The Importance of Protein

Do you know how much protein you should be consuming per day? How do things like our gender, health and pregnancy affect this amount? Read on to find out.


Most of us probably eat enough protein if we’re eating a well balanced diet. However, there are times in our lives when we need to increase the amount of protein we eat such as if we’re recovering from an illness or surgery, exercising regularly for more than an hour a day, pregnant or breastfeeding, or if we’re over 70 years of age.  The recommended amount of protein also depends on our gender.

Recommended daily intake of protein…

19-70 years – 46g/day (0.75g/kg)
>70 years – 57g/day (0.94g/kg)

19-70 years – 64g/day (0.84g/kg)
>70 years – 81g/day (1.07g/kg)


Protein Sources

Protein is found in lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds, legumes and beans. Dairy highest in protein include cottage cheese, Greek yoghurt, and cheese (remember to be mindful of the saturated fat content).

Some ideas to help you include more protein to your day:

  • Snack on Greek yoghurt, cheese and crackers, cottage cheese with vegetable sticks, and nuts (especially walnuts and almonds),
  • Sprinkle nuts and seeds (especially pumpkin seeds) on your salads,
  • Add grated cheese to your cooked meals,
  • Add skim milk powder to stews, soups, cereal and drinks.


Protein Timing

It is also a good idea to eat protein across all three main meals during the day. As well as building your muscle strength and improving your immunity, eating good quality protein at each meal will help you from feeling hungry, especially in the late afternoon.


For more guidance on how to increase your protein intake/ how much protein you should be consuming – book an appointment with our Dietitian via the ‘Book’ button in the top right hand corner of the screen.