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How much protein do I need a day? 

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is equivalent to 0.36 grams per pound of body weight each day. So, for a 150-pound person that would be equivalent to 54 gm of protein per day. While this number may be appropriate for a sedentary healthy young adult, this number changes depending on activity level, type of activity being done, and age. If you are participating in intense weight lifting, for example, your protein needs might bump up to 0.81 grams of protein per pound of body weight, or 121 grams per day for the 150-pound person, more than double the RDA. However, current research is showing that the RDA for protein needs to be increased, especially for middle-aged and older adults. For example, an older, 150-pound person should be consuming around 75 grams of protein per day instead of the 54 grams the RDA would give that person.

To learn more about how to best include protein in your diet or to schedule nutritional counseling, contact Rebecca Lee, registered dietician at East Jefferson General Hospital, at (504) 454-4077.

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