One of the most commonly asked questions that I get from my clients is "What should I eat for protein?" Starting a healthy eating plan can be challenging, because we are told all of the things that are BAD for us. We are often left thinking, "Well, what CAN I eat?"
First and foremost, eating fresh whole foods is the best way to ensure that we are eating healthy. Second, look for foods that are local, in season, and organic (if possible). Third, is BALANCE and PORTION control. Only eat until you are 2/3 full, and make sure that you are getting the right amounts of protein for your body.
Omnivore = A diet that includes all types of food: meat, eggs, veggies, dairy, fish, etc.
Pescatarian = A diet of fish/seafood, eggs, dairy, fruits, veggies, grains, etc.
Vegetarian = A diet of fruits, veggies, grains, dairy, eggs (optional), etc.
Vegan = A diet of fruits, veggies, grains, etc (no animal products).
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), which is the minimum amount you need to be healthy, is 0.8 grams per kilogram (0.36 grams per pound) of body weight per day—46 grams for an average woman. That equals as little as 10% of daily calories.
You need protein for your muscles, bones, and the rest of your body. Exactly how much you need changes with age:
Babies need about 10 grams a day.
School-age kids need 19-34 grams a day
Teenage boys need up to 52 grams a day.
Teenage girls need 46 grams a day.
Adult men need about 56 grams a day.
You should get at least 10% of your daily calories, but not more than 35%, from protein, according to the Institute of Medicine.
Five Plant Based Protein Sources:
Nuts: 1/4 cup nuts = around 7-9g protein
Hemp Seeds/Hearts: 3 tablespoons hemp = about 10g protein
Nutritional Yeast: 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast = about 12g protein
Quinoa: 1/2 cup cooked quinoa = 7-9g protein
Beans: 1 cup cooked beans = around 15g protein
How do you incorporate plant based proteins into your diet?