Before I get into the direct answer; let’s start by talking about the food guide pyramid that came in the mid-1980’s, basically it said we’re going to reduce higher quality proteins and animal proteins, because of cholesterol and saturated fat. That we should eat a lot more plants, that’s what Americans did. We reduced our consumption of eggs and milk and beef by almost 35% in each category, we increased our plant calories by over 400 calories per day and what we got is an enormous increase in obesity and diabetes with no change in heart disease.
So should you eat at least 30 grams of protein per meal…. well not necessarily but it is a good start.
The food pyramid made us comfortable with the concept of there being a range based on optimizing health, but for protein for whatever reasons, we religiously argue that the RDA is not only the minimum, but it’s the maximum.
People say well we’re eating too much, but we’re eating just barely above the RDA. Most adults are eating right around 1.0 grams per kg or a little less. So we’re not eating high, we’re eating pretty close to the minimum.
The importance of that is if you look at the latest dietary guidelines committee board, they tried to model a series of optimal diets. I think one of the important things in that report was the committee recognized there’s not a single diet that’s perfect for everyone. There are healthy people eating vegetarian diets and there are healthy people eating omnivore diets and Mediterranean diets, etc.
Even the recommended vegetarian diet is 1.5 times the RDA, and up to the healthy American style is almost two times.
So really we should be eating like 1.2 to 1.6 grams per kg, well above the minimum and well above what the standard has been for decades.