Quick Facts About Protein

Protein, it’s a word we throw around when we talk about food. I thought you might enjoy some facts about protein. It is one of my favorite food subjects - protein!

Why is protein so important?

The simple answer is that without an adequate supply of all the things protein supplies in our bloodstream, our bodies don't function well.

Our bodies use proteins to produce enzymes, hormones and antibodies. Protein is the "building blocks" of our cells and without it we cannot replace worn out cells or repair muscle tissue from training.

How much protein should I eat today?

Great question. Ladies are going to want to get a minimum of between 20 and 30 grams every time they eat, and men between 30 and 45 grams. If you eat more frequent meals a day (say 5) choose the lower end per meal, if you eat less frequently (3 meals a day) eat the higher end of the spectrum. So on the low end that is between 90 and 100 grams for women and 120 to 150 grams for men, per day.

I can hear the screams and wails already? THAT much protein? 🙂

Well, is it really that much?

Let's look at what a women eating 3 times per day would have to consume to get between 90 and 100 grams per day:

  • Breakfast: 6 oz. greek yogurt with 1 oz of walnuts stirred in - 22 grams
  • Lunch: 4 oz. of chicken breast (over a nice spinach salad with some strawberries maybe?) with an ounce of almonds - 38 grams
  • Dinner: 4 oz. of sirloin steak - 35 grams

That's 95 grams of protein without hardly trying. You are also getting some healthy fats at the same time and the calories are very efficient.

Did I eat enough protein at each meal?

Adequate protein is crucial to giving your body what it needs to manufacture enzymes, hormones and antibodies. Protein is needed to replace worn out cells and build new cells. You can't be your best without enough protein.

The most efficient way to get our protein is to eat it from animal sources. They have the most protein per calorie and contain all the essential and non-essential amino acids that your body needs. We call these FULL proteins, because they are well, FULL of protein.

One key point to remember is that we want to focus on lean protein that ‘stands alone’. In other words, there is a big difference between something having protein in it and actually being considered a primary source of protein.

A quick example is peanut butter. Eating enough natural peanut butter to get in 20 grams of protein would mean we were also eating 48 grams of fat and 600 calories, only about 85 which are from protein – not the best plan.

Lean Beef, Bison: 3 oz cooked = 22-27 grams protein
Extra Lean Ground
Flank Steak
Lean Tenderloin
Top Sirloin

Fish: 3 oz cooked = 21-26 grams protein
Cod
Halibut
Salmon, canned and fresh
Mackerel
Tilapia
Tuna

Pork: 3 oz cooked = 22-27 grams protein
Pork loin
Pork chops
Low sodium ham

Poultry: 3 oz cooked = 21-26 grams protein
Chicken - breast, ground, tenderloins
Turkey - breast, ground, tenderloins

Shellfish: 3 oz cooked = 21-26 grams protein
Clams
Crab
Lobster
Scallops
Shrimp

Milk & Yogurt: 1 cup = 8-24 grams protein
Goat's milk
Yogurt, plain
Greek yogurt, plain

Lamb: 3 oz cooked = 22-27 grams protein

Whole eggs: 2 large = 12 grams protein

Whey protein powder: 1 scoop = 21-24 grams protein

Now to get you started in the right direction why not choose one of these recipes. They are proven to be winners by my family. Making these for your family will help you to get in the protein your body needs.

Golden Almond Crusted Pork Loin

"Forget the Pasta" Roast

Sweet Potato Kale Chicken Patties

To Your Best Health,
Coach Nancy

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