30% of calories from protein

o I read that a good weight loss ratio is 30/45/25. 30% of calories from protein, 45% from carbs, and 25% from fat.

The math for that is that there should average 7.5 grams of protein for every 100 calories. (For every 100 calories, 30 calories should be protein. Each gram of protein is 4 calories. Divide 30 by 4, and you get 7.5.)

So 7.5g per 100 cal is a "medium protein" food. Higher is high protein, and lower is low protein.

Yet people call things like eggs (6g per 100 cal) a high protein food. Beans and grains are supposedly protein foods, but they contain less protein per cal than eggs do. Even some cheeses are low protein due to their high fat content.

I'm mostly vegetarian. I eat some dairy every day and eat fish once or twice a week, but I don't think I've ever hit anywhere near that ratio on Cronometer. I usually get stats like "you met 65% of your protein goal and 150% of your carbs and fat goals."

Eating low-fat Greek yogurt helps. Tofu and soy beans help. So do dark leafy greens. But even if you're only eating 1200 calories a day (the minimum safe number of calories, partly because only carbs pass the blood-brain barrier and the brain needs at least 500 cals a day to function) you still need at least 90 grams of protein.

I really don't want to start eating seitan, let alone meat. How do other vegetarians do it? And aren't you all mad that medium protein foods are called high protein? I am!


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    Protein needs are very individual. Currently the Institute of Medicine recommends healthy adults aim for 0.8 g of protein per kg of ideal body weight per day (i.e. the weight that puts your body mass index in the "normal" range).

    Many people argue that this level is too low but we don't have enough data right now to recommend a higher intake.

    That said, vegetarians and vegans should aim for a slightly higher intake given that fibre in plant foods makes the protein slightly less absorbed (on average, by ~10%). As such, a minimum protein intake for vegetarians and vegans should be ~ 1 g per kg of ideal body weight per day. Protein needs will be higher for anyone who is pregnant, ill, or physically active.

    At the end of the day, calories matter the most when it comes to weight loss. Eating higher protein is beneficial (as it can help maintain muscle mass and is more filling) but I personally don't think people need to eat more than 25% of their calories from protein on a weight loss diet.

    Hope this helps!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
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