So, one of the things our practice discusses quite a bit is protein. Maybe, for your heart's sake, you are cutting back on red meat, or maybe on meat altogether. So, you are out of luck when it comes to protein, right? Not at all!
Protein, which is composed of amino acids, is vital for the proper growth and function of the human body. It is also essential for losing weight and keeping it off. Meat is the richest source of protein, but vegetarians can still get all they need of this essential nutrient.
Dairy and eggs are a great way to include protein in the diet. Vegans who choose to eschew dairy will have a harder time getting enough of the amino acids that they need, but with a little care, they too will be able to complete their protein requirements. The recommended daily amount of protein is 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men.
Here are some great non-meat sources for protein:
- Cheese. Low-fat mozzarella or cottage cheese provides the most protein of all the cheeses. Each has 32 grams of protein per 150 calorie serving.
- Tofu. A 50 calorie (3 ounce) serving of Tofu has around 7 grams of protein
- Beans. You can expect to get around 15 grams of protein from each half cup serving of beans. Mature soy beans, kidney beans and white beans are the best source.
- Spinach. Over 7 grams of protein are in one cup of spinach. Here's the odd part - cooked frozen spinach is your best source of protein. Raw spinach contains around 3.5 grams or half as much as the frozen.
- Eggs. There are 6 grams of protein in one large egg. Two thirds of that is contained in the white.
- Milk. Whole milk has about 14 grams of protein per cup. Skim and Soy milk can provide about 8 grams per cup.
- Broccoli. This nutritional powerhouse won't let you down when it comes to protein. It contains about 4.4 grams per one cup serving.
- Nuts and seeds. The most popular and readily available are sunflower seeds and peanuts which both contain 7 grams per ounce. Are you a fan of mixed nuts? They’re not all created equal, protein-wise, and come in at about 4 grams per ounce.
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