Keto Resources

Dr. Stephen Phinney: How much protein should you eat on a ketogenic diet?

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So each of us has our own range of carbohydrate tolerance and to some degree protein tolerance in terms of how much of those two macronutrients can we still stay in nutrition ketosis. As for some people who are more insulin resistance they need to not just restrict carbohydrate, but make sure they don't overeat protein. There is however some of those people in a narrow range because if they under eat do too much down that can
effectively maintain their lean tissue muscle and organ proteins as necessary for the full range of normal body functions. So we don't suggest restricting protein below a certain point. And technically
that's 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of what we call reference body
weight. And that's explained in our book
blog post. We prefer that most people start at 1.5 because that gives people a buffer for whether it's physical stress like vigorous physical activity or in fact mild infection or emotional stress. All of which can can make the body slightly less efficient in
protein utilization. But our range typically is the 1.2 at the low end 2.0 at the upper end.

People should start around 1.5. Now that's hard to calculate. So we basically give people a table in the blog post to show that for men and women at so many feet and inches tall – a five foot six
inch woman would eat this many ounces of protein rich foods. Because again most of us in the U.S.
don't think in terms of grams.

And honestly that is a little more practical. We translated it in ounces to make it a little easier for people to have the specific range. And the other thing to do is you know test your ketones and if you're ketones are low and you feel you're at the high end then you can bring your protein down. But realize also that dietary carbohydrate is much more potent at reducing ketones than
protein. So don't say well I'm going to eat real low protein, so I can have brown rice with a meal. Uh-huh. Keep the starches in grains and refined carbohydrates and sugars out of the diet. If you're already doing that in say 30 to 50 grams of carbohydrate range, then you can try adjusting the protein.

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