Habeas Corpus: Sources of Protein

What people think of as “protein” is actually not one substance but collections of different amino acids that a variety of foods offer. Another misconception people can have about protein is how much they actually need—which is often overestimated. For example, most people rag on vegetarians for having to go out of their way to get the protein they need, but, in fact, a varied, plant-based diet is a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals without as much of the fat and toxins often found in meat.

So, how much protein do you need? One standard method is to multiply weight in pounds by 0.37 to the daily minimum number of grams of protein. So a person weighing 150 pounds should eat about 55 grams of protein per day, a 200-pound person should eat 74 grams, a 250-pound person should eat 92 grams, and so on.  Of course, the main thing is to listen to your body. Everyone’s different.

How do different sources of protein compare? Check out the following chart. Listings are based on a 100 gram serving.

Chicken breast……….30g protein, 8g fat (2g saturated fat)   

Pork leg………..…30g protein, 8g fat (2.8g saturated fat)    

Salmon………….25g protein, 13g fat (3.2g saturated fat)   

Cheddar cheese….25g protein, 33g fat (21g saturated fat)   

Ground beef..………24g protein, 20g fat (8g saturated fat)   

Oats………………17g protein, 6.9g fat (1.2g saturated fat)   

Tofu……….………16g protein, 9g fat (1.3g saturated fat)   

Whole wheat flour…14g protein, 2g fat (0g saturated fat)

Egg………………..13.5g protein, 15g fat (4g saturated fat)

Quinoa……….13g protein, 5.8g fat (0.59g saturated fat)

Lentils…………..…….9g protein, 0g fat (0g saturated fat)

Pinto beans….9g protein, 0.48g fat (0.058g saturated fat)

Alfalfa sprouts…………4g protein, 1g fat (0 saturated fat)

Milk (2%)…………..3g protein, 2g fat (1g saturated fat)

TIP: beans and rice together form a complete protein.

SOURCES

USDA Nutrient Database: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search

SelfNutritionData.com: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5744/2

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