Understanding protein

You need roughly two portions of protein every day, but what does that mean?

Adults need roughly two portions of protein every day. As a guide, one portion of protein is the amount that will roughly cover the palm of your hand. For most people, this is about 60g of meat, 140g fish, or two medium eggs. As well as meat, fish and eggs, protein is also found in pulses, beans, dairy products, nuts, and meat alternatives like soya. Keep your intake of saturated fat low by choosing lean cuts of meat.

Aim for variety in your diet e.g. by getting 1 or 2 servings of fish per week including one of oily fish like mackerel, salmon or trout. Beans and pulses are a good alternative to meat and fish: they also contain soluble fibre that can help lower your cholesterol too. They also contain vitamins and minerals – and if you’re aiming to hit your 5 a day, 3 heaped tablespoons will count as 1 of your 5 portions! Nuts are a source of protein, as well as healthy fats, but they are high in calories – so you only need a small handful, portion control is key!


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