Almost on a daily basis, I am asked “What foods should I be eating to get enough protein in my diet?”. No matter if you’re a vegetarian or a die-hard carnivore, you can easily consume adequate protein. Protein is most important for maintaining muscle health but also for completing many vital body processes. It is recommended that most adult women consume 46 grams of protein and adult men consume 56 grams daily. Keep in mind that this number can increase or decrease depending on your specific needs at the time (i.e. wound healing, kidney disease, weight gain, muscle gain). If you do not have a condition or illness that limits your protein intake, it is typically safe for you to consume more protein if you stay adequately hydrated.
Vegetarians, of course, are consuming proteins not from animal meat. Protein sources would consist of beans and legumes, tofu, nuts and seeds, and some grains and vegetables. If you are a lacto-ovo vegetarian, you choose to consume dairy products (lacto) and eggs (ovo). Textured vegetable protein (TVP) is not bad at all! Try this Harvest Chili recipe and use TVP crumbles in place of ground beef.
If you are not vegetarian, you will typically get your protein from animal sources plus all of the vegetable types. Be sure to keep a check on the amount of cholesterol you may be consuming. All animal protein sources will contain some source of cholesterol and you still want to take care of your heart.
If you’re a flexitarian like me (yes, that’s a real word), your protein sources would include all of the above. My protein superstars are greek yogurt (like Chobani or Oikos, approximately 14 gms per serving), tuna fish (20 grams per 3 oz), lean ground beef (8-10 gms per ounce), low-fat cottage cheese (14 gms per 1/2 cup), egg substitute (7.5 gms per 1/4 cup), edamame or soybeans (14 gms per 1/2 cup), and typical beans (6-9 gms per 1/2 cup).