More protein – the two words I utter the most when doing a dietary analysis…
But when it comes to some sources people still seem a bit confused.
So now I will provide you with the tools to figure out if something is a “good” source of protein, or a less than stellar form.
What it comes down to is, do a majority of the calories come from protein, or do they come from fat or carbs?
For example – 100 grams (3.5 oz) of chicken breast
- 165 calories
- 3.6g fat (x9 = 32 cals from fat or 19.6% of the chicken calories from fat)
- 0g carb (x4 = 0 cals from carbs)
- 31g protein (x4 = 124 cals from protein or about 75% of calories from protein!)
Not sure where the other 5% went, but this is enough to prove the point 🙂
Obviously a GREAT source of protein!
But what about peanut butter? We have heard this from many people that “peanut butter is a great source of protein!” Lets look:
1 serving = 2 Tbsp.
- 200 calories
- 16g fat (x9 = 144 cals from fat or 72% of cals from fat!)
- 6g carb (x4 = 24 cals from carbs or 12% of cals from carbs)
- 8g protein (x4 = 32 cals from protein or 16% of cals from protein)
While peanut butter DOES have some protein, I would not classify it as a good source because it has twice the grams of fat as protein AND is made up of 72% fat, so it would really be a “high-fat source that contains protein”
Same thing goes for most cheeses, nuts, other nut butters, and high-fat meats/processed meats like sausage/brats…sorry folks 🙁
Another common one I see discussed in Quinoa…the magic grain that no one can pronounce.
100 grams of Quinoa
- 120 calories
- 1.9g fat (x9 = 17 cals from fat or 14% of cals from fat!)
- 21.3g carb (x4 = 85 cals from carbs or 71% of cals from carbs!)
- 4.4g protein (x4 = 18 cals from protein or 15% of cals from protein)
Again, Quinoa is a grain, that has SOME protein in it (not much – but more than other grains) – but it most definitely is NOT a good source of protein. It is a carb that has some protein in it.
Same thing goes for rice, any veggies (EAT YOUR VEGGIES!) and actually beans (although they have a good amount of protein, so are a decent source for non-meat eaters!)
So what are good sources:
- Any lean animal meats/fish/poultry (low-fat, low processed meats)
- Eggs (do have more cals from fat than protein – so like mixing with egg whites)
- Egg whites
- Low fat cottage cheese
- Greek Yogurt (unflavored is best for pure protein)
- Protein Powders (try to minimize supplemental protein)
- Protein Bars (try to minimize supplemental protein)
Hope this clears some things up – now, get your protein up!
Stay healthy my friends,