Spinach pasta with basil and feta.
Lisa M Baragiola

Pass the Protein Please

Protein is Power

Protein is an important macronutrient our bodies need to complete many different functions.  It is the building block of muscles as well as maintaining muscle mass and strength. There are other benefits for bone health, skin integrity, hair growth, repairing tissues and organs. Increasing protein intake may boost metabolism thus resulting in burning more calories for weight loss and maintenance. The recommended minimum dietary allowance (RDA) is set at .36 grams (g) of protein per pound of body weight. Most people get enough, but often not, from a variety of different foods.

Meat Sources

Choose leaner cuts of meat like skinless chicken breast, low fat ground beef, turkey breast, pork loin or bison. A three-ounce portion provides approximately 21 to 28 grams of protein.

Dairy Products

Both low fat cottage cheese and Greek yogurt are excellent sources providing between 11 to 14 grams, basically 60 to 80 calories and minimal saturated fat.


Did you know that egg whites are almost pure protein? Four egg whites provide 13 grams and only 60 calories. Make them scrambled for breakfast with fresh vegetables and you’re off to a great start.


Add fish and/or shellfish to your weekly eating regimen. Salmon, shrimp or even canned tuna can be an alternative to other animal products with 3 ounces providing 21 grams of protein.

Beans, Peas and Lentils

Chickpeas, lentils, black beans, split peas and edamame can be counted in both the vegetable and protein groups. If you consume ½ cup that contributes 8 to 10 grams along with other valuable nutrients. Use these as an ingredient in hummus, soup, wraps or salads.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are a tasty plant-based alternative. Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pistachios and cashews provide a higher content, specifically 5 to 10 grams in a 1/4 cup. Pumpkin, chia and flax round out the seed options. Eat them by themselves or add them to salads, smoothies, yogurt and more.

Include a serving of various proteins with meals and snacks. It will fill you up and keep you satisfied longer!!!




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