Protein 101: Animal vs plant

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Protein is an essential nutrient, but how much protein do we need and where it comes from? Dr. Laura Christoph, Professor of Nutrition, shared more about the benefits of protein.

Protein Needs
Protein is needed for growth and development, energy, hormone and enzyme production, fluid balance and immunity.

The average adult needs about ½ gram of protein per pound of body weight.
A strength athlete looking to gain muscle mass, however, might have a goal of eating 1 gram per pound of protein!

There are 2 different sources of protein:

Animal protein – is high in readily absorbably vitamins and minerals and can be accompanied by some saturated fat. Animal proteins include meat, fish, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese.

Plant protein – is high in fiber and phytochemicals and low in unhealthy fats, but also contains less high quality protein and less absorbable forms of vitamins and minerals. Different grains, legumes and nuts and seeds can be combined to make complete proteins. Soy is one type of protein that is high quality in and of itself!

Here are examples of the amount of protein in various foods:
1 egg: 7g protein
1 cup milk or yogurt: 8g protein (greek yogurt is twice this amount)
3 ounces meat: 24g protein
1 scoop of whey protein powder: 30g protein
½ cup rice or pasta, 1 slice bread, or 1 cup cereal: 2-3g protein
½ cup beans: 6-10g protein
¼ cup nuts or seeds: 4g protein
½ cup tofu: 10g protein

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