Protein

Healthy Choices

As for protein source, fish is a great choice; fish oil is healthier than animal fat. White chicken meat is also good. If you can get rabbit meat, it is also a good choice. If you cannot live without beef, get lean beef and use a meat tenderizer. Although I am not an expert in this field, some people claim, if you do it correctly, beef treated by a meat tenderizer (either with enzyme or mechanical) is almost as tasty as marbled meat.

Dairy Products

Dairy products are good sources of protein, too, though with some cautions. Eggs are a great source of protein. Although they were thought to cause high cholesterol in the body, many studies now indicate otherwise. Although I still don’t recommend eating many eggs, one egg a day seems not to cause high cholesterol level. I do not recommend frying eggs. Hardboiled eggs are good. Because of possibility of salmonella contamination, it is not recommend to eat soft eggs. As for milk, debates are still going on.

Protein Sources: meat, fish, daily

Eat good protein; they are essential for your health; don’t worry about quantity, but worry about quality of the protein sources.

One study indicates that whole milk reduces obesity among teenagers and other studies indicate, skimmed milk is far more beneficial for the body. For now, I recommend low fat or skimmed milk. Note that 1% milk does not mean that milk fat is reduced to 1% of original fat content. It was reduced to 1% of whole weight. The original fat content of milk is about 3 to 4%.

Beans

Beans and grains are also rich in protein, but they cannot provide all of the essential amino-acids that your body needs. If you are a vegetarian, make sure that you eat a variety of beans and grains to cover this deficit, though you don’t need to eat all of the essential amino-acids at the same time. If you are not a vegan, milk products may solve this problem. At one point, soybeans were thought to be the king of beans and perfect for the body, but it is not so. They are still great, but do not have full amino-acids, and some chemicals in them may behave like sex hormone and may affect your body function if you eat too much, though observing Japanese who eat large amount of soy protein, it may not be the case (unless you really eat a lot).

How Much Protein?

As a general rule, you may want to get about 10 to 15% of your total calories from protein. For example, if you eat about 2,000 calories, 200 to 300 calories should be from protein which is about 50 grams to 75 grams of protein. You need about one gram of protein per two pound of body weight daily to maintain the muscles. So if you are 150 pounds, you may want to eat 75 grams of protein (0.17 pound of fish) a day. You may want to increase it slightly if you do weight training, since it requires more protein. Further, if you are older than 50 years old you may want to add more protein while doing weight training, since as the body ages, we lose more protein. If you are a 65 year old 150 pounds, you may want to take 100 grams of protein instead of 75 grams. You also need to know that most people cannot utilize more than 20 grams of protein at a time. If you eat too much protein in one sitting, the extra protein is converted into fat and stored into fat cells. So don’t eat a big steak!

In the modern society, we don’t need to worry about the deficiency of protein. In fact, most people get far more than they need. So worry about eating good protein in proper amounts.

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