Zoe Podcast - Should I eat more protein? (or you get enough and don't need protein powders)

I haven’t tried Dave’s Killer Bread, but I love Ezekiel sesame bread. 5g/protein per slice, which looks to be pretty similar to the 21 Grains and Seeds product! https://www.foodforlife.com/sites/default/files/styles/nutritional_facts_100/public/123-Nf-Sprouted_Breads-Sesame-575x161.jpg?itok=qSjmUS2z

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Kind of important to note though that kodiak cakes are just pancakes with protein powder mixed in. I get the giant box at Costco every time i’m there though


American here. I’ve tracked my diet without changing it several times for 1-2 weeks. Every time I’m low on protein intake, even though I was eating 2300 calories on avg. I’d end up overdoing the fat and being OK to a bit high on carbs. Since fat is 9 calories per gram while carbs and protein are 4 cal/g, they math and hunger worked out fine by unconsciously eating more fat or carbs to satiate myself.

The problem for me is meat takes the most time to prep and cook of all the food groups, assuming you’re not baking your own bread. Most meals I’m not doing that. And I don’t like beans or tofu.

So I end up low on protein. Even when trying to hit my protein goals, I was usually falling short unless I supplemented with a protein shake. Granted, I’m not much of a cook.

The guy on the podcast is oversimplifying and over generalizing. Track your damn macros (accurately!) for 7-10 days and find out for yourself if you need more protein.


but based on what grams per body weight? This is an interesting discussion

My target when I was trying to up my protein intake was 1g protein per pound (2.2g per kilogram). You have to be careful about protein goals because some people use g/kg (the logical unit to use) but others use g/lb for convenience of American food labels and it gives a simpler target to remember.

I’m 185 lbs and at 6’1” (185cm) and a broad chest, my target weight is 175 lbs. My natural (not consciously altered) protein intake was about 110 to 130g on average. Actually my calorie intake was even higher than I recalled, about 2500 avg. And I did have Dave’s Killer Bread 21 grain when I did have bread.

Here’s a two week stretch from the last time I tracked it (May).

That’s sounds a lot better. You had some low days and one high day, but not too far off. Hitting protein targets gets a lot easier when there’s always a protein source with every meal and snack. 20-40/50 grams of protein per meal will get most people around the 150-200 mark pretty easily.


Protein, like all nutrients, is better to spread out as much as possible instead of one big dose. There’s less likelihood it even all gets absorbed if it’s one large dose.

For me, I don’t have to consciously control calories but I do have to force trying to get protein each meal. YMMV.

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Yeah, it shouldve been 2g per kg. Bodyweight circa 70kg, i aim for a minimum 140g. But usually im hitting 170-180.

Adding context for this would be more honest. This is from a quick fire portion of the podcast.

This is an interesting statement since it means that only macro that really matters is protein since based on this once your body has used what it needs it will break down further into the Fats and Carbs.

Not that this matters but a quick google search showed that Dr. Chris doesn’t work much with protein let alone athletic performance.

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the implication I read was that you will put on weight/fat with too much protein

Well said, we don’t need to over or under consume protein - It’s just figuring out how much that is for us.

On an North American diet
I personally find consuming large amounts of protein harder than carbs and fats. So the idea of consuming an over abundance of protein to the point that it is the reason you are gaining weight seems crazy.
Even with his football player example 300 g(easier math) protein on its own is only about 1200 calories. Making up about 20% of total consumption. EDIT: I respect and understand that there is concerns about organs processing too much protein.


I think the issue for most americans is that that 1200 calories of protein is usually attached to 2400 calories of beef fat and cheese.

I am not disagreeing with that but that is not the protein and no where does it say you need to consume that ground beef with all the accessories. It would be like saying veggies are going to make you gain weight but it likely isn’t the veggies it is likely the dips you are lathering them in haha.

Burger Breakdown (For those that don’t care)
Dempsters Golden Bun - 170Cal 6P 3.5F 29C
Slice of Cheese - 80Cal 5P 6F 1C
Kirkland 1/4 Beef Patty - 330Cal 18P 28F 0C
Kirkland Fully Cooked Bacon - 80Cal 6P 6F 0C
Total: 660Cal 35P 43.5F 30C

I know nutrition labels aren’t accurate at all but it is what I have to work with.

We’re on the same page lol.

I made my comment because you specifically mention the american diet. And most americans eat like crap…

But agree completely. Protein from meat does not require a ton of fat. If you eat fast food, it likely will. I try to stick to mostly chicken and pork tenderloin, grilled or roasted. If I were in a place with great and easily accessible seafood…I’d eat a whole lot of shellfish as well. I could live off of shrimp/mussels/oysters…

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I’m with @Crownan - and the podcast is not specifically about athletes right.

the discussion on how much protein you get depends a lot on your diet - a really ‘healthy’ diet can be quite deficient when you try to hit > 0.8-1.0 g/kg.

on the plus side, gardener is an actual nutrition scientist, having run multiple big studies (as opposed to many others you’ll find online).

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For those wondering
He reference a grad student of his doing a study to compare PB vs PBMA vs Omnivore Diet

This is not a study of 40 vs 80 vs 120g protein intake study which would make more sense if you are going to claim protein intake doesn’t need to be so high.

However I have lots of questions about this study anyway because it doesn’t present data but rather just says trust us. First flaw is nobody is following a specific workout plan and Second it shows improvements while on the Omnivore diet (which was 50% higher protein) but not deemed significate enough. I would have loved to see the actual data though presented in some format of
Starting Test → 4 Weeks → Test 2 → 4 Weeks → Test 3 → 4 Weeks → Final Test

If you asked Dr Peter Attia, he would likely find you’re not getting enough protein. Of course Attia is biasing towards longevity (and less recently, sport). Gardner’s interest is more nutrition research broadly with a personal lean to vegan/vegetarian. Both seem to do good work. To me, it’s a question of applicability, ie, my interests align more with Attia’s.


If you are on a tight budget then I agree meat can take a long time to prepare, cheap cuts need cooked for a long time, but on the other hand I can cook an 8oz steak in 4 minutes, the chips wouldn’t be out of the oven for another 15 minutes. Eggs are an equally quick to cook source of high quality animal protein that can be cooked in minutes.

If you want to talk about food that takes a long time to prep, my family went vegan 3 days a week 2018-2019, prep and cooking of dried pulses takes 1.5-2hrs. not including those that need an overnight soak.

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If you soak then batch cook beans, legumes etc on a Sunday, you can store them in the fridge all week and make all kinds of dhals and other delicious dishes very easily.
Plus, unlike for meat you’re getting around 20g of fibre for every 20g of protein and THIS is the real magic in the recipe.

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