Protein is a macronutrient. In food labeling protein provides four Calories per gram. Proteins are composed of chains of amino acids and are found in all living organisms.

Health considerations

Protein provides amino acids which are essential to human health at the most basic level. There are certain amino acids, essential amino acids, not synthesized by the human body. “Complete” proteins provide all of these. Animal proteins are complete, but not all vegetarian sources of protein are. However if a variety of plant foods are consumed, not necessarily in the same meal, requirements are easily met.

Keep in mind

Health agencies recommend between 10% and 35% of Calories in the diet should come from protein, which translates to at least 46g and 56g for adult women and men, respectively. Body composition, mass, and activity levels may increase or decrease requirements.

May be found in

Meat, dairy, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, mushrooms


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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