* The outcomes of this diet depend on the person's individual predispositions and cannot be guaranteed in every person. We advise you to consult your doctor before you start a diet programme.
Best sources of protein. It’s good to know them not only for losing weight
Proteins - our basic building blocks. Do you have enough of them in your diet? And which foods are the best sources? Read more and you will get information about what you eat. Or what you should eat. And have a look at a personal diet of a nutrition specialist and fitness trainer.
How to identify high-quality source of protein
Which sources provide the highest quality protein? Are animal or plant sources better? And what to do if you are a vegan? Where should you look for plant protein? Let’s talk about these topics.
“Quality of all sources of protein depends mainly on the content of essential amino acids, which our body cannot produce itself,“ says Jiří Skála, nutrition specialist. Therefore, it is necessary to replenish them with suitable foods. Biological value determines how quality and rich in protein the food is. “Protein has a high biological value if it contains a spectre of amino acids corresponding to physiological needs of people and we can use them adequately, “, explains the nutrition specialist.
Foods with the highest biological value:
- beef meat,
- whey protein, which is regarded the most valuable source of protein in human diet.
Comprehensible list of foods rich in protein
The top sources of animal protein are meat and fish, dairy products and eggs. If you want to complement your diet with plant protein, choose legumes, oat flakes, quinoa, soya “meat” or food supplement spirulina.
How much protein do the most popular sources contain?
|Source of protein||Origin||Amount of protein in 100 g|
|Eidam 30%||Animal||27 g|
|Red lentils||Plant||26 g|
|Yellowfin tuna||Animal||25 g|
|Sardines in juice||Animal||25 g|
|Chicken breast||Animal||23 g|
|Turkey meat||Animal||22 g|
|Beef meat||Animal||21 g|
|Unpeeled almonds||Plant||20 g|
|Pork tenderloin||Animal||20 g|
|Rabbit meat||Animal||20 g|
|Cashew nuts||Plant||17 g|
|Tofu natural||Plant||14 g|
|Oat flakes||Plant||13 g|
|Hen eggs||Animal||12 g|
|Cottage cheese||Animal||12 g|
|Semi-skimmed curd cheese||Animal||7 g|
|Greek yoghurt||Animal||4 g|
|Whole milk (100 ml)||Animal||3 g|
Data source: www.kaloricketabulky.cz
*We include meat in raw condition.
Do not focus only on proteins. Watch a balanced diet
When composing a reduction diet watch the amount of all macronutrients – carbohydrates, fats and proteins. The table above shows only the amount of protein in selected foods. For instance, walnuts and peanuts are an important source of protein but they contain a lot of fat as well. So, you shouldn’t eat 100 g of them very often. In particular, when you strive to shed off some kilos. But spreading a few nuts or seeds on a vegetable salad with cottage cheese... That’s another case. Have the same careful approach to legumes. Chickpeas contain 20 g of protein in 100 g but also 50 g of carbohydrates! On the other hand, boneless skinless chicken breast contains the same amount of protein and no carbohydrates.
One of the highest quality sources of protein is meat. Is there any reason for today’s trend “less meat in your diet = is better for your digestion and our planet”? Nutrition specialist Jiří Skála says it is not ideal eating meat every day but not eating meat at all isn’t good either. “I do not support extremes in any area and this applies to eating meat as well.“
Which plant proteins are the best for vegans?
Specific group to watch for the content of protein in their diet are those who avoid proteins of animal origin. Vegans and vegetarians. Plant proteins often do not contain all essential amino acids which our body needs. “Therefore, it is always important to use plant sources of protein where you can complement the spectre of amino acids with the amino acid that isn’t present in the food. Most often legumes and cereals are combined. Vegans can also eat nuts rich in protein (walnuts, almonds, cashew) or soya fermented products or spirulina,” says Jiří Skála about proteins in a “plant-based diet”.
How to compose a diet rich in proteins
There is no formula for calculating ideal distribution of proteins all over the day. However, every meal should contain proteins. It is entirely up to you and your body which composition of the diet you prefer. There are a lot of factors impacting the composition of the diet and distribution of all macronutrients including proteins,” explains Jiří Skála, nutrition specialist, and lists all factors impacting our diet. They are age, sex, weight, physical activity as well as the goal for which you strive when composing the diet and how often you eat.
“Personally, I prefer eating meat for lunch. In the evening, approx. 2 hours before I go to sleep I eat only fish or chicken meat since they are better digestible. If our body digests a heavy meal at night such as beef meat it impacts the quality of our sleep,” says our nutrition specialist about his own preferences and adds that athletes or people who do regular exercise eat often curd chees as their last meal. It contains micellar casein, high-quality milk protein, which our body digests very slowly (approx. 4–8 hours). Thanks to it, the muscles are protected for the long-term and in high quality against catabolism (breakdown of muscle cells).
Sample diet of nutrition specialist
Factors impacting the composition of Jiří Skála’s diet are the following:
- 32 years,
- 88 kg,
- 12 % of body fat,
- sedentary job,
- exercise 6 times a week,
- eating regularly, mostly 3 to 4 times a day,
- goal = maintain the weight and fitness.
Due to the above factors, daily intake of proteins for our nutrition specialist and fitness trainer is between 1,5 g and 2 g / kg, i.e. between 130 g and 180 g proteins per day.
HINT! Make a list of your own factors important for the composition of your diet
Sample diet rich in protein per one day
Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs on ghee, 2 slices of rye bread, 100 g vegetables = 29 g protein
Lunch: 150 g turkey breast with 250 g potatoes and 200 g vegetables = 43 g protein
Snack: Vanilla protein drink, handful of nuts (30 g) = 35 g protein
Dinner: 200 g salmon and 250 g sweet potatoes, 200 g vegetables = 39 g protein
*Daily intake of protein approx. 146 g.
“In case I have a training that day I can increase the amount of protein before or after it for muscle regeneration and protection with e.g. a protein drink or protein bar,“ concludes Jiří Skála about his diet.
Watch sufficient amount of protein when losing weight as well as after reduction diet
Proteins play an important role in our body. They have a lot of important functions such as structural, hormonal, protective or transport. The body may use them as a source of energy but contrary to fats and carbohydrates they are mainly building blocks,“ explains Jiří Skála, therefore giving the body protein when losing weight or doing exercise is essential since it will protect not only our muscles but all cells in our body.
Another great thing about proteins is that they have the highest satiating effects of all macronutrients, which means you will not be hungry or have a sweet tooth after eating them. And this is perfect when losing extra kilos.
How much protein do I need?
If you’ve just decided to start losing weight you should eat between 1.4 and 2 g of protein per 1 kg of your ideal weight. I.e. if you want to weigh 65 kg you should get between 91 to 130 g protein from your food per day. Have you found out your intake isn’t even a half of that? Do not try to increase the amount abruptly. Do it gradually. “If you are used to an intake of 0.8 g of protein per kg per day, abrupt increase to e.g. 1.8 g might lead to indigestion. Increase the amount of protein step by step, ideally by 0.4 – 0.5 g a week. This means that if my intake was 0.8 g and I want to increase it, I will rise to 1.2 g the first week and to 1.6 g / kg the following week, etc.,” proposes our nutrition specialist what is the effective way.
You aren’t sure how to include protein in your diet? Try to start losing weight with KetoDiet. You will enjoy five meals rich in protein a day and will get a leaflet to guide you through the diet. You will get the leaflet with each value-for-money pack of protein meals.
*For Step 3 of the diet plan.
Even if you do not want to lose weight don’t forget about sufficient amount of protein. You can include it in your common healthy diet easily even if you are very busy. Try for instance one of our protein meals or drinks that contain approx. 15 to 20 g of protein in one portion and you could also try one of our simple recipes rich in proteins at home.
Author: Nikola Nevečeřalová
Photo: Nikola Nevečeřalová, KetoDiet
You already know that you will find a lot of protein in legumes. What about including beluga lens with interesting nutrition values in your diet? Learn more about it in one of our previous articles.