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Protein is an essential building block in our bodies but can we overeat protein? The answer is, yes. Consuming more than 2g of protein per kilogram of body weight can lead to weight gain, kidney damage and promote loss of protein, sodium and calcium via the urine, contributing to risk of osteoporosis.

For the general population, 1g of protein per kilogram of body weight is a safe amount and will provide your body with enough protein to meets its daily needs. For example, if you weigh 70kg, then you need 70g of protein per day. Protein is found is in meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, dairy food, nuts, legumes and soy. By including some protein in each of your main meals – think yoghurt with cereal, milk in your morning flat white, tuna in your lunch and palm size serve of meat at dinner – you will meet your protein needs easily.

Increased protein intake may be necessary if you are trying to increase your muscle mass, recovering from surgery or other health conditions, but use of protein supplement powders is rarely necessary. Some research shows that when you eat protein may be more important than how much protein you eat, particularly for body building and sports performance. A dietitian can calculate your protein needs, assess your diet and help with meal planning to ensure you are meeting your protein needs.

If you require extra knowledge, support, accountability for achieving your health goals, make an appointment with one of our dietitians.

Recipe of the month:

Beef and lemon grass stir-fry

The recipe calls for 500g of lean beef and serves 4 people. Each serve provides 32g of protein; therefore if you weigh 70kg, this provides close to half your daily protein needs.

INGREDIENTS
1 x 250g pkt dried thin rice noodles
2 teaspoons olive oil
500g lean beef strips
1 brown onion, halved, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh lemon grass
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
200g green beans, topped, coarsely chopped
60ml (1/4 cup) sweet chilli sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Lime wedges, to serve

METHOD

Step 1
Place the noodles in a heatproof bowl and cover with plenty of boiling water. Set aside for 5 minutes or until noodles are tender. Drain well.

Step 2
Heat oil in a wok over high heat. Add one-third of the beef and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until brown. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Repeat, in 2 more batches, with the remaining beef.

Step 3
Add the onion, lemon grass and ginger to the wok and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until onion softens. Return beef to the wok with the beans and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the noodles, sweet chilli sauce, fish sauce and lime juice and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Divide the noodles among serving bowls and serve with lime wedges.