Protein!

For the most part, I feel like this is one aspect of our diet that we have no issues with. This post will go over protein basics, the different types of protein, and ways to get more healthy protein into your diet! 

  • How much protein do we need? It depends on who you are! 
    • Most Americans eat over twice the daily amount of protein they need in a day
    • The average sedentary adult needs 0.8g protein/kg per day 
    • Active adults need 1.2-2.0 gram protein /kg per day 
    • If you are pregnant, injured, chronically ill, or have surgery your protein requirements increase to 1.0-2.0 grams protein/kg per day 
  • Okay, so I am eating too much protein… how do I know, and what do I do about it? 
    • 70 kg is the “typical” adult weight (156 lbs), if am not active, then I need about 56 grams of protein in a day 
    • 1 egg, 4 ounces of chicken, and 4 ounces of quinoa is 50 grams of protein! That is 1 egg, and a palm-size of chicken and a handful of quinoa! 
    • A good rule is that one serving of protein is the size of a deck of cards or your palm. 
  • What types of animal-based protein should I be eating? 
    • Studies have shown that eating more red meat (beef, pork, lamb, goat)  has a relationship with increased mortality- so decrease the amount of red meat in your diet! 
    • If you love red meat, avoid processed meats and pick leaner red meats (a good way to tell if a cut is leaner is if they end in “-loin” like sirloin or tenderloin)
    • Increase your fish intake! You should try to have fish or seafood at least 2 times a week! 
  • Whenever possible, increase your plant based protein! 
    • There are various types of protein there are complete proteins that have all the amino acids you need, and then there are incomplete proteins that if you eat a little bit of each you will get all your essential amino acids. 
    • Complete proteins- meat, dairy, quinoa, soy 
    • Incomplete proteins- grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables
  • Important considerations with cooking protein 
    • Cooking temperatures 
      • Fish: 145F (flake easily with a fork) 
      • Chicken 165F 
      • Pork 145F
      • Steak 125F-155F depending on how you like your steak
  • Protein tips, tricks & myths 
    • Tips: 
      • Meat should not be slimy, sticky, or have an odor 
      • Ensure your refrigerator is less than 39F
      • Mix up your plant-based protein sources to ensure you get all amino acids, and reduce your animal-based protein!
    •  Tricks: 
      • A meat thermometer is your friend!!! I highly recommend you get one if you are planning on cooking raw meat
    • Myth: 
      • Washing your chicken before cooking helps reduce bacteria – FALSE. Washing your chicken actually spreads whatever bacteria all over your sink and increases your risk of contamination! Don’t do it!
      • Different color quinoa is more healthy than others – FALSE. 

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