How much protein should I be consuming?

When people speak about protein we usually think of meat, fish, chicken and cheese. We believe that by not eating this kind of foods every day, for every meal, we will be  protein deficient, our bodies will starve and we will lose our muscle. Well, this is not true, there are many ways in which we can get our protein needs without putting ourselves at risk.

What happens when you eat too much protein?

So what can be done?

  • To keep a healthy diet, people should consume from 40-70 grams of protein per day. This depends on their weight, height, gender and activity level. An average person is recommended to have around 0.8 grams of protein per kilo, but this number may vary if they are sick, pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Once a week a try a ‘no meat day’. Instead, go with plant based proteins such as peas, broccoli, tofu, tempeh and mushroom. It will help you to regulate blood sugar balance, lose weight, improve digestion and it’ll save you some money.
  • Don’t overdo on the sizes of animal protein in your plate. Half of the plate should be composed of vegetables, ¼ of a complex carbohydrate and ¼ of protein.
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A balanced meal

These charts are very useful and will give you an idea of how much protein is in food, and how much of each you should be consuming.

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Amount of protein in seafood, chicken and meat.
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Alternatives to animal products that are high in protein.

 

There is a recipe I really like, is easy to make and gives me all the protein I need for lunch or dinner.

Quinoa salad with blanched vegetables

Ingredients for the salad: Quinoa and vegetables of your choice.

Salad dressing: Tahini,  1 lime, hot water, cumin and salt.

  1. Prepare your quinoa. Do it as you would do with rice, 1 cup of quinoa and two cups of water. When water boils put the quinoa in, lower the heat and leave for about 15 minutes, or until it the water has evaporated completely.
  2. Boil water for the vegetables.
  3. Cut the vegetables you have in your fridge. I usually use broccoli, courgette and carrots.
  4. Put the vegetables in the boiling water for no more than 20 seconds. Then drain and set apart.
  5. Mix the quinoa, vegetables and the canned peas in your plate.
  6. Mix the juice from the lime, tahini cumin and salt. Slowly add the hot water to the dressing to give it the consistency you want it to have. Mix with a spoon until it is smooth.
  7. Add the dressing, and there you go! A plate with at least 30 grams of protein, depending on the amount of quinoa and vegetables you use.

There are many alternatives for you to try and experiment. The world doesn’t end at pork at lamb. That is just the beginning!

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