I hear conflicting advice on the percentage of protein in a healthy diet. How much protein should I be getting?
Now I’ll give you my perspective.
Based on latest research findings and in the context of the Primal eating strategy I talk about on the site, men and women can and do thrive on higher than conventional protein diets. Humans evolved with a high protein diet. Experts from the Medical Research Council at the University of College London estimate that, while the typical Western diet today is composed of 49% carbs, 35% fats and 16% protein, the diet of traditional hunter-gatherer populations included twice the protein intake.
Current study of tribal populations that maintain traditional diets shows that high protein, fruit and vegetable rich (virtually no carb and few unhealthy fats) “hunter gatherer” diets seem to protect against the “diseases of wealth” we experience in the developed world (i.e. many forms of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, etc.).
In keeping with this research, I don’t believe people need to limit their protein intake to 20% of their daily calories. The upper limit of protein recommendations is hotly contested in all circles. I, myself, try to get at least 1 gram per pound of body weight per day (165). I can survive on less, but I’m all about maintaining my lean mass. You can only do that with protein, and I don’t believe the current RDA allows for that, especially in active individuals.
Many health smoothies don't have a protein powder included. If I make a smoothie without protein powder but use 1 T. of flaxseeds plus greens and fruits and fats, am I creating a protein starvation situation?
I recently ran out of all sources of protein powders; hemp protein, goat milk, rice bran, pea protein. Should I ditch the protein powders all together and add an egg or bowl of beans when I make a smoothie? Protein powders are pretty processed if you think about it. The only powder I can think of that may not be over-processed is spirulina.