‘High Protein’ Foods Exposed

1st blog in this week’s series: “Eating for Success” 
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QUESTION:I want to increase my protein so I can lose fat and gain muscle. What foods besides eggs, peanut butter, chicken, lima beans are high in protein?” Darryl 

ANSWER: Darryl, there’s a difference between a food having protein in it and a food actually being considered a good ‘protein source’. In my opinion, I don’t consider a protein ‘high-protein’ unless it has at least a third of the calories coming from protein.

It’s hard to determine what’s high in protein without looking at all the substrates. There are approximately 4 calories in one gram of protein, 4 calories in one gram of a carbohydrate, 7 calories in a gram of alcohol and 9 calories in a gram of fat. Below are graphs of the foods mentioned so you can visually see the breakdown of each food. Now, let’s see how some of the foods you mentioned weigh in. 

EGGS
First on your list were eggs. Two boiled eggs are 154 calories with 10.6gms of fat, 1.1gms of carbs and 12.5gms of protein. At first glance, it appears eggs have more protein than fat – but look a little closer.  If fat has 9 calories per gram and protein has only 4 calories per gram, this means 95.4 calories come from fat and only 50 calories come from protein. Although eggs are 62% fat, they squeak by with 35% of the calories coming from protein.

Take out the yolk and it’s a totally different ballgame, changing the profile to 92% of thecalories coming from protein and 3% of the calories from fat. If you throw out one yolk, you can reduce fat calories and still get the yolk’s nutrients, including fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids.

PEANUT BUTTER
The next food mentioned was peanut butter. Although peanut butter does have protein in it, you’ll want to go light on this condiment after seeing how it breaks down. 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter has 188 calories, A WHOPPING 16.1gms of fat, only 8gms of protein and 6.3gms of carbs. This means 72% of the calories come from FAT and only 15% of the calories from protein, with the remaining 14% from carbs. As you can see, this is one fatty, high calorie food you’ll want to use sparingly.

CHICKEN
Next up is chicken. 4 ounces of boneless skinless chicken breast is the winner on your list with 183 calories, 34.5gms of protein, 4gms of fat, and 0gms of carbs. Now this is a protein source – with a whopping 80% of the calories coming from protein.

LIMA BEANS
Lastly, let’s look at lima beans. Half a cup of cooked limas has 110 calories, 17.4gms of carbs & only 5.7gms of protein. With 65% of the calories coming from carbohydrates, and only 18% from protein, I would consider this a carbohydrate more than a protein. (and I LOVE me some lima beans!)

While there are plenty of foods with protein in them, meat proves to be the best choice. Other great sources include seafood, cottage cheese, edamame (soybeans), yogurt, tofu and fat free milk. Look at the graphs below to see how your favorite food adds up. Once you review the foods, don’t forget to subscribe to get the rest of this series “Eating for success“.

TILAPIA

COTTAGE CHEESE

EDAMAME

LOW FAT YOGURT

TOFU

MILK

SUPPLEMENTS
Since I’m not a big meat eater, I HAVE to supplement to get the protein my body needs. I use GNC’s AMP60 (Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60). It is really yummy and it has 60gms of high-quality protein blend which is micronized for better absorption. What makes a protein a good choice is quality and also taste. If you don’t like the way it tastes, you won’t eat it – so taste is very important and this protein gets 5 STARS in my book!!

READ PART 2 OF THIS BLOG SERIES: EATING FOR SUCCESS!

SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOG to get the rest of my series on eating for success!
Have a question? Post your question below and I will be sure to answer it here or in my blog! :)

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About Bonnie Pfiester

Fitness Columnist and Lifestyle Coach, Resident Trainer for Designer Whey, Fitness Advisor for FitStudio, powered by Sears, FitFluential Ambassador and Owner of Max Fitness Club, home of BCx Boot Camp in Vero Beach, Florida.

Posted on August 8, 2011, in Diet & Nutrition Tips, Fitness Products & Trends, PFOODIE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Oh my gracious! My head is spinning – but in a good way! :) Over the last few months I’ve realized I’ve been doing two things wrong in my “dieting,” not getting enough protein or water. I’m not a huge meat eater, so it’s been a little of a challenge to try to get a protein in every meal and snack. This blog takes it to another level! I never thought about the percentage of protein. Whew! Thanks for opening my eyes – hopefully I can make some better choices, starting with egg whites instead of whole eggs for breakfast.

  2. Great info. I believe I am more of a lean meat eater for protein with a shake substitute each day it was an eye opener on many of the other items.

  3. Thank you for this info. Everybody should read it.

  4. Hello There. I discovered your weblog the use of msn. That is an extremely well written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to learn more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I?ll definitely comeback.

    • Oh YAY! Thank you! So glad! I’d love you as a subscriber! It’s my goal to encourage and educate as many people as I can so people can get the results they want so badly. Please let me know if there is a topic you’d like for me to blog about. happy to try to tackle the subject :) thanks again for commenting!

  5. I tried this product for 2 months now, and although I am extremely satisfied with the taste and amount of ingredients it has per serving, I am giving it 4 stars because it lacks the power I was looking for in a pre-workout drink.

    • If you are talking about the AMP60 – you shouldn’t have it before a workout – or any protein drink really. Protein is not a good source of fuel. You should always have your protein 30-40 minutes after a workout for the best absorption. :) Pre-workout drinks are normally carbs, caffeine, creatine and other performance enhancing supplements.

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