Feb 23, 2024

Protein is the King of Macros

Protein is often referred to as the "king" among macronutrients due to several reasons:

  • Muscle Building and Repair: Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, including muscles. It provides the necessary amino acids needed for muscle growth and recovery after exercise.

  • Satiety: Protein is more satiating than carbohydrates or fats, meaning it helps you feel full and satisfied after meals. This can be beneficial for weight management as it may reduce overall calorie intake.

  • Metabolic Functions: Protein plays a crucial role in various metabolic functions, including enzyme production, hormone regulation, and immune system support.

  • Thermic Effect of Food (TEF): Protein has a higher thermic effect compared to carbohydrates or fats, meaning that the body requires more energy (calories) to digest and metabolize protein. This can slightly increase overall energy expenditure.

  • Lean Body Mass Preservation: Adequate protein intake is important for preserving lean body mass, especially during weight loss or periods of calorie restriction. This helps ensure that the weight lost comes primarily from fat rather than muscle.

  • Nutrient Density: Many protein-rich foods also contain other essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, making them nutrient-dense choices

How Much Protein Do I Need?

  • Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA): The RDA for protein for adult men is around 56 grams per day, and for adult women, it's about 46 grams per day. These values are based on average requirements to prevent deficiency and promote overall health.

  • Percentage of Body Weight: The recommendation of consuming about 10-15% of your body weight in grams of protein per day is a rough estimate that can be used as a guideline. This means if you weigh 68 kilograms, consuming about 15-23 grams of protein per meal would fall within this range.

  • High-Protein Diet: If you're following a high-protein diet for specific goals like muscle gain or weight loss, you might need to consume more protein. High-protein diets may recommend consuming around 25-35% of your total daily calories from protein.

  • Individual Needs and Goals: The amount of protein needed can vary greatly depending on factors such as age, gender, weight, activity level, muscle mass, metabolic rate, and overall health. Additionally, specific goals such as weight loss, muscle gain, or managing certain health conditions may require adjustments to protein intake.

  • Consultation with a Professional: Consulting with a doctor or registered dietitian is recommended to determine the appropriate amount of protein for your individual needs and goals. They can take into account various factors and provide personalized recommendations tailored to your specific circumstances.

5 Good Protein Sources

  1. Chicken

Protein per serving: 43 grams

Low in calories and high in protein, chicken is a good source of vitamin B, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and zinc. Choose white meat instead of dark meat and remove the skin to cut down on on fat.

  1. Fish

Protein per serving: 40 grams (salmon)

Fish also contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin B2, calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium—in other words, all kinds of good stuff.

  1. Turkey

Protein per serving: 24 grams

This delicious meat contains vitamins, minerals, and of course, lots of protein. Remove the skin for less fat.

  1. Shrimp

Protein per serving: 20 grams

Shrimp, a type of crustacean, is a low-calorie yet nutrient-rich food. Containing nutrients like potassium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids, shrimp also provides iodine—a mineral that your thyroid and brain need in order to function correctly. 

  1. Dairy

Protein per serving: 8 grams (whole milk)

Dairy products include Greek yogurt, cow’s milk, cheese, and butter. Many of these items naturally lend themselves to breakfast.

What If I’m Vegetarian or Vegan?

If you don’t eat meat or other animal products, don’t worry! There are still plenty of ways you can meet your required daily protein levels, even on a plant-based diet. Common vegan protein sources include grains, beans, nuts, and other foods that you’ll find in the list below:

  • Legumes: Beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas are excellent sources of protein. They are also high in fiber and various vitamins and minerals.

  • Grains: Quinoa, brown rice, oats, barley, and whole wheat products provide protein along with carbohydrates. Quinoa, in particular, is considered a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids.

  • Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, peanuts, walnuts, cashews, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds are rich in protein, healthy fats, and other nutrients.

  • Soy Products: Foods like tofu, tempeh, edamame, and soy milk are derived from soybeans and are excellent sources of protein. They also contain all essential amino acids.

  • Seitan: Also known as wheat gluten or wheat meat, seitan is made from gluten, the protein found in wheat. It is a popular meat substitute and can be used in various dishes.

  • Plant-Based Meat Substitutes: There are now many plant-based meat alternatives available in stores, made from ingredients like soy, pea protein, or mushrooms, which provide protein without using animal products.

  • Vegetables: Some vegetables also contain decent amounts of protein. Examples include broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, and potatoes.

  • Plant-Based Protein Powders: Pea protein, rice protein, hemp protein, and other plant-based protein powders can be used to supplement protein intake, especially for those with higher protein needs or for convenience.

We've also included several vegetarian foods that contain high amounts of protein. Check our menu!

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Healthy Meal Plans

for the busy and health-minded

Healthy Meal Plans

for the busy and health-minded

Healthy Meal Plans

for the busy and health-minded