Talk with the doc
As most of us are aware, getting enough protein in our daily diet is a very important part of maintaining our personal health. Therefore, today I want to again review the health care value of dietary protein. To get enough dietary protein, we all need to eat protein every day, because our body doesn’t store protein the way it stores fats or carbohydrates. How much we each need depends on our age, our current health status, and our level of physical activity. Fortunately, it is reported by the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) that most Americans do get enough protein in their daily diet.
Protein is found throughout our body, in muscle, bone, skin, hair, and virtually in all our body parts. The protein in our body makes up the enzymes that power many chemical reactions and the hemoglobin that carries oxygen in your blood. At least 10,000 different proteins make us what we are, and will keep us that way.
Therefore, our bodies need protein from the foods we eat to build and maintain bones, muscles and skin. We get proteins in our diet from meat, dairy products, nuts, and certain grains and beans.
Proteins from meat and other animal products are complete proteins. This means they supply all of the amino acids our body can’t make on its own. Most plant proteins are healthy but they don’t supply all the proteins our body needs.
It is therefore important to know that if a person is relying primarily on plants for their protein, they need to eat different types of plant proteins every day to get all of the amino acids our body needs.
Some of the higher protein fruits include avocados, apricots, kiwi, blackberries, oranges, bananas, cantaloupe, raspberries, and peaches. Vegetables that are higher in protein include beans, lima beans, green peas, spinach, sweet corn, asparagus, artichokes, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, and broccoli.
How much protein do I need? The National Academy of Medicine recommends that adults get a minimum of about 7 grams of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight. Here are two examples using this formula. For a 140-pound person, this means consuming about 50 grams of protein each day. For a 200-pound person, this means consuming about 70 grams of protein each day.
Following is my brief list of healthy high protein, low sugar foods and snack items for you to enjoy.
≤ Eggs — 12 grams of protein, and almost zero sugar in a 2 egg serving, and they are great as omelets, scrambled, fried, or however you like. And yes, you should eat the very healthy and nutritious egg yolk!
≤ Cottage cheese (plain) — 14 grams of protein, almost zero sugar in a 4 ounce serving
≤ Swiss cheese — 8 grams of protein, almost zero sugar in a 1 ounce serving, usually 1 slice
≤ Cheddar or colby cheese — 7 grams of protein, almost zero sugar in a 1 ounce serving, usually 1 slice
≤ String cheese sticks — 6 grams of protein and zero sugar in 1 stick
≤ Peanut butter — 7 grams of protein, 3 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of fiber in a 2 tablespoon serving
≤ Dry roasted peanuts — 7 grams of protein, 3 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of fiber in a 1 ounce serving (about one handful)
≤ Almonds — 6 grams of protein, 1 gram of sugar, and 4 grams of fiber in a 1 ounce serving
≤ Cashews — 5 grams of protein, 2 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of fiber in a 1 ounce serving
It is important for all of us to get enough protein in our daily diet and also to avoid excess refined sugar. So, eat healthy and you will stay healthy, and yes, these are “Doctor’s Orders!”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Jim Surrell is the author of “The ABC’s For Success In All We Do” and the “SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet” books.Contact Dr. Surrell by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.