Are you eating enough protein?

May 25, 2010

I hope so because it's critical you do.

Far too many people have bought into the no fat/low fat nonsense and in so doing, do not get sufficient amounts of protein. Without adequate protein and fat for that matter, your body cannot reproduce cells, upkeep your various systems and will indeed age faster. In a very real sense your body will literally eat itself up alive for the protein you don't ingest. And the type and quality of the protein you choose to eat matters as well.

For example, while combining rice and beans provide many of the essential amino acids, this combo does not provide all, not to mention that this combo is pure starch. Starch raises blood sugar greater than any other food source and high circulating blood sugar is caustic to your blood vessels. Eggs and salmon would be a much better choice of protein. In fact, all animal proteins are superior to their plant based counterparts.

A good general guide for protein intake is to get about 1 gram of quality protein per pound of your target body weight. So if you currently weigh 200 pounds but should really weigh 140, you'd want to shoot for 140 grams of quality protein per day.

It is so very critical that you don't skimp on protein. It is the building block of life. Please don't worry if the protein is lean. Fatty proteins are actually better for you than lean sources. If you're worried about saturated fat and heart disease, worry no longer.

Here is a small list of some quality protein sources. I've listed both the protein grams and the calories. Most serving sizes are one cup or 8 ounces. Most women should strive for about 3-4, 20-30 gram servings per day. Men 3-4, 25-35 gram servings per day Unless you already have kidney problems, you really can't eat too much protein. Eating too little is far worse than too much.

1 cup: chopped, meat only – 40.5g/266cal
½ chicken w/skin, roasted - 81.6g/715cal

4oz.: hamburger, cooked – 27g/328cal

1 cup: solid white tuna in water – 60g/280cal
4 oz: salmon, baked – 25g/234 cal

1 cup: cashews – 24g/800 cal
1 cup: almonds – 24g/720 cal
1 cup: peanuts – 44g/1080 cal *
1 cup: walnuts – 15g/660 cal

1 whole egg – 6.3g/75 cal
1 cup: chopped, hardboiled – 17g/210 cal

1 cup: Ham, 11% fat, chopped – 31.7g/249 cal
Bacon, 2 slices – 5g/80cal
Sausage, 2 small links – 9g/180 cal

So make sure to eat your protein! Your health depends on it.