Food Pyramid: Proteins

Eat 2 to 4 portions a day



Lean meat, fish, eggs and vegetarian alternatives provide protein for growth and cell repair, as well as iron to prevent anemia. Meat also provides B vitamins for healthy nerves and digestion, especially vitamin B12, and zinc for growth and healthy bones and skin.

Only moderate amounts of these protein-rich foods are required. An adult woman needs about 45 g of protein a day and an adult man 55 g, which constitutes about 11% of a day's calories. This is less than the current average intake. For optimum health, we need to eat some protein every day.

What is a "portion" of protein-rich food?

Some examples are:

  • 3 slices (85–100 g / 3 – 3-1⁄2 oz) of roast beef, pork, ham, lamb or chicken
  • 115–140 g (4–5 oz) cooked fillet of white or oily fish (not fried in batter)
  • 3 fish fingers
  • 2 eggs (up to 7 a week)
  • about 140 g / 5 oz baked beans
  • 60 g (2 1⁄4 oz) nuts, peanut butter or other nut products