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Mark Hyman: How Protein Reduces Cravings, Supports Muscle And Promotes Health

Updated: Feb 9

Release Date: 1/30/2023

Podcast Length: 40:01

4 Key Takeaways

  1. Eat at least 30-50 grams of protein in your first meal of the day

  2. Eating a high protein diet is directly linked to weight loss

  3. Most people should eat 1-2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight or 30 grams 3-4 times daily

  4. Eating BOTH plant and animal proteins is best for overall health and longevity

This episode of the Doctors Pharmacy podcast talks about how much protein people

should eat and why it is important for our body. This audio features four conversations with

different experts who specialize in proteins.


  1. Adequate Protein intake is essential to human health

  2. It is best to consume protein from a variety of sources

  3. Plants

  4. Animals

  5. Eating animal protein is important for building muscle

  6. Animal proteins are rich in Leucine (an essential amino acid)

  7. Leucine activates the switch that increases protein synthesis (muscle building)

  8. To get enough leucine from plants you would have to eat six cups of quinoa or two cups of beans per meal

  9. If veganism or vegetarianism is your choice then the use of supplements should be considered

  10. It is important to add extra branched-chain amino acids

  11. These do not exist naturally in plants alone

How Much Protein do we need?

  1. There is no correct answer for everyone

  2. It is suggested to eat between 1 and 2 grams per kilogram(2.2 lbs) of body weight

  3. It is crucial for children and elderly people to consume at least 1G per kilogram

  4. This supports healthy muscle density

  5. Athletes require more protein to maintain athletic performance

  6. Dr. Hyman suggests eating 30-50 grams of dietary proteins during the first meal after an overnight fast

  7. This helps the body to reach the leucine threshold needed to stimulate mTOR

  8. mTOR controls the signalling of skeletal muscle mass growth and wastage

  9. It is recommended to add carbs to the first meal if needed to support exercise

  10. It is recommended that every ounce of food eaten contains 7 grams of protein

  11. In general Dr. Hyman suggests:

  12. 30 grams per meal

  13. Three-four meals per day (depending on exercise levels)

  14. The US Department of Agriculture states that most Americans do not consume enough protein on a daily basis

  15. The average American gets only 60-90 grams per day

  16. Studies suggest that if you are 18 years old or younger and exercise regularly then you should have at least 20 grams per meal to achieve maximum benefits

  17. 30 grams per meal yielded even better results

Benefits of Proteins

  1. Eating protein for breakfast is important because it helps regulate your appetite and builds muscle

  2. Protein takes more energy to metabolize(convert into energy) so you can lose weight just by choosing to eat more protein and less carbohydrates (sugar)

  3. Eating high-quality proteins daily is directly linked to increased longevity

Protein and Veganism

  1. Getting enough protein is difficult but possible for vegans

  2. Combining plant proteins like beans, grains, and nuts can achieve a complete protein profile

  3. The combination of soy, quinoa, and hemp can provide all of the amino acids needed to build muscle

  4. Plant matter contains less protein than animal sources so more needs to be consumed

  5. Getting adequate protein from plants often requires a specialized diet plan from a nutritionist or dietitian

  6. Vegetarianism is much easier to get adequate protein

  7. Can combine complete proteins from animal products such as whey (byproduct of cheese making)

  8. Mixing whey with plant proteins like soy allows for easy and adequate intake without harming animals

Protein and Satiety (The feeling of being full)

  1. Eating protein dense food makes you feel more full for a longer period of time

  2. This reduces the chance of over eating

  3. Eating carbohydrate dense foods results in more eating and a shorter period of satiety

Confusion Around Protein Intake

  1. Research offers wildly different data regarding the best amount and types of protein sources

  2. Dr. Hyman believes that the governments recommendation on daily protein intake is not enough for most people

  3. Especially for older populations

  4. Elderly may need two times the recommended daily intake to prevent muscle wasting

  5. Companies with a strong agenda such as PETA are reporting false studies regarding the dangers of animal proteins

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