Getting the right amount of protein into your daily diet is a task that is often overlooked. It appears that most people don’t get even get close to the minimum amount required. In order to calculate what is the basis that you need, simply multiply your weight (in kilograms) times 0.8, and the result is how much protein you should be implementing in your everyday diet.
However, this is the bare minimum, your protein intake needs differ depending on the types of activities you carry out throughout the day. If you’re a workout-o’holic type of Fit Girl, your protein needs will increase since resistance training and endurance workouts break down muscle protein much faster. What this means is that the amount of protein grams per kilogram of your body weight can go up to 1.8!!
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to flip the s**t out as you read this article and realize you might not be meeting the requirements. It also came as a bit of a surprise to me at first because the number seemed bigger than expected, and I do not necessarily keep track of how much protein I eat. But as it turns out, certain foods provide most of our daily amounts, and the rest take care of feeding us the remaining nutrients, fats and vitamins we need to get through the day 🙂
Here is a simple breakdown of the foods with the highest protein per category:
- Greek yoghurt (23g per 1 cup)
- Cottage cheese (14g per 1/2 cup)
- Eggs (6g. per 1 large egg)
- 2% Milk (8g per 1 cup)
- Soy Milk (8g per 1 cup)
Meats (100g servings)
- Lean beef and veal (36g protein)
- Chicken or Turkey break (30g protein)
- Pork loin (25g protein)
- Tofu (Technically not meat, but…) (7g protein)
Seafood (100g servings)
- Tuna (25g protein)
- Salmon (22g protein)
- Octopus (15g protein)
- Light canned tuna (22g per 85g serving)
Vegetables (1/2 cup servings)
- Edamame (8g protein)
- Peas (3.5g protein)
- Spinach (3g protein)
- Broccoli (2.6g)
- Peanut butter (8g per 2tbsp)
- Mixed nuts (6g per roughly 55g)
- Dried apricots (3.4g per 100g)
- Raisins (3.1g per 100g)
- Dates (2.4g per 100g)
IMPORTANT: once you start getting a protein deficit, your body will communicate this through a series of little warning signs. Among these are:
- Cravings for sweets: one of protein’s main functions is to keep your blood sugar steady, change that up and your glucose levels will be all over the place, making you more prone to finding a quick fix (e.g. candy).
- Anxiety & depression: amino acids fuel the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine that prevent these lows.
- Inability to focus: proteins help time-release the carbs for steady energy rather than up and down spikes and amino acids support brain performance.
- Hair loss & breakage: protein is the main building block of your cells, it supports collagen production in the hair, nails, and skin.
- Feeling of weakness and fatigue: constant state of being tired because proteins are essential for building muscles and ensuring a healthy/stable metabolism.
With just a bit of knowledge on which foods contain the most protein, it makes it a little bit easier to incorporate them into your recipes! I find myself lucky to like basically everything that’s on this list, but then again, I am not the pickiest cookie when it comes to food. 😛