Nutrition Knowhow – Protein with a Recipe Feature

Hey all! I hope your week was awesome 🙂 I thought it would be fun to end the week with a little nutrition knowledge. Sometimes it’s good to learn about what you eat! So today, we are going to talk about protein. Many of us wait until lunch or dinner to get our daily dose of this important macronutrient, but it’s crucial (in my opinion) to have a bit at breakfast, too. So, let’s explore what protein is/does and learn a quick on the go breakfast recipe.

What does protein do for the body?

Most people equate protein with muscles, which is true to an extent. Protein is essential to building skeletal muscle, but the body uses it in many other ways. Protein is used to help build and support bones, and it is found in parts of the body like the skin and hair. Protein also makes up enzymes, which are molecules responsible for helping reactions occur in the body. These enzymes have various purposes with one being to help attach oxygen to your red blood cells. That’s pretty important!

In addition, protein has a high satiety factor, meaning that it keeps you fuller for longer. This is great for those trying to manage their weight, since research has shown having a dose at breakfast aids in hunger control!

Where is it found?

Protein is found in many regularly consumed foods. Obvious ones include meats and seafood, but less apparent sources are foods like eggs, beans, whole grains, and dairy products. Even a few vegetables like spinach contain some protein. While the non-animal products tend to not have as much protein per serving, you can still consume them alone and achieve your daily protein needs. If you wish to do so, I would definitely advise seeing a registered dietitian.

How much should I be eating?

According to the Institute of Medicine, adults should be eating a minimum of 0.8 grams/kg of body weight (kg = pounds/2.2). Many researchers feel that this is not enough, especially for active individuals. As such, many suggest an intake between 1.3-1.8 grams/kg of body weight. For a 130-pound female, this is between 77-106 grams per day. A 150-pound male would fall between 89-123 grams per day. To help you visualize what this looks like, I attached a great info graphic below!

Food-Groups-That-Are-The-Richest-In-Proteins-Infographic

Quick Breakfast Yogurt Parfait

(Serves 1)

Ingredients:

  • 1 container of Dannon Oikos Triple Zero Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries, rinsed and drained (or any berry)
  • 1/2 Banana, sliced
  • 1/2 serving of Kashi GoLeana Crunch Cinnamon flavor
  • 5 ounce slivered almonds

Instructions:

  1. Add the yogurt to a bowl and top with the remaining ingredients.
  2. Done!

Nutrition Information:

383 calories, 10 grams fat, 56 grams carbs, 25 grams protein

References:

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/protein/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22150425

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