Here's Why You Need To Eat Protein Every Day

The power of protein is real. Not only does this macronutrient help your body with cell growth and repair, it also helps with everything from hormone and enzyme production to weight loss. So the real question is: what can’t protein do?

Well, as it turns out, protein actually can’t be stored like other compounds, such as carbohydrates and fat. That means, whenever your body is in need of protein, it doesn’t have a storage supply to draw on.

Now before you pack on the protein with powder, shakes and bars galore, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to eat protein all day long to give your body the daily amount it needs. In fact, you don’t really need more than the minimum amount recommended--.36 grams per pound of body weight—which translates into 46 grams of protein for women and 56 grams for men a day.

But unless you’re a superhuman, hearing 46 to 56 grams may not mean a whole lot. So, here is a quick list of the top protein powerhouses and how much of it you actually need to eat:

Seafood

Not only is this an excellent source of protein, you’ll also enjoy a healthy dose of Omega-3s (namely in salmon and trout), which can help reduce risk factors for heart disease, such as cholesterol and blood pressure. Your options are nearly endless when it comes to protein-rich options, a few examples include:

·         2/3 can of tuna
·         4.4 oz. of salmon
·         8 medium shrimp
·         18 medium oysters
·         4.6 oz. of lobster

Meat

Chicken and turkey are great protein foods, but let’s not forget about beef. For the healthiest approach, remove the skin and/or fat before eating. And don’t forget that meat is one of the few complete proteins, in addition to eggs, which means it has all 9 essential amino acids. Aim to eat:

·         3 oz. of turkey
·         3 oz. of chicken breast
·         3.3 oz. of beef

Veggies

Thanks to a protein-fiber combo, you hit the protein jackpot when it comes to veggies, getting all the perks without any of the drawbacks (fat and calories). And bonus, oftentimes these protein-packed options often keep you feeling full and help to manage blood sugar. Try enjoying:

·         1 2/3 cups black beans
·         1 ½ cups lentils
·         1-2 cups of kidney beans or edamame

Other

And don't forget eggs, dairy and nuts, too. Give these tasty options a try:

·         1-2 cups of Greek or plain low-fat yogurt
·         4 hard-boiled eggs
·         7 tsp. of nut butter
·         85-100 cashews, peanuts or almonds

Food for thought.

While protein provides a satisfying, filling, element to your diet, just remember that a little goes a long way. For more ideas on how to maintain a healthy diet, GMC’s Nutrition & Weight Management experts can provide the resources you need to make better food choices.

With knowledgeable dietitians who can customize a nutrition plan to meet your unique needs, you’ll enjoy all the great benefits that a healthy diet can provide. Start feeling your best today by setting up a nutrition consultation.

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