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Protein- Are you getting it all in?

We often hear about protein and how much to eat, where to get it from, and “oh hey try the latest and greatest powder or bar.” For many of us, if we are just aware of what we are eating we would come to find that we can make simply changes to our regular food habits and get the recommended dose each and every day.

Protein needs can vary from person to person. Those needs continue to change as we age, develop sicknesses or disease and with how active we are. But as a baseline standard, adult recommendations are 0.8-1.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight or about 15-20% of your daily nutritional needs. For example, if I weigh 135 pounds that is 61.4 kg (pounds divided by 2.2). Then I would multiply that by 0.8-1.0 g/kg. Therefore, I would want to aim for 48-61 grams of protein per day. I happen to be a very, very active person, so I would increase my needs to 1-1.2 g/kg to make sure that I am properly feeding my muscles.

If this has struck your curiosity, write down how much protein you take in at each of your meals and see where you end up at the end of the day. You may be surprised to find that you really don’t take in as much as you thought. But rather than supplements with pricey powders that hold unwanted calories or bars that aren’t that delicious, try getting your protein from whole foods. I’ve given you some options delicious options and tips to follow:

Get it from grains-They don’t just offer fiber & carbohydrates, we are now becoming more familiar with the protein content available from different grains. Here’s a list of grains in order of most protein to the least:  Wheat, wild rice, spelt, kamut, quinoa, buckwheat, oats, barley, bulgar wheat, sorghum, millet, rye and then brown rice.  The next time you need a side dish or you want to mix up a salad, try something new and change things up!

Seafood- Cooking seafood can be intimidating if your used to the deep-fried or casserole version. But many types of seafood such as lobster, shrimp and sea bass have a mild flavor and will take on whatever role you chose. Play with new recipes and make it zesty, pair it with fruit, add variety with veggies, try new herbs and spices or make it bold with a spicy kick!

Eggs- For about 17 cents an egg (or $2.00 a dozen) you can enjoy them countless ways. Eat them hard-boiled, scrambled, made into an omelette or even as a custard. Adding eggs into your diet isn’t only budget friendly but waist line friendly too!

Peanut Butter- Personally this one is my favorite. I could eat peanut butter on anything or literally by the spoonful. But for you other peanut butter lovers out there just remember, although it has good protein and good healthy fats, just 2 Tbls of this tasty treat has 180-200 calories.  Tired of peanut butter? Try other nut butters like cashew or almond.

Plain yogurt or cottage cheese- A great way to eat your dairy and get your protein in. Be aware of full fat varieties and flavors that add unwanted sugar. Use yogurt in place of mayo or sour cream, add fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts or even some chocolate chips for a sweet treat! Cottage cheese is great on its own, paired with tomato and cucumbers with salt and pepper or with fruit. I love having cottage cheese with fresh berries and a drizzle of honey!

Don’t forget the beans– Inexpensive and seemingly endless varieties. Beans come in many shapes, flavors and forms. Add them to salad, have them be the salad, eat them as a side, add them to soup or even roast them and eat them as a snack.

For questions or comments about protein needs or more varietes, feel free to contact Donna Wolf at Healthy Directions Poway. Visit our website or give us a call. We’d love to hear from you.


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