How much protein do you need and what are the best sources? Find out with this quiz.

Lack of protein is a problem in developing nations, but in the U.S., teenage girls and the elderly are the ones most likely to fall short.
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Lack of protein is a problem in developing nations, but in the U.S., teenage girls and the elderly are the ones most likely to fall short.

The rest of us tend to get more than our fair share, especially from meat, and would benefit from eating more vegetables. Quality is also important. Deli meats can be high in sodium and chemical additives, and meat and poultry that isn’t organic can be a source of toxins. Wondering what else there is to know? Take our quiz to find out.

Protein Snapshots 

  • Meat and fish: 21–25 grams of protein in a 3 oz. serving of lean steak, boneless pork chop, chicken or turkey breast, yellowfin tuna, halibut, octopus, sardines, or sockeye salmon. 
  • Plant sources: 20 grams in 1 cup navy beans; 12 grams in a 3 oz. serving of Japanese-style soba noodles or tofu; 8 grams in 1 cup of quinoa. 
  • Dairy and eggs: 6 grams in 1 large egg; 14 grams in ½ cup cottage cheese; 12–20 grams in 5 oz. of Greek yogurt.

1. Protein is most important for:

a) Providing quick, short bursts of energy

b) Providing sustained, lasting energy

c) Building and repairing muscles, bones, and other tissues

d) All the above

2. How much daily protein do most women need?

a) 36 grams

b) 46 grams

c) 56 grams

d) 66 grams

e) 76 grams

3. How much daily protein do most men need?

a) 36 grams

b) 46 grams

c) 56 grams

d) 66 grams

e) 76 grams

4. Meat is the primary source of protein for most Americans. Which is second?

a) Eggs

b) Fish and seafood

c) Legumes, nuts, and seeds

d) Dairy

5. Which of these plant foods are not protein sources in vegan meat alternatives, such as plant-based burgers and deli slices, or protein powders?

a) Fungi

b) Beets

c) Beans

d) Peas

e) Rice

f) Hemp

6.Per 8-ounce glass, cow’s milk contains about 8 grams of protein. Protein content of plant milks varies, from less than 1 gram to more than 10 grams. Which type of plant milk tends to contain the most protein?

a) Almond

b) Oat

c) Rice

d) Hemp

e) Soy

f) Coconut

7. Which of these are dairy proteins?

a) Whey

b) Casein

c) Neither

d) Both

8. Protein can curb appetite.

a) True

b) False

The Scoop on Protein Quiz Answers

1. c) Protein is essential for building and repairing muscles, bones, skin, and other tissues. Protein can be burned for energy if a diet lacks carbohydrates, the body’s preferred energy source, but providing energy is not the main role of protein.

2. b) Most women need about 46 grams of protein daily. Women who are pregnant or breast feeding, and athletes, need more.

3. c) Most men need about 56 grams of protein daily. Athletes need more.

4. a) Eggs rank second as a main source of protein in the U.S., followed by dairy, fish and seafood, and plant protein from legumes, nuts, and seeds.

5. b) Beets are used as an ingredient in some vegan meat alternatives, such as Beyond Burger, where they are a natural source of color. But they are not the protein source.

6. e) Soy milk tends to be highest in protein. Individual products vary, but the label should list exact protein content.

7. d) These are the two main proteins in milk, and both are popular in protein powders. Whey is digested rapidly, whereas casein is digested more slowly.

8. a) A study at the University of Missouri found that yogurt with 24 grams of protein delayed hunger significantly longer than the same type of yogurt with 5 or 14 grams.

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