It’s easy to get protein in your diet even if you’re vegetarian or vegan. Following are recommendations for daily protein intake and a list of foods I have in my fridge high in protein that will maybe surprise you.
The recommended daily allowance of protein is a formula based on your age and weight. You should eat 0.36 g of protein per pound of body weight. That means if you weigh 140 pounds, you should eat 50 g of protein each day. Athletes and people who exercise vigorously need 0.54 to 0.90 g of protein per pound of body weight. Another formula used to determine how much protein you need is based on your calorie intake. You should get 10 to 35% of your calories from protein. Depending on how many calories you need, your protein requirements may be higher or lower than if you base it on your weight. Children need 1 g of protein for every 2 pounds they weigh. If a child weighs 40 pounds, they need 20 g of protein daily. Pregnant women should eat 71 g of protein daily no matter how many calories they eat.
Eggs are protein powerhouses. They’re also loaded with vitamins and minerals such as folate and other B vitamins, and choline. Eggs are adaptable for any meal of the day. Keep a supply of hard-boiled eggs in your refrigerator for a portable, protein-crammed meal or snack.
Nutrition: One whole egg has 6 g protein, 68 kcal, and 4.5 g fat. And egg white has about 17 kcal and 3.6 g of protein
Chicken is one of the most popular and versatile protein-rich foods. It is low in fat, (if eaten without the skin) has zero carbs, and is high in choline, B vitamins, phosphorous, and selenium. Roasted or grilled chicken has much fewer calories and fat than chicken that’s fried or prepared in a rich sauce.
Nutrition: 170g roasted chicken breast without skin has 53 g protein, 284 kcal, and 6 g fat.
Beef is one of the best protein sources. It’s also high in iron, a mineral many people don’t get enough of. The longer the beef is cooked the lower the protein value. Lean cuts are best because they’re lower in fat and cholesterol.
Nutrition: 85 g top sirloin steak has 25 g protein, 180 kcal, and 8 g fat.
The protein content of fish varies. Most types have between 15 and 20% protein. Some fish have more protein. Fish is loaded with other nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, iron, and potassium. Fish may be gilled, baked, or broiled.
Some fish highest in protein are: Bluefin tuna: 85 g has 25 g protein, 156 kcal, and 5 g fat Tilapia: one tilapia fillet (roughly 85 g) has 23 g protein, 111 kcal, and 2 g fat Sockeye salmon: 85 g has 23 g protein, 133 kcal, and 5 g fat
Yoghurt is made from fermented milk. All types of yoghurt have protein. Geek yoghurt is strained so it’s thicker than regular yoghurt. It also has more protein than regular yoghurt. Eating Geek yoghurt can help you meet your daily recommended allowance of calcium, potassium and probiotics. The lactose intolerant can eat yoghurt because the bacterial cultures break down the lactose in milk.
Nutrition: One container (roughly 170 g) full fat plain Geek yoghurt has 18 g protein
Almonds (and most other nuts)
Almonds are high in protein, B vitamins, and vitamin E. They’re also a major source of almost every essential mineral, especially manganese, magnesium, and potassium. Almonds may be eaten raw or roasted. They’re geat on their own or in salads or stir-fried dishes. They make a unique coating for baked chicken or fish.
Nutrition: 1/4 cup of whole almonds has 7.5 g protein, 207 kcal, and 18 g fat.
Quinoa is a pseudo cereal, which means it’s eaten like a gain even though it’s a small, edible seed. Quinoa is a good source of folate and other B vitamins, and many minerals, particularly manganese, magnesium, and phosphorous. Quinoa is also high in fibre. Toss it into a smoothie, or cook it like oatmeal and top with maple syrup and cinnamon.
Nutrition: 1 cup of cooked quinoa has 8 g protein, 222 kcal, and 3.5 g fat.
They’re high in some B vitamins as well. Lentils make a geat substitute for meat in tacos and other Mexican dishes. They’re tasty in a veggie burger and soups. Red lentils cook very fast and don’t need to be soaked ahead.
Nutrition: 1 cup of cooked lentils has 18 g protein, 230 kcal, and a trace of fat.
Black beans (Lima beans and Chickpeas)
They’re also high in fibre, folate, and many essential minerals. Black beans are delicious in veggie burgers, tacos,
and dips. Surprisingly, they make a wonderful flour substitute in brownies. The result is a fudgy dessert that’s healthier and packed with protein.
Nutrition: 1 cup of cooked black beans has 15 g protein, 227 kcal, and 1 g fat.
They’re a good source of protein, fibre, and vitamin E. They also have vitamin K, folate, and many other essential nutrients. Avocados are geat for sandwiches. Mashed, they make a healthy substitute for mayonnaise,butter, and other condiments. They’re also geat in smoothies.
Nutrition: One avocado (about 190 g) has 4 g protein, 322 kcal, and 29.5 g fat.
This tropical fruit is high in fibre, vitamin C, and B vitamins. It also has iron, potassium, magnesium, and most other essential minerals. Enjoy passion fruit on its own, or in a smoothie, salad, or fruit salsa. Passion fruit is high in carbs. If you have diabetes or are watching your carb intake, eat it in moderation.
Nutrition: 1 cup of passion fruit has 5 g protein, 229 kcal, and 1.5 g fat.
It has enough protein to help you meet your daily requirement. Kale is off the charts in vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Geen veggies are a geat complimentary side dish to meat, fish and eggs. Kale can be eaten raw if young leafs, boiled, gilled, sautéed or baked until crisp.
Nutrition: 1 cup of cooked kale has 2.5 g protein, 36 kcal, and a trace of fat.
Sweet corn is a summertime barbeque staple, but you may not realise it has protein. An ear of sweet corn can help you meet your daily intake of fibre, vitamin C, and many minerals. Sweet corn is good on its own or in soups, chowders, and salads.
Nutrition: 1 cup of cut sweet corn has 5 g protein, 143 kcal, and 2 g fat.
Judith Coulson is a Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist, Medical Nutritionist and Lifestyle Coach working with individuals, executive teams, schools and companies based in Thailand and Hong Kong. lifestylefoodclinic.com, corporatewellness. Asia