How was my protein range calculated?

You would have noticed that we asked you for a few specific details about yourself before we were able to provide you with a protein range. This is because these details all help to estimate what your desirable energy requirements might be, which then determine a protein range for optimal health. The energy value and protein ranges we’ve given you are based on the Ministry of Health Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand. These provide guidance on desirable energy intakes for healthy populations, as well as acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges (AMDR) which may help to prevent chronic diseases, meet micronutrient needs and support optimal lean body mass.

Why do I have a Protein Intake Range?

Because we don’t eat the same foods, day in day out, having a protein range means you have the ability to chop and change your diet as you see fit, while you still get the nutrients you need. The AMDR not only helps to provide guidance on how much protein we should be consuming. It also recommends the range of fat and carbohydrate we should be aiming to consume from food each day. As a guide, aim to get your energy from the macronutrient ranges listed below:

  • Protein 15-25% of energy
  • Carbohydrate 45-65% of energy
  • Fat 20-35% of energy

What is my Protein Range based on?

Your protein range is based on 15-25% of your Desirable Estimated Energy Requirement. This energy requirement considers the amount of energy an individual may need in order to maintain a healthy body size and support levels of physical activity that are consistent with good health. So the values provided by our calculator simply gives you an idea on how much energy you should be aiming for each day (taking into account your body size, amount of physical activity you do as well as age and gender), and what 15-25% of that looks like, in terms of the total amount of protein (in grams) you may need for optimal health.
Desirable energy requirements may be lower than actual requirements for people who are overweight or obese, or higher for people who are underweight. For more information visit: https://www.nrv.gov.au/dietary-energy.

Why does this range differ to Recommended Dietary Intakes?

In adults, Recommended Dietary Intakes (RDIs) are set to achieve a balance between what we eat and what we lose on a daily basis. The RDI of protein for most adults is between 0.75-1.07 grams of protein, per kilogram of body weight per day. While we generally meet our minimum protein needs each day, intakes above this level may provide additional health benefits. This is reflected in the acceptable macronutrient distribution range (AMDR), which is what our Anchor Protein+ online calculator is based on.

 

How do I know if I’m already meeting my protein range?

Protein is found in a wide range of foods – from animal products, such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy as well as plant based sources, such as legumes, nuts, seeds, soy and even certain wholegrain cereal and breads. The latest NZ Adult Nutrition Survey from 2008/09 found on average, women and men were getting on average 71g and 102g respectively, which was around 16% of their overall energy intake. So while we have a pretty good idea that we’re eating more than our minimum protein requirements, our intakes are on the lower end of the optimal range. Find out why protein is so important, and some easy ways to make sure you are getting enough.