This tip seems to be everywhere lately: Get more protein in your diet! Left to my own devices (even with plenty of eggs and nuts!), I tend to get under 40g of protein a day…which is usually on the lower side. So let’s discuss – readers, are you trying to get more protein into your diet? What are your favorite sources of protein?
I’ve made the effort to add more, and thought I’d share some of my favorites…
(Note that I don’t have any food restrictions personally — and a lot of my choices tend to be heavy in dairy. If you find different protein options that fit into your diet, please share!)
Why you might try to get more protein into your diet
Maybe this is how my social media algorithms make me feel, but there seems to be advice everywhere to eat more protein. The two main arguments I always see:
- Helps you stay full for longer!
- Helps you build (and maintain) muscle!
Protein is especially important for older people – according to the New York timesStudies show that “on average, people begin to lose muscle mass gradually in their 30s and 40s, and that after age 60, this decline accelerates.” Yay.
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How much protein is enough??
according to SelfAnd
The RDA for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, or about 0.36 grams per pound. (So you’d need to multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36 to get your RDA.) For example, a 200-pound person would need at least 72 grams of protein per day to meet the RDA.
But this is the minimum. Note that people with a higher activity level will need more, especially if you’re trying to build muscle. It is also recommended People over the age of 40 should eat more protein.
How much more protein? Again, according to SELF:
Several large organizations — the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Academic), Dietitians of Canada (DC) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) — have reviewed the research on sports nutrition and agreed that the optimal daily intake of protein for active adults and athletes is 1.2 to 2 grams. per kilogram of body weight (or 0.5 to 0.9 grams of protein per pound). Similarly, the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) recommends 1.4 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (or 0.6 to 0.9 grams of protein per pound) for most individuals who exercise.
Based on these recommendations, for example, a 200-pound person might want to get between 100 and 180 grams of protein per day. In general, the more active you are—the more frequent, strenuous, and long your workouts are—the higher you will be in this range. . .
Another example, using math: If you weigh 125 pounds and are active or over 40, you should be getting between 75-112 grams of protein per day.
You can use Examine.com Protein intake calculator To find out how much protein you need. (According to the The New York TimesExamine.com, “A large, independent database of nutrition research.””)
Note that you can only absorb it Lots of protein at one time – Depending on your weight, it may range between 25-50 grams per serving.
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My favorite way to get more protein into my diet
1. Cottage cheese
I’ve always loved cottage cheese, but after realizing it can pack 15-19 grams of protein per 1/2 cup serving, I’m starting to like it more. I’ve been eating skim or reduced-fat cheese for years, but I have to say: Full-fat cheese It is, SO (SO) is much better, and the difference in calories isn’t that great. I highly recommend it!
I’ve seen people puree cottage cheese into a whipped texture (great for baking!), I’ve seen people turn it into waffles and more. (There are TikTok recipes out there for making delicious waffles with cottage cheese that I can’t seem to find right now; I’m guessing off the keto “chaffles” idea.)
This is the A great pancake recipe that includes cottage cheese.
You can too Add the cheese to the beaten eggsbut in my experience it makes the eggs smoother—I’d only add 1/4 cup if I was mixing two eggs.
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2. Greek Yogurt and Protein Yogurt
One of my favorite things to eat is “protein yogurt” – plain Greek yogurt with a scoop of protein powder. If you are avoiding protein powder, you can also use it Dried peanut butters For this – I love both of the original PBFit And a chocolate-flavored version, though I prefer adding chocolate chips or syrup or a little bit of it Hot cocoa mix If I wanted to add a chocolate boost.
Greek yogurt is high in protein on its own, so you can always add fruit or a hot cocoa mix, or some people add about 10 teaspoons. of Jell-O pudding mix. (I don’t notice as much difference in taste between full-fat Greek yogurt and nonfat Greek yogurt as I do with cottage cheese, for what it’s worth.)
I like to add Fiber One pills (old-school little sticks) to yogurt to add some crunch and lots of fibre.
(Did you know you’re also supposed to get 25 grams of fiber per day, minimum? This might be another story on its own because it’s so hard to come by consistently. Most vegetables contain about 3 grams of fiber per serving).
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Do you really need a protein powder? no! As mentioned earlier, you can add fruit, chocolate, powdered or plain peanut butter to Greek yogurt. according to New York timesHowever, it is a good source of protein:
If you can’t get all the protein you need from whole foods, it’s okay to increase your intake through protein supplements. . . . Whey protein is a good source of protein because it is rich in amino acids – the building blocks of protein – and is well absorbed by the body. It has also been shown in studies to be especially beneficial for muscle health when paired with exercise. But for vegans, eating soy, pea or hemp protein products can also be beneficial.
What is the best protein powder? Well, they all have some acquired flair. I have bought several containers from Optimum Way VanillaAnd Pure protein chocolateAnd Simple clean eats. (I’ve liked most of the CSE flavors I’ve tried, and I love that you can purchase individually portioned packages to try out different flavors.)
I finished my containers but will probably not repurchase the flavors i got ego no (confetti cake) and research (Caramel) – They were okay, but not great. Quest has an unmelted feature that I haven’t tried yet – I’ve also heard great things about it Chicken puff whey brownie shakebut you still have to try because they are always sold out.
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3. Protein pudding
I seriously love this stuff – I’ve waited so long to try it, but it’s really good. Pro tip #1: You can use any protein shake, but with the taste and consistency Fairlife protein shake Unbeatable.
(Overall, Fairlife shakes are amazing and drinkable on their own – note they don’t contain whey powder, but instead “Ultra-purified milk.“)
Pro Tip #2 for Protein Pudding: Don’t get hung up on cooking and serving the pudding!! I made this mistake at first because I wasn’t thinking. I tend to get the sugar-free Jell-O pudding mixes because they have fewer calories, but there are regular versions if you prefer.
Here’s how to make protein pudding: Get a Mason jar or another 16 oz. container. Throw an entire bottle of Fairlife into the jar. Then add a whole package of Jell-O pudding. Shake well and put in the fridge. That’s it. I tend to look at the jar as 2-3 servings and eat them as dessert with whipped cream; The entire jar contains 26-30 grams of protein, depending on the type of shake you used.
What flavors are good here? I’ve had very few failures, and I’ve tried a lot. I’ve never had pistachio pudding in my life, but I tried it and now love it with a Fairlife protein shake with chocolate.
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Very boring, yes. I’ll buy pulled chicken at my local grocery store, or throw some breasts in the crock pot and cook them with gravy or sauce for a relatively neutral flavor. I’ll make chicken quesadillas, add chicken to soup, or eat it on a salad.
More options for protein
We eat a lot of chicken, and you’ve noticed this before in our post on Warm workday lunch That there are some freezer meals and canned soups that contain a relatively high amount of protein. Personally, I don’t like eating tuna more than once a week due to mercury concerns, but a can of tuna has about 40g of protein, so it’s a great source.
(My favorite tuna recipe, which I sometimes have on my salad and sometimes just in the bowl: a can of drained tuna. Add a little pickle juice. Cut in half a large avocado or a whole small avocado. Add buffalo wing sauce. Mix together and enjoy! Lots of healthy fats and fiber (avocados are high in fiber and protein.)
What about protein bars? I eat them, but I’m not a huge fan – even eating half of one often feels like I’m choking on it. Built-in bars Tastes better but you have that chemical sweetener that can really affect your digestive system, so… start slow. Trader Joe’s Barebells Great and affordable if you buy in store. I love the search bars, especially the search bars birthday cake and the Biscuit and cream One. Kirkland’s are affordable but very dry.
You can also make a lot of high-protein baking mixes such as Kodiak; Protein like pasta Barilla It can also help you achieve your protein goals. Quest makes a number of delicious products such as Chips or crackers These taste good, and are good for variety or if you need something quickly. (I saw one recipe where someone used Quest chips to split chicken, which I might try.) If you like pork rinds, these are also high in protein and often more affordable than other tasty options.
(I should also note that beans and lentils often make a lot of “great for high protein” lists — I personally think their protein count is a bit low compared to other things, so I see them as a way to fiber rather than use them to meet my protein goals. However, they are incredibly healthy, and everyone should eat plenty of them.Happy tip to readers for my introduction Bean Club Rancho Gordo; We often soak a bag of beans on Sunday and cook them on Monday as part of a meal Weekend meal prep.)
Readers, these are some of my thoughts on how to get protein into your diet — how about you? What are your favorite sources of protein?