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Are you eating enough protein?

by Fred Hahn on May 25, 2010

I hope so because it’s critical you do.

Far too many people have bought into the no fat/low fat nonsense and in so doing, do not get sufficient amounts of protein. Without adequate protein and fat for that matter, your body cannot reproduce cells, upkeep your various systems and will indeed age faster. In a very real sense your body will literally eat itself up alive for the protein you don’t ingest. And the type and quality of the protein you choose to eat matters as well.

For example, while combining rice and beans provide many of the essential amino acids, this combo does not provide all, not to mention that this combo is pure starch. Starch raises blood sugar greater than any other food source and high circulating blood sugar is caustic to your blood vessels. Eggs and salmon would be a much better choice of protein. In fact, all animal proteins are superior to their plant based counterparts.

A good general guide for protein intake is to get about 1 gram of quality protein per pound of your target body weight. So if you currently weigh 200 pounds but should really weigh 140, you’d want to shoot for 140 grams of quality protein per day.

It is so very critical that you don’t skimp on protein. It is the building block of life. Please don’t worry if the protein is lean. Fatty proteins are actually better for you than lean sources. If you’re worried about saturated fat and heart disease, worry no longer.

Here is a small list of some quality protein sources. I’ve listed both the protein grams and the calories. Most serving sizes are one cup or 8 ounces. Most women should strive for about 3-4, 20-30 gram servings per day. Men 3-4, 25-35 gram servings per day Unless you already have kidney problems, you really can’t eat too much protein. Eating too little is far worse than too much.

1 cup: chopped, meat only – 40.5g/266cal
½ chicken w/skin, roasted – 81.6g/715cal

4oz.: hamburger, cooked – 27g/328cal

1 cup: solid white tuna in water – 60g/280cal
4 oz: salmon, baked – 25g/234 cal

1 cup: cashews – 24g/800 cal
1 cup: almonds – 24g/720 cal
1 cup: peanuts – 44g/1080 cal *
1 cup: walnuts – 15g/660 cal

1 whole egg – 6.3g/75 cal
1 cup: chopped, hardboiled – 17g/210 cal

1 cup: Ham, 11% fat, chopped – 31.7g/249 cal
Bacon, 2 slices – 5g/80cal
Sausage, 2 small links – 9g/180 cal

So make sure to eat your protein! Your health depends on it.

I've been involved in exercise ever since I became a member of The Charles Atlas Club when I was 10 years old. In 1998, I founded and established Serious Strength on the Upper West Side of NYC. My clients include kids, seniors (and everyone in between), top CEOs, celebrities, bestselling authors, journalists and TV personalities.
my book. my Gym.

in Health/Fitness,Nutrition,obesity · 12 comments

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Matt May 25, 2010 at 9:32 PM

But what if you *do* have a kidney problem? Isn’t the protein overworks the kidneys theory potentially bunk, and the truth more along the lines of insulin being more toxic to the kidneys?

Fred Hahn May 25, 2010 at 10:05 PM

“But what if you *do* have a kidney problem? Isn’t the protein overworks the kidneys theory potentially bunk, and the truth more along the lines of insulin being more toxic to the kidneys?”

Consult a qualified doctor if this is the case.

Matt May 26, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Which is an unfortunate piece of advice that I understand why you have to give. “Qualified” is a funny term as you know …. those “qualified nutritionists” come to mind. Because you go to the nephro and they say to steer clear of animal protein especially red meat because they’re “harder on your kidneys”. So … ok …. the toxic genetically modified soy protein isolate and legumes you want your patient to eat are going to be great for those kidneys whose primary job is to rid your body of toxins. Grass fed beef is somehow harder to process through the kidneys. Ugh.. Do you know of anyone who might be actively researching this?

Fred Hahn May 26, 2010 at 11:06 AM

The best professional info on diet is to be found at

mark king May 26, 2010 at 12:31 PM

Our family is totally on board with you on this one Fred, again thanks for the info.
I’ve tried a lot of exercises and “diets” in my day. Following your workouts and Dr Eades diet have made my wifes and my life better, and we are slowly working on our kids.
Cutting back as much as possible on sugar and carbs, (because as Dr. Eades writes, our bodies convert carbs to sugar) has made fantastic improvements. I now bring my meat and vegetables to work without putting them between bread, and I don’t miss it at all.

Kathy from Maine May 27, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Great reminder. Thanks, Fred!

In your opinion, does it matter whether you divide your total protein intake equally throughout the day or perhaps have less in the morning and more in the evening? There’s nothing I like more than a juicy ribeye steak, but there’s no way I’m going to have just 4 oz of it for dinner.

Fred Hahn May 27, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Mark: Thanks for saying so and so glad to hear! If you feel like it, add your thoughts about what you think about Slow Burn here:

Kathy: The morning is important. Research indicates it is best to spread it out. And chow down on the rib eye! Grass fed of course…

Anon. May 29, 2010 at 6:35 PM

The 3-4, 25-35 gram servings per day – is that for everybody? Would this protein intake also be ideal for someone engaged in high intensity training a couple times a week? Or would that require more?

Fred Hahn May 30, 2010 at 7:41 AM

It does depend on the size of the person of course. A 260 pound muscular person needs more. I said in the post:

“A good general guide for protein intake is to get about 1 gram of quality protein per pound of your target body weight. ”

So if you weigh 175 and want to increase lean mass to weigh 195 (if its possible) you’d add another 20 grams. But you do have to make sure that you are consistent with the intake.

Dave July 9, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Have you heard that animal fat stores toxins? I love fatty meats, but after hearing that I was wondering the validity of it?


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