Where Do You Find Quality Protein Sources?
In my last macronutrient spotlight article, we calculated what protein you need (and realized that it is probably more than you thought). Now that you know your individual number goals, you want to know where to get that protein from.
Proteins are in many different foods, such as both animal and plant options, yet the amount of protein in foods vary widely.
Quality and Quantity
Besides the amount of protein to consider– the quality of the protein is also important and that depends on the amino acids that make that specific source. Remember when we spoke of the amino acids that make up proteins in my first protein feature article?
Generally, proteins from animal sources have a higher biological value than proteins from plant sources.
Animal sources of protein like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese and yogurt all provide high biological value proteins. Plants, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds and vegetables provide low biological value proteins.
I’m not discounting plant based proteins, but I need to point out that natural plant proteins are usually bound to other molecules to protect them which make them less digestible and therefore, less absorbed in our bodies. It is also a lot more difficult to find a plant protein source that is also a significant source of carbs.
If we look at the chart below, which highlights foods that are considered good sources of protein, you’ll notice the serving size is 1 ounce = 28 g (although there are EGGceptions;)). A can of tuna is around 4-5 oz and the average dish ordered in a restaurant would serve anywhere from 5 to 8 ounces of meat.
From reviewing this chart, you may begin to see why whey or other plant based protein drinks are popular in weight loss and muscle building programs.
|Protein Food and Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs||Protein grams|
|Bacon, 1 medium slice, (6 grams) cooked||40||2|
|Beef, Sirloin Steak, 1 ounce, broiled||77||8|
|Beef, Ground, 4% fat, 1 ounce, broiled||34||7.5|
|Beef, Ground, 15% fat, 1 ounce, broiled||80||6.1|
|Beef, Roast, 1 ounce, baked||67||8|
|Chicken, white meat, 1 ounce||33||7|
|Chicken, dark meat, 1 ounce||40||7|
|Egg, 1 small, 38 g||65||.27||4.7|
|Egg, 1 medium, 44 g||70||.32||5.5|
|Egg, 1 large, 50 g||75||.36||6.3|
|Egg, 1 extra-large, 56 g||81||.4||7|
|Egg, 1 jumbo, 63 g||90||.45||7.9|
|Fish, Cod, 1 ounce||30||6.5|
|Fish, Flounder, 1 ounce||27||5|
|Fish, Sole, 1 ounce||27||5|
|Fish, Salmon, 1 ounce||60||7|
|Ham, smoked, 1 ounce||40||1||5.3|
|Hot dog, beef, 1.25 ounce||148||1.8||5|
|Lamb, ground, 1 ounce||80||4.7|
|Lamb chop, 1 ounce||70||7|
|Nuts, Almonds, roasted, 1 ounce||170||3.6||6.2|
|Nuts, Cashews, roasted, 1 ounce||165||9.1||4.3|
|Nuts, Macadamia, roasted, 1 ounce||205||1.2||2.2|
|Nuts, Pecans, 1 ounce, raw||192||2.3||2.6|
|Nuts, Pistachios, 1 ounce, roasted||170||4||5.3|
|Nuts, Walnuts, 1 ounce||175||4||2|
|Pork chop, 1 ounce||60||7|
|Pork, roast 1 ounce||60||7|
|Pork ribs, spare ribs, 1 ounce, roasted||116||8|
|Scallops, 1 ounce||23||2||6|
|Shrimp, 1 ounce||26||1||6|
|Tuna, 1 ounce||32||6.5|
|Turkey Breast, 1 ounce||30||1||7|
|Veal, roasted, 1 ounce||45||8|
Supercharging Your Protein
What protein sources seem like a good option for you? If you calculated your need (as highlighted in my last article) how will you plan your food intake in order to get your required grams of protein in each day in order to remain healthy and thrive?
Share what your favorite protein sources are and how you plan to incorporate these nutritious options into your daily meals!
Stay tuned for my next macronutrient spotlight article where we begin breaking down the details of the macronutrient FAT.
Dr. Jerome Craig