Sources of Protein
When we are looking to reshape our body composition, we are usually looking to build muscle and burn off excess body fat. After we do some strength training, our muscles need protein to repair and gain strength. There is some debate about how much protein we need, but it usually lands between .5g – 1g of protein per pound of lean body weight. So for someone who is 150lbs and is about 70% lean body weight/30% body fat the equation would look like this: (.5)(.7)(150) = 52.2g of protein per day. (My Fitness Pal is a great phone app to track macronutrients.) What this translates to in a diet is: 2 eggs at breakfast, ½ cup chopped chicken on a salad at lunch, and a 4 oz steak at dinner will get you 53g of protein. Not only will you be providing your body with the fuel it needs to build muscle, you will stay full longer and you won’t be raising your blood sugar. Win-win-win.
In the American food industry, it is important to pay attention to the source of your protein. Not only are we getting the protein from meat and fowl, but there are other things that come along with it. In his article, Chris Kresser, lays out the benefits for grass fed beef compared to conventional feed lot beef. The omega 3:omega 6 ratio is better and there are more antioxidants and vitamins. When you think about it, it does make sense that a cow raised on a pasture and fed what it was designed for – grass – will produce a healthier product. Yet, it costs significantly more. So then we do the best with what we can. The next priority is organic or local. Whether you buy pasture raised, grass fed, organic or conventional, you will do better nutrient-wise compared to living on filler foods like cereal and crackers. So when you are planning out your meals for the day, be sure to include the protein your body needs.