Protein is a macronutrient that builds and repairs tissues your body! Essentially they are the building blocks of life and the foods you eat have either the potential to build or destroy your body. Healthy proteins, fats and carbohydrates work together to build up your muscle, give you energy and help your body function properly. Protein serves several functions; here are the main three reasons why protein is ESSENTIAL in our diets.
To build and repair your muscles, cells and body tissue
To help regulate your insulin during digestion, prevent blood sugar spikes and keep you full for longer
Prevents certain health problems and diseases
How much protein is enough? Current guidelines for adults of any age recommend 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. To find out how much you need, multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36. A 160-pound person would need 160 x 0.36 = 58 grams of protein a day. That’s relatively easy to hit: a cup of yogurt for breakfast, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, nuts for a snack, and salmon for dinner clock in at 60 grams. If you were trying to lose weight or put on more muscle, you could easily increase your protein intake and decrease your fat and carbohydrate intake. An easy way to think along these lines is replacing a meal or snack with a protein packed substitute.
There are numerous sources and ways to pick up enough protein for your daily needs! Whole food sources are the best and most natural way. Proteins come in the form of animal products – think lean meats and dairy foods. But they also come in the form of plant sources. Legumes, beans, nuts and some vegetables are high in protein. See the attached list for excellent protein sources.
Another option for increasing your protein is through a protein powder supplement shake. If mixed with water or milk, protein powder can be a better option than ensure because it has more protein but less fat, sugar and calories over all. If you are interested in giving protein powder shakes a try, swing by the Bistro during the month of November on either Tuesday or Thursday from 2:30-3:00pm for a free sample!
GREAT PROTEIN SOURCES FOR YOUR EVERY DAY DIET
Poultry- chicken or turkey
Beans- especially black beans
Lean Red Meats
Natural Peanut butter
Lentils and legumes
Hummus with veggies