The amount of protein a 40-year-old woman needs each day depends on her body weight and activity level. As women age they require fewer calories to maintain a healthy body weight; however, protein needs stay the same or even increase with age. According to a 2011 review article published in “Nutrition and Metabolism,” the loss of muscle associated with aging can be prevented or slowed by consuming 20 to 30 grams.
A 50-year-old woman should aim to consume a minimum of 45 grams of protein per day. This amount of protein is the recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for non-pregnant, non-nursing women, according to the Institute of Medicine. A 50-year-old woman’s specific calorie needs are based on her body weight and activity level.
According to the Institute of Medicine, 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight, is used to determine protein RDAs. Therefore, a 50-year-old woman needs a minimum of 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day, equaling about 48 grams of protein per day for a 135-pound woman. According to an article published in a 2007 edition of the “Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition,” physically active adults require 1.4 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, which is equivalent to 0.64 to 0.91 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day. Therefore, a 50-year-old, 135-pound physically active woman would need 86 to 123 grams of protein each day to meet the demands of exercise training.
Although many effective weight loss diets are high in protein, consuming too much protein is harmful to your health. According to a 2006 review published in the “International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism,” consuming excess protein puts you at risk for nausea, diarrhea and even death. Authors of this review recommend you consume no more than 2.5 grams of protein per kilogram, or about 1.1 gram of protein per pound of body weight each day. Therefore, the maximum safe amount of protein for a 50-year-old, 135-pound woman is 149 grams of protein per day.
Most adult women in the U.S. consume plenty of protein. High-protein foods include lean beef, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, cottage cheese, milk, yogurt, cheese, soy products, seitan, legumes, nuts and seeds. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 3 ounces of chicken breast contain 27 grams of protein, 3 ounces of lean ground beef provide 21 grams, 1 cup of cottage cheese contains 28 grams, 1 cup of milk provides 8 grams, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter contain 8 grams and 1 large egg provides about 6 grams of dietary protein.
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