kg. Growing subjects should introduce about 1,5g / kg, while pregnant women and nurses little more than a normal subject. Those who have problems with digestion and / or intestinal absorption "may" need a protein quantity slightly higher than the norm, preferably well distributed or coming from food supplements (essential amino acids, hydrolyzed proteins, etc.).

It must be said that in the Western diet, including your country, few remain below 18-20% total protein, which would be equivalent to no less than 1,5 g / kg of desirable physiological body weight.

It is different for strength and power athletes, to whom - to optimize performance, recovery and muscle growth - quantities not less than 1,7-1,8 g / kg and up to 2,3 g / kg are recommended. .


The amount of protein is not the only important parameter. To ensure an adequate quantity and proportion of essential amino acids (AAE), these should derive 2/3 from products of animal origin and 1/3 from products of plant origin.

Protein Source Biological value
eggs 100
Latte 91
Beef 80
Fish 78
Soy protein 74
Rice 59
Grain 54
Peanuts 43
Dried beans 34
Potato 34
  • Content of Essential Amino Acids (AAE): proteins that contain all the AAEs in balanced quantities and ratios can be defined as complete; this parameter is evaluated by means of the biological value. In general, animal proteins are complete and vegetable proteins are incomplete
  • Biological value (VB): it is the quantity of nitrogen actually absorbed and used net of urinary and fecal losses. The reference protein is that of egg, which has a VB equal to 100%
  • Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER): indicates weight gain in grams for each gram of protein ingested (3,1 for milk; 2,1 for soy)
  • Digestibility (D): ratio between ingested and absorbed nitrogen (in descending order wheat, milk and soy)

Noble proteins: what does it mean?

The term "noble" associated with vegetable proteins is not correct and was introduced to counter the saying according to which "legumes are the meat of the poor". In reality, taking a good source of vegetable proteins in the diet is very important and to further enhance this concept the term "noble" has been improperly introduced. In any case, these deficiencies can be overcome simply by using appropriate food associations such as pasta and beans. In this case we speak of mutual integration because the amino acids that the pasta is lacking are supplied by the beans and vice versa.

See also:

  • How Much Protein in a Balanced Diet?
  • Excess protein in the diet
  • Foods richer in protein
  • Branched chain amino acids
  • Hyperprotein diet
  • Protein supplements
  • Protein intake
  • Protein, a look at the chemistry
  • Protein digestion
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