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Are You Eating Enough Protein?

Protein plays an important role in our general health and well being. Just by replacing some of the carbohydrates in your diet with proteins you may see noticeable changes in body composition, and help controlling your total food intake and satiety (the feeling of being full) which can result in noticable weight loss.

 

Proteins function as building blocks for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. It is important to make sure we are consumming adaquate amounts of them in our diet.

 

So how do you know if you are you eating enough protein?

 

The average adult should be consuming a bare minimum of .8g/kg/day of protein. For a person weighing 150 pounds that equates to 54.4g of protein a day- MINIMUM. Most of us need more than this for our body to funtion properly. As part of a well rounded diet, Proteins should make up 10-35% of your daily food consumption

 

If you are active at all, that should be increased to 1 kg/g and for someone who works out even just a few times a week the protein requirements go up to 1.2-1.4g/kg/day. So that same 150 pound woman who goes to zumba once a week, walks her dog every day and plays tennis for an hour every saturday needs about 90-95 grams of protein every day.

 

That sounds like a lot of protein to cram into your day but if you spread it out and choose a variety of protein rich foods to work into your meals it is not that hard to do. If you aim for about 30g per meal and about 10g per snack you can easily meet your bodies needs without overdoing it. By spacing it out evenly through your day you maximize the benefits while allowing your body time to process it and use it properly.

 

Everyone knows that meat is a great place to find protein but there are lots of other ways to sneak a little extra protein onto your plate without having to use powders or supplements. 

 

Here is a list of some foods with good protein content*:

 

Meats and Seafood (based on 3oz serving size)

 

28g     Chicken (skinless)

26g     Steak

25g     Turkey (roasted)

23g     Lamb

22g     Salmon

22g     Pork  

22g     Tuna

20g     Shrimp

16g     Lobster

14g     Scallops 

14g     Ham          

6g      Egg (one large)

 

Plant Based Proteins (based on 1/2 cup cooked serving size)

       

11g     Pinto Beans

9g      Lentils

9g      Edamame

8g      Black Beans

8g      Red Kidney Beans

7g      Chickpeas

7g      Black-eyed Peas

7g      Fava Beans

6g     Wheat Berries

6g      Lima Beans

4g      Quinoa

4g      Green Peas

3g      Spinach

 

Nuts and Seeds (based on 1 oz serving size)

 

12g     Soy Nuts

9g      Pumpkin Seeds

7g      Peanuts (or 1 TBSP Peanut Butter)

6g      Almonds

6g      Pistachios

6g      Flax Seeds

6g      Sunflower Seeds

5g      Chia Seeds

4g      Walnuts

4g      Cashews

 

Dairy Products

 

18g     Greek yogurt (6oz)

14g     Ricotta Cheese (4oz)

14g     1% fat Cottage Cheese (4oz)

11g     Nonfat Yogurt (1 cup)

8g      Skim Milk (1 cup)

8g      Soy Milk (1 cup)

7g      Part Skim Mozzarella (1 oz)

6g      Nonfat String Cheese (1 piece)

 

 

*Protein contents from 2013 Today's Dietitian Learning Library

 

 

 

 

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