The Importance of Protein in Your Diet

Protein is one of your body’s essential nutrients, you get your protein from eating specific foods. Some foods contain more protein than others. But how much protein do we need?

It is said that you need 7 grams of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight.

  • A 140 lb. person would need about 50 grams of protein each day
  • A 200 lb. person would need about 70 grams of protein each day

Foods with high sources of protein vary from plants to animal products. Having the proper balance of these foods is important, but it is also important to be aware of other things found in these foods such as fats, fiber, and sodium.

  • A 4 oz. sirloin steak has about 33 grams of protein, but also about 5 grams of saturated fat.
  • A 4 oz. ham steak has about 22 grams of protein and only 1.6 grams of saturated fat, but also about 1,500 mg. of sodium.
  • A 4 oz. salmon has about 30 grams of protein, low in sodium, has about 1 gram of saturated fat, and is a good source of omega-3 fats which are great for your heart.
  • 1 cup of lentils has about 18 grams of protein, 15 grams of fiber, and 0 saturated fat or sodium.

While all these foods are great sources of protein the steak and ham contain a lot of other things that are not so good for you. The salmon and lentils are just as high in protein but do not contain the added saturated fat and sodium. Be aware of these other things that your foods may contain as you are making your eating choices.

Good High Protein Foods:

  • Eggs
  • Almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts
  • Chicken and turkey breast
  • Oats
  • Cottage cheese
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Milk
  • Broccoli, brussels sprouts
  • Lean beef
  • Fish and shrimp

If you are not getting the right amount of daily protein try eating more healthy protein packed foods!