Harvard Men's Health Watch

Ask the doctor: Best protein: animals or plants?

Ask the doctor

best protein animals or plants
Image: SumikoPhoto/Thinkstock

Q. Does it matter if I get my protein from animal or plant sources? Also, how much do I really need per day?

A. Older men need adequate protein to help build and maintain muscle, but not as much as you think. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines suggest a minimum of 10% of daily calories should come from protein. That's about 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight, so a 175-pound man needs only 63 grams of protein a day.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »