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How do I get Enough Protein?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Almost five years ago I stopped eating meat - beef, poultry, veal etc. I continued to eat fish, seafood and dairy so I am not a vegan. I began seeing a dietitian at that time, because my doctor feared I was not getting enough protein. My dietitian helped me find plenty of good sources of protein. Today's team assignment is to blog about how I get enough protein as a "vegetarian".
WHen looking at the amount of calories and protein in a food, I always check to see if it is a good value - for the number of calories is there enough protein? For example, there are a lot of products out there that say "Protein" - like bars and snacks - but when you look at the number of calories 200 - 400, you may only get 2 - 6 gms of protein. TO me that is not worth it.
Here is a list of foods I like:
1. Greek Yogurts - for a 6 ounce container there is between 12 and 15 g of protein. I prefer the non-fat versions. There are many brands and flavors to choose from nowadays.
2. Eggs - 6 g per egg
3. Cottage Cheese (I like non-fat) 12-14 g/half cup
4. Quinoa - 8g / cup cooked
5. Pumpkin seeds - 7g/ ounce
6. Dried beans 12g/cup black beans
7. Soy milk - 8g/cup
8. Peanut butter 8g/2T
9. Almonds - 6g/ounce
10 - Wild salmon
11. Albacore tuna packed in water
12.Lentils 18g/cup
13. CHickpeas and other canned beans (I always rinse them to get sugars off) 15g/cup
14. Tofu 10g/half cup
15. Cooked spinach - 5g/cup

In general nuts and beans, seafood and fish - are all good sources.
I also use protein powders, which I add to my cereal, cottage cheese, yogurt - I make shakes with it also. There are many varieties available, most with about 100 calories, no fat, no carbs and 23g protein per serving.
I also occasionally eat a protein bar - but again, first check to make sure it really IS a protein bar.
IN addition there are a lot of vegetarian products out there with "meat" substitutes. Make sure you check the labels to see what kind of ingredients are used and what the nutritional values are.
I have no problem getting enough protein these days - there are lots of healthy choices out there to make it delicious and varied.
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