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.
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.
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.
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.
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“.
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!!