So, you’ve read Vegetarianism 101 and are trying to eat meat only from farms who put their animals first – awesome! But this new way of living is lot of work (tell me about it). Eating out is a pain in the butt, and time, which no one seems to have, is going into planning meals weeks in advance. So, what’s my secret solution? Well, I’m not eating meat. Now you might be wondering…how am I getting enough protein? Well, here’s everything you need to know about protein. Also, just wanted to say thank you to a couple of readers who’ve asked me this question and gave me the idea to write about it today – thanks!
First of all, everyone needs about 0.8-1 gram of protein per kg of body weight a day. Here’s a real world example using a 150 pound person: 150 lbs / 2.2 = 68 kg * 0.8-1 = 55 - 68 grams of protein per day. So, what does 60 grams of protein look like?
- 3 oz (deck of cards) of meat (beef, pork, chicken) contains ~25 g of protein
- ½ cup of firm tofu contains ~20 g of protein
- ½ cup of cottage cheese contains ~16 g of protein
- ¾ cup of greek yogurt contains ~15 g of protein
- Lastly, ¼ cup of nuts contains ~8 g of protein
If you’re not a numbers person then we can use good old Canada's Food Guide - if you are eating your recommended meat & alternatives and milk & alternatives you'll be getting your recommended protein intake. Sounds too easy doesn’t it? But it’s true!
If protein powders are your thing then you want to grab one that is 100% whey-based, such as Beneprotein; unfortunately so many powders add unnecessary additives like carbohydrates and vitamins when all your looking for is the protein! Also, just a little tip about adding protein to drinks: add the liquid first, and shake not stir to prevent lumping. However, even if you are using something like Beneprotein I would still try to meet your protein needs through food. Something happens when we extract nutrients, like protein, from their original form...our bodies don't absorb them properly or they act differently once digested, so try not using the supplement.
Lastly, if you wanted to track your food intake for a couple of days to see how you are doing with protein and if a supplement is necessary check out eatracker it's Canadian and really user friendly! Most North Americans eat enough protein - we actually eat more than is required, so as a general food for thought, worry about your fruit and veggie intake and your protein will follow.