Saturday, May 26, 2012

Getting the nutrients you need: Protein
When discussing protein, you first need to know about amino acids, which are the chemical “building blocks” of protein found in food. After you eat the amino acids in say, a hamburger, your body absorbs them via your blood stream where they spend most of their time connecting and reconnecting with each other to form thousands of different proteins that do thousands of different jobs in your body. Some of the most important roles amino acids and proteins play in your body include

  • Antibodies: These proteins protect you from bacteria, viruses, toxins, and allergens.
  • Hormones: Protein is an essential component of many of your body’s most important regulating hormones, including those that regulate food intake and metabolism, such as insulin and leptin.
  • Repair: Protein is essential for mending muscles, bones, and skin, and for pregnancy and growth.
  • Replacement: When you wash your body, comb your hair, or clip your fingernails, you’re losing body cells that contain protein that needs to be replaced so that new skin cells, hair, and nails can grow.

Adult women who are at a healthy weight need approximately 45 to 60 grams of protein in their daily diets; most men who are at a healthy weight need at least 60 to 65 grams. Because most foods contain some protein, reaching or exceeding those amounts from day to day is easy. Meat, poultry, fish, egg whites, and reduced-fat dairy products are all especially good sources of high-quality protein in a low-calorie diet, but vegetarians and near vegetarians have nothing to fear about getting enough protein. Legumes, nuts, breads, pastas, and soy foods are also good sources, and even most fruits and vegetables, which are almost pure carbohydrate, contribute a gram or two.

Check out Table 3-1 for a list of some common foods and their protein scores.

Table 3-1 Protein Counts in Common Foods

Food Protein (grams)
Turkey, light meat (4 ounces) 34
Hamburger, lean (4 ounces) 32
Flounder (4 ounces) 27
Tuna, canned in water (3 ounces) 22
Yogurt (8 ounces) 12
Tofu (1/2 cup) 10
Milk, skim (8 ounces) 9
Black beans (1⁄2 cup) 8
Peanut butter (2 tablespoons) 8
Cheese, reduced fat or part-skim (1 ounce) 8
Cheese, regular (1 ounce) 7
Pasta, cooked (1 cup) 7
Soy milk (8 ounces) 7
Bagel (31⁄2-inch diameter) 7
Oatmeal (1 cup) 6

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

FeedBurner FeedCount

Top  blogs