Protein rates extremely high!!!!

Hi guys, I noticed that when using macro ratios the protein recommendation is often very very high. And I took the time to look through forums and I see a lot of people have issue with this and basically end up just using fixed values and calculating their own macros.

I personally think you guys are using the RDA in pounds and not in kilograms which is a huge mistake. The RDA is 0.8g per KG of weight, not pound. So if I'm 65kg, my RDA default should be 52g or protein per day and not 114g. I also noticed a LOT of macro calculators online do the same mistake and give people huge protein intake recommendations, like 100's of grams per day even for people that what to maintain weight. Just wanted to point that out, the standard/recommended protein intake is 0.8g per KG, not pound.

Would be great to have an automatic default that makes it easier to have average macros and not have to calculate them on our own and filled them in as fixed values.

Any help here would be very much appreciated.



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    As a 72 year old, I found myself consuming excess protein to your point. Since then, I have used the formula of .36 x weight (in my case .36 x 180 = 65g) I'm assuming there are varying formulas and levels of agreement on this.

    If you wake up without goals, go back to sleep ...

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    edited October 2020

    Thanks itsCharlieCrown. I did a double check on mine and it shows a range which appears to be correct. Better safe than sorry. Thanks also for the American calculations CabernetTom.

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    Yep, I agree there and the keto setup on fat is also incorrect

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    The ketogenic diet is a High Fat, Low Carb and Moderate Protein way of life!!

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    My doc told me my protein needs to be around 60 g.... so i just aim for that...

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    Listen to Paul Saladino about protein rates

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    Thank you PuterMan this was very helpful! I also like Peter Attia as well as Robert H. Lustig both MD's.

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    As another way to look at it, the Australasian Nutrient Reference Values suggest looking at protein, fat and carbs as a fraction of your total calories. They choose this range essentially because with lower proteins or fat it's difficult to get the micronutrients necessary, and with high proteins and fats most diets would have too much saturated fats, sodium and that sort of thing. Carbs round it out for energy.

    • protein 15-25%
    • fat 20-35%
    • carbs making up the remainder at 40-65%

    Taking a 2,000kCal a day diet, we would see,

    • protein 15-25% x 2,000 = 300-500kCal = 75-125g
    • fat 20-35% x 2,000 = 400-700kCal = 44-78g
    • carbs 40-65% = 800-1,300kCal = 200-325g

    Most people will be having 1,600-2,400kCal a day. Let's look at that.

    1,600kCal a day diet = 60-100g pro / 35-62 fat / 160-260g carbs
    1,800kCal = 68-112 / 39-70 / 180-290
    2,000kCal = 75-125 / 44-78 / 200-325
    2,200kCal = 83-137 / 49-86 / 220-357
    2,400kCal = 90-150 / 52-94 / 240-390

    I find it simplest to look for my sources of protein and fats, and let carbs just kind of fill up the rest of my day naturally.

    I'd note too that if you're following something like the Australian Dietary Guidelines, you will more often than not fall into the ranges above for macronutrients, and get most of your RDAs of micronutrients.

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    Being on a keto, almost carnivore, diet I would have to disagree with respect. 1) There is no such thing as too high for saturated fat and 2) It is unlikely that you would exceed the 5g of salt you NEED daily. The carb levels you are suggesting, no disrespect intended, i.e. the blinkered nutritional/medical viewpoint are a level of carbs at which you WILL eventually end up with Type 2 diabetes and a heart attack.

    If that is what you wish to believe, and the end result you desire, then continue as you are believing what medical dogma dictates but bear in mind this level of carbs based on the food pyramid is EXACTLY what has led to the epidemic of obesity in the Western world we are seeing today.

    A low carb diet suggests 20 to 100 grams of carbs a day which is plenty to allow a good diet that is palatable once you have got rid of the sugar, pasta, rice, wheat products etc., even if you have a need to retain small portions of potato for for the sake of your frame of mind.

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    I work as a trainer. This means that I get questions about diet and injuries. These are areas where I'm experienced but not qualified. I refer people to the official advice, because giving something outside the official advice is outside my scope of practice. If a client does what their doctor tells them and gets hurt, it's their doctor's fault. If they do what I tell them and they get hurt, it's my fault.

    So I don't contradict their doctor. Nor do I contradict the well-referenced work of large teams of people who spend months every few years reviewing these things. I will, at times, suggest they seek a second opinion. You do as you wish, it's your body and your life, but if you ask me what to do, I'll tell you to follow the advice of your doctor - and absent specific advice for you, I'll point to the general recommendations.

    Whether I personally think they're good recommendations or not is irrelevant. They're outside my scope of practice. I train people with autoimmune diseases, things like arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and multiple sclerosis. People who've had heart attacks, one guy with a 100% occluded LAD. I can't really fuck around with them. I stay within my scope of practice. My clients don't ask the dietician to teach them how to squat, and they don't ask me for an exact gram amount of protein to consume daily.

    If I only have to worry about me, well okay let's experiment, let's go against the grain, no worries. So that's one difference between you and me there, PuterMan.

    Anyway the point is that people are arguing about protein amounts. And I'm pointing out that following the ADG/NRV you actually get a fairly large range. The person can adjust within that range to meet their particular needs, and of course adjust based on results.

    I had a longer reply written, but I've deleted it. The point is simply that following official recommendations gives quite a wide range of protein amounts, and likewise for fat and carbs. There's a lot of individual variation in this. My wife eats the same food as me and has high blood cholesterol while I don't - she has a family history of it. But I'll get reflux from acidic foods, she won't. So I advise people that absent medical advice, to take that range and other recommendations, and experiment a bit and see what works for them.

    As soon as you're actually tracking what you eat you're already in the top 1%, anyway. Most people are completely oblivious to it.

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    @Kiashu All I can say is that I spent years following the dietary guidelines and ended up with T2 diabetes, Class II obese and 95% blocked LAD at age 72. I did not start losing weight until I lowered the carbs, and did not really start losing weight until I went keto. Since then no T2 and I am hoping to reduce the arterial plaque and yes I do count everything! Obviously, using my own personal experience, I could never suggest anyone went on to 250 to 300 grams of carbs a day since as far as I am concerned that is a course for disaster in later life as I have proved.

    There are more and more doctors out there recommending low carb so it is not absent medical advice, although my own GP does not understand. I do appreciate your position when talking about clients however.

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    I think I was Class II obese when I started my weight loss journey earlier this year. I've been eating about 2500 calories a day. My macros fall within the range that @Kiashu quotes. Prior to tracking I do think my protein intake was a lower percentage of my calories (perhaps a contributing factor to my overeating).

    My understanding is that for fats and carbs, quality really matters; you certainly can fall within the official macro guidelines and have a very unhealthy diet.

    I would like to know on what basis @PuterMan bases the claim that there is no such thing as too much saturated fat. My current understanding is that the ratio of saturated to unsaturated fat is likely more important than absolute amounts of saturated fat; but fats are high in calories, so there's only so much adding of unsaturated fats to balance the ratio while trying to restrict calorie intake. A diet with 20% of calories from saturated fats and 40% from unsaturated fats may be fine, but a diet with 30% of calories from saturated fat and 5% of calories from unsaturated fats likely isn't.

    For carbs, we really don't need much other than sufficient fiber. Avoiding processed carbs can be very helpful. 40-65% of calories from high fiber carb sources should not lead to diabetes, but processed carbs at that level likely will.

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    This month, Robert, I saw reviewed a study where people were supplied all their food - some all processed stuff, some all unprocessed. They were told to eat as much as they wanted. Those eating processed food ate about 500kCal more daily.

    It's been observed that higher protein food seems to be more filling, as does higher fibre food. There are arguments about the cause of all this, whether it's things going on in our stomachs, the mouth feel of food, hormonal responses and so on.

    For most of us the exact cause is irrelevant, though. It's sufficient for us to know that while a Mars bar is 250kCal, so is an omelette made of 2 eggs, with a cup of chopped mushrooms, spinach and capsicum. So if we want to up our energy intake then the Mars bar is a better choice, if we want to up our intake of vitamins and minerals the omelette is a better choice. They're both 250kCal, but each will have a different effect on how you feel that day, and if you were to choose which to have for breakfast every day for the next 20 years - well, I think you'd see a difference in health as a result.

    There are arguments about high protein diets and so on, about what's optimal for human health. Those are, as I said, outside my scope of practice. What I will observe is that most people don't track their food at all - neither on cronometer or by any other means. And so they drift towards a diet which has a lot of calories and not a lot of nutrition. For example, only 4% of Australians get the recommended 5-6 serves of vegies (375-450g) daily, and while they're recommended to have 0-420kCal of "discretionary" foods daily, the average intake of them is 840kCal.

    When people get a step counter, they start doing more steps. When they go from not tracking their food at all to tracking it, they tend to improve what they're eating. Is a diet of mostly plants optimal? A carnivore diet? Something more like the ADG? I don't know. But if you were not tracking your food and now you are, whatever you are doing will probably be better.

    Just about any diet is better than the modern Western diet. This is, I think, why there are so many passionate advocates of this or that fad diet - however wacky it is, it's an improvement on the crap they were eating before. Is it optimal? Who knows. But it's better.

    Some people don't react well to tracking all their food. You get shame reactions and some people go into a dark hole of obsession. With my gym-goers I keep it to the ADG and say that what it boils down to is, if 80% of your food shopping (including restaurants, liquor stores, etc) is at the greengrocer, butcher, fishmonger and nut shop - you're probably alright.

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    @Kiashu "So if we want to up our energy intake then the Mars bar is a better choice" - You are surely joking? A Mars bar has a high sugar content, ~50% of which is fructose which the body cannot process for energy and goes straight to fat production. The spinach should be ditched as it is very high in oxalates but the eggs will serve you better both in terms energy and nutrients. There is little point in me continuing on this thread as it is clear, with the greatest respect, that neither you or @robartsd do any serious in depth research into what is and is not good for us as humans, and I am not referring to the idiotic guidelines which were drawn up for the benefit of the American growers and have no basis in fact.

    I was feeling hungry a while ago and just tucked in to 175 grams of lambs liver. That has provided me with virtually all the protein and many of the vitamins I need for a day and 385 calories. So much better than a sickly sweet Mars bar. We were designed to be carnivore, not herbivore.

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    No, I'm not joking at all.

    For you as a formerly-obese man in his 70s with heart disease and type II diabetes, a Mars bar would probably be a bad choice. For me as an active but not athletic 49yo man with an unknown health history, it would probably be a bad choice.

    For a healthy 22yo triathlete, it might be a good choice - on top of an already-healthy diet. You will find that triathletes do not fuel their races with lambs liver.

    Each of us has different needs.

    Again, you can say "do your research!" but I speak as a fitness professional. Shouting "Do your research! Ignore the idiotic guidelines which were drawn up for the benefit of the American growers and have no basis in fact!" at the judge in a civil suit would not help me.

    A trainer I know commented about the sorts of clients he got, often highly-skilled professionals in their field. He said, "experts respect expertise." Part of my respecting expertise is staying within my scope of practice, and respecting the expertise of dieticians, rheumatologists, etc. Non-experts tend not to respect expertise as much, I find.

    Again, when it's just yourself, you can do whatever you want, it's your body. And if it works for you I'm happy. But when offering advice to others, I stick to the ADG and NRV, and if they want more detailed advice I have dieticians I refer them to.

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    @Kiashu I have already acknowledged that as a professional your hands are more tied so why point that out again. That does not stop you doing the research however. The people who I follow ARE experts. Doctors, PHDs, Professors not non-experts. They do not follow the blinkered guidelines which were, as I stated, put in place solely to boost the American growers and to sell more of their cereals, carbs and gmo products. The guidelines were based on flawed research but at least we are slowly chipping away at the mountain and at last the 'authorities' now acknowledge that a low carb diet can reduce diabetes and metabolic syndrome. This is something that was realised back in 1915 but got swept under the table because of the diabolic Ancel Keys, a man who single handedly has destroyed the health of the Western world.

    And no, the Mars bar is not a good choice for anyone. Do the research to find out why.

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    @PuterMan you didn't respond at all about my saturated fat question. What studies have you seen that indicate "There is no such thing as too high for saturated fat"? My research indicates that increasing saturated fat in relation to unsaturated fat tends to increase blood cholesterol levels leading to increased risk of heart disease. None of my research has supported absolute limits, just limiting the portion of fats that are saturated fats. As far as I know, animal sources of fats tend to be saturated fats while plant sources of fats tend to be unsaturated fats. I agree with you that the high cereal recommendations were likely highly influenced by agricultural interests rather than health interests; I'm not advocating high cereal diets, I'm advocating increased whole fruit and vegetable (with or without meat and other animal foods - and I do recognize that certain essential nutrients are only found in animal sources).

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    @robartsd When I said there is no such thing as too high saturated fate what I meant was if you are eating a carnivore diet then much of the fat you are eating will be saturated fat. For example the daily average for me, and I am not carnivore yet only keto, over the last 6 months has been 123g fat daily or which 58.8g was saturated and 6.6g polyunstaurated and 1.1g trans. So as you can see about 50% of the fat I eat is saturated yet during this period my cholesterol levels have fallen, indeed have actually become what the medics would call 'normal'. Yesterday I had 203g fat of which 106g was saturated fat. As I edge closer to carnivore the proportion does not seem to be changing much.

    The 'link' between cholesterol and heart disease is fortunately being questioned these days:

    And in fact there are studies that have shown that the lower your cholesterol (at my age!) the greater your risk of heart disease:

    That is just 2 links but there are many out there.

    Whole fruit and vegetable is good if that is your thing. The avoidance of anything processed regardless of the style of diet is the key thing but I would just add a caution about oxalates. https://youtube.com/watch?v=cQqRQ4xXq54

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    Sorry, meant to add - You will not find any mainstream study that says there is no such thing as too high saturated fat. That would be completely against their dogma (and would get them fired for not preaching the Gospel of Statins and Bad Cholesterol)

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    How High Cholesterol Can Be Healthy, and Low Cholesterol Could be Harmful, with Dave Feldman
    It is very long and a bit long winded but worth a watch when you can put 2 hours aside.

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    I just want to chime in to ensure information remains evidenced-based.

    When it comes to what we eat, we know that human beings can be healthy eating a very diverse diet. Research continually points towards a dietary pattern (as part of a healthy lifestyle) as a key predictor of health outcomes, vs. macro targets. Nutrition information that has withstood the test of time is that an unprocessed diet with plenty of plant foods is optimal for disease prevention and improved health outcomes.

    When it comes to health conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, etc. genetics always play a role. Diet alone can't cause these diseases but can certainly increase the likelihood they manifest in a genetically susceptible person.

    As a nutrition professional, I support whatever dietary approach people choose to follow provided it's nutritionally balanced and can be followed long-term. Part of the issue with fad and trending diets is that they lack sustainability and can result in the body becoming more intolerant to carbs when and if they they are re-introduced into the diet.

    And with any dietary pattern, it's important to have regular medical monitoring to ensure markers of health (cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, nutrient status, etc.) are within normal limits. Weight loss can suggest these markers are improving but unfortunately, I've seen some pretty frightening increases in cholesterol, even with significant amounts of lost weight.

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

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    "Part of the issue with fad and trending diets is that they lack sustainability and can result in the body becoming more intolerant to carbs when and if they they are re-introduced into the diet."

    The sustainability is obvious enough. Can you explain what you mean by the body becoming less tolerant of carbs?

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    @Susan_RD_101 "When it comes to health conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, etc. genetics always play a role. Diet alone can't cause these diseases but can certainly increase the likelihood they manifest in a genetically susceptible person." Complete and utter rubbish! The American diet is the prime cause for type 2 diabetes and obesity leading to hypertension. Blaming obesity on your genes is simply a getout, and excuse, a "poor me" cry. There are I accept rare cases where genetics play a part but generally obesity and T2 diabetes is caused by bad diet and way too many refined carbs.

    "Weight loss can suggest these markers are improving but unfortunately, I've seen some pretty frightening increases in cholesterol, even with significant amounts of lost weight." Sound to me like you need to go an do some research on hyper-responders before making statements like that. Whilst losing weight my cholesterol went way up BUT the ratios were good. Now I have lost that weight and there are not pounds of fat being moved around the system my cholesterol has returned to what the medical profession calls normal and the ratios are still good. An increase of cholesterol on a low carb diet is not bad or frightening, indeed is to be expected in most cases. Clearly you have not researched the subject at all and are simply spouting the nutritional dogma which is based on erroneous information and bad studies.

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    @Susan_RD_101 @Kiashu If the body becomes intolerant of carbs, which to some degree it does especially with regard to lactose.

    "Carbohydrate intolerance occurs when someone’s body does not appropriately metabolize certain forms of carbohydrates (after digestion and absorption) when they’ve eaten more than their body can tolerate. The most common form of it is lactose intolerance, which is when a person doesn’t produce the enzyme needed to digest lactose (the sugar found in milk and other dairy products). This can lead to bloating and an upset stomach when those specific carbs are consumed." https://wellandgood.com/what-is-carbohydrate-intolerance/

    The reason for this is that we are not actually designed to drink cows milk, and certainly not for an extended period, i.e. for life. If you stop drinking milk and eating milk based products your body will lose the ability to deal with milk and you will become lactose intolerant.

    Our bodies are not designed to deal with high volumes of carbohydrates, especially refined ones, and diabetes or rather insulin resistance is a form of carbohydrate intolerance as the blood sugar levels cease to be able to return to normal after a big blood sugar spike. Yet another pointer that the food pyramid needs to be thrown out of the window. The more the spikes the greater the insulin resistance and it is insulin that causes fat deposition and leads to obesity.

    Wikipedia states "There are a number of risk factors for insulin resistance, including being overweight or obese or having a sedentary lifestyle." however this is putting the cart before the horse.

    Plenty of info out there if you have time or inclination to do some research. https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffnt&q=insulin+resistance&atb=v168-1&iax=videos&ia=videos

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    edited December 2020

    I asked @Susan_RD_101.

    As another coach said to me in describing the sort of clients he got, _"experts value expertise." _

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    @Kiashu 'Expertise' is a matter or perception. It comes in many flavours and it all that was required was the acquisition of expertise then every 'expert' would be singing from the same hymn sheet but as we know they do not. Experts disagree with each other. Expertise is simply opinion judged on perception over a period of time using learned input. One man's expert is another man's fool.

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    The research is very preliminary and we need to expand the body of evidence before making conclusive statements but it's possible that a long-term keto diet could impact how the pancreatic cells produce insulin. As a result, if and when carbs are reintroduced into the diet, there could be a reduced ability by the body to take up glucose, thereby contributing to worsening glucose tolerance.

    In medicine, we now appreciate that fad diets aren't benign when they no longer work; they can have real and lasting impacts on metabolism and physiological functioning. My bottom line to everyone is to ensure that the diet you follow is sustainable for you in the long-term.

    Hope this helps!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

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