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How Much Protein Do I Need?

For most people with diabetes, the amount of protein needed is the same as for people without diabetes. The National Institutes of Medicine recommend protein should typically provide 10 to 35 percent of total calories. The average intake for adults in the U.S. and Canada is about 15 percent of total calories.

For most people, this amounts to 6 to 8 ounces of lean meat, poultry or fish daily. Think of a 3-ounce portion of protein as the size of a deck of playing cards. Aim for including roughly two of these in your diet daily.

If you have kidney problems, you may need to limit how much protein you eat. Excess protein can make kidney damage worse. Your doctor or registered dietitian can help select the amount of protein that is right for you.

Source: Diabetes Teaching Center at the University of California, San Francisco

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