By the way, a 100g steak does not give you 100 grams of protein. By Estelle Low
Protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle, which helps you burn fat. Photo: belchonock / www.123rf.com
What is protein?
Protein is one of the essential nutrients in a diet. Besides being an energy source, protein helps your body maintain and build muscle. Muscles are your fat-burners: The more muscles you have, the more calories your body is able to torch. That’s why protein is so important when we talk about healthy eating and weight loss.
How much protein should you be eating?
While you should include protein in every meal, it’s not a good idea to over-consume. Women should aim to have 15 to 20 grams of protein per serving – that’s how much of the nutrient the body can absorb at once, says Dr Luigi Gratton, vice president of worldwide nutrition education at Herbalife. “Excess protein would be converted to sugar (energy) and turned into fat,” he adds.
Dr Gratton recommends women to shoot for 75 grams of protein a day.
How much protein is there in food?
Eggs and meat are good sources of protein. But you might be surprised to know that those foods aren’t just made up of protein! A large egg contains just 6 grams of protein, for instance. (In case you’re wondering, the rest of an egg’s content goes to cholesterol, fat, vitamins, iron, as well as essential minerals like sodium and potassium.)
Here’s how much protein you’re getting from 12 everyday foods.
|Large egg, 50g||6g|
|Handful of nuts, 28.4g||6g|
|Slice of cheddar cheese, 28g||7g|
|Cup of milk or soya milk, 250ml||8g|
|Block of tofu, 116g||9g|
|A serving of non-fat Greek yogurt, 170g||17g|
|Cup of boiled lentils, 198g||18g|
|Cooked Atlantic salmon, 100g||22g|
|Cooked prawns, 100g||24g|
|Grilled rib eye steak, 100g||24g|
|Roasted chicken thigh (skinless), 116g||26g|
|Broiled pork loin, 100g||27g|
Source of nutrient data: United States Department of Agriculture