Not gonna faff about today ‘cos I’m typing this tucked up on the sofa bed with my poorly toddler and I’m equal parts tired and worried. Oh how you long for the energetic, cheeky and demanding nature of your toddler when they’re lying on the couch quietly sleeping off an illness
Ok, so our protein needs are met at approximately 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight. A little extra for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, about 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
So for me, right now weighing in at about 60kg I’m looking at about 72 grams of protein per day to meet my amino acid needs. This is, after all what protein provides to us.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, there are twenty of them that we need to make all of the protein parts of ourselves: muscle, skin, connective tissue, organs, nails, hair, enzymes, hormones… Protein is a really important component of the immune system when you consider that the gut is a major part of our immune system. If our digestive system is not intact ~ integrate; then infection has a better chance of invasion.
Now the following list is by no means exhaustive, it’s a quick reference of commonly consumed foods, both animal and plant ~ and their protein content, usually per 100g.
Eventually I’ll re-do this list in a printable form for you but I don’t have this set up as yet and I’m keen to get on with it anyways.
Protein Content of Commonly Consumed Foods
Meat and Fish
- Chicken, breast, skin off, roasted, 100g: 34 g of protein
- Lamb, chops, 100g: 28g of protein
- Beef, 100g: 27g of protein
- Snapper 1 x fillet (approx. 170g): 45g of protein
- Salmon 1/2 x fillet (approx. 180g): 39g of protein
- Tuna, tinned, 85g: 22g of protein
- Ham, 100g: 17g of protein
- Bacon whole rasher, grilled, 100g: 22.2g of protein
- Sausage, beef, grilled, 100g: 13.9g of protein
- Sausage, pork, grilled, 100g: 16.8g of protein
Dairy and Eggs
- Eggs, 1 x large, poached: 6g of protein
- Milk, cow’s, full fat, 100mL: 3.5g of protein
- Milk, cow’s, skimmed, 100mL: 3.7g of protein
- Cheese, cheddar, full fat, 100g: 24.6g of protein
- Fetta, goat/sheep, 100g: 17.4g of protein
- Ricotta, reduced fat, 100g: 10.1g of protein
- Cream cheese, full fat, 100g: 11.1g of protein
- Haloumi, 100g: 21.3g of protein
- Yoghurt, natural, full fat, 100g: 6g of protein
- Red lentils, 100g: 6.8g of protein
- Yellow split peas, 100g: 6.6g of protein
- Quinoa, 100g: 4g of protein
- Chickpeas (garbanzo), tinned, 100g: 6.3g of protein
- Cannelini beans, tinned, 100g: 6.2g of protein
- Kidney beans, tinned, 100g: 6.6g of protein
- Tofu, firm, 100g: 12g of protein
- Tofu, silken, 100g: 8.1g of protein
Nuts and Seeds
- Almonds, raw, 25g: 6g of protein
- Walnuts, raw, 25g: 4g of protein
- Brazil nuts, raw, 25g: 3.6g of protein
- Cashew nuts, raw, 25g: 5g of protein
- Peanut butter, no salt or sugar, 1Tbs: 6g of protein
- Pumpkin seeds, raw, 25g: 6.1g of protein
- Sunflower seeds, raw, 25g: 6.7g of protein
Bread and Grains
- Bread, white, 100g (approx 2 slices): 9.7g of protein
- Bread, wholemeal, 100g: 9g of protein
- Bread, gluten free, 100g: 9.8g of protein
- Bread, rye, light, 100g: 9g of protein
- Oats, whole, raw, 100g: 2g of protein
- Pasta, white, 100g: 4.2g of protein
- Pasta, wholemeal, 100g: 4.9g of protein
- Rice, white, 100g: 2.7 of protein
- Rice, wholegrain, 100g: 2.9g of protein
- Pearled barley, 100g: 2.9g of protein
- Polenta, cooked in water, 100g: 2.6g of protein
Now don’t get all caught up counting protein grams per meal per day and freaking out if you’re short! Just eat a wide variety of protein containing foods, particularly whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds and ensure that you consume lean meat or sustainable seafood a few times per week.
Breakfast: oats w’ added nuts, seeds and whole milk w’ a dollop of yoghurt OR wholemeal toast w’ peanut butter.
Snack: handful of nuts/carrot sticks w’ hummus/whole grain crackers w’ cheese/a tub of yoghurt (and some fresh fruit!)
Lunch: salad w’ added tinned beans and cubes of fetta/slice of frittata w’ wholemeal bread/leftover dinner w’ meat/sandwich, roll, wrap w’ lean meat, eggs or tofu and sprouts.
Dinner: Soup or stew with meat or without, with legumes and grains/stir fry with or without meat with cubed tofu, fried egg, sprouts, seeds and nuts/poached eggs on wholemeal toast/pasta with pine nuts and fetta; or chicken and pesto; or tuna, tomato and chilli.
Vegetables contain protein also, but I haven’t included them as the levels are smaller and the list would be too long! Again, my message today comes down to: eat whole foods, lots of grains, legumes, seeds and nuts with smaller and leaner cuts of meat. Let eggs and tofu and other meat substitutes star in your main meals most nights of the week and oomph up protein with things such as dollops of cheese, sour cream, sprinkles of seeds and nuts which can be added to stir fries, pasta and rice dishes.
IF you find yourself succumbing to infections easily and regularly, have brittle nails and hair, cracked and dry skin and take ages to heal from a cut, graze or tissue injury, then you MAY be deficient in protein and ought to asses your diet.
It’s not just as simple as eating more steak! It’s important to include the plant protein sources as these come packaged with a bunch of other nutrients that sustain our health.
~Yours slapping more peanut butter onto my toast, K180, x