High Protein Foods – Essential To Good Health
If you are on a gluten free diet or are a vegan you should become familiar with the gluten free foods that contain high amounts of protein. It is important that protein is consumed at every meal, or at least one meal per day. Why is this so important? Since, your body does not store protein, you need to ensure your body receives sufficient amounts daily which is essential to your good health.
Protein comes from a variety of sources, including meat, milk, fish, soy, and eggs, as well as beans, legumes, and nut butters. When proteins are digested, they leave behind amino acids, which the human body needs.
When planning meals for those on a gluten free diet, foods containing large amounts of protein is a must. The two areas where gluten free diets have issues for individuals is fiber and protein. Those persons with gluten sensitivity may have difficulty in getting enough of these nutrients every day. So, it’s important that these nutrients are sufficient in the meals they consume.
Check out the video on why protein is so important.
Protein foods that contain all 8 essential amino acids are known as complete proteins. These are found in nuts and grains which supply complete proteins and you can avoid eating animal products if you are a vegan.
Other foodstuffs that are missing some of these amino acids are known as incomplete proteins. You do need sufficient amounts of protein in our diet which will vary upon gender, age and activity. However, a complete well-balanced diet will contain all of the macro-nutrients, which include fats, carbohydrates, and protein.
The value of protein is needed to help your body repair cells and make new ones. Protein is also important for growth and development in children, teens, and pregnant women.
Here is a list of foods that contain have high levels of protein. These sources or groups of high protein foods can be used in your diet to ensure you receive sufficient amounts of protein daily.
- Legumes (beans and peas)
- Nuts and Seeds
Each of these categories are described in greater detail below.
Below are some foods indicating their protein values and portions below:
- 4 ounces of top broiled sirloin steak – 34 Grams
- 4 ounce serving of roasted beef ribs – 30 Grams
- 4 ounces of cooked ground beef – 29 Grams
- 3 ounce portion of top round venison – 27 Grams
- 3 ounce portion of elk – 26 Grams
- 3 ounces of rabbit – 25 Grams
- 3 ounces of lamb loin – 25 Grams
- 3 ounces of 95% lean ground beef – 25 Grams
- 3 ounces of bison – 24 Grams
- 3 ounces of pork loin – 24 Grams
- 3 ounces of tuna, salmon, haddock, or trout – 21 Grams
- 3 ounces of cooked chicken and turkey – 19 Grams
- 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt – 17 Grams
- ½ cup of cottage cheese – 14 Grams
- ½ cup of cooked beans – 8 Grams
- 1 cup of milk – 8 Grams
- 1 cup of cooked pasta – 8 Grams
- ¼ cup or 1 ounce of nuts (all types) – 7 Grams
- 1 egg – 6 Grams
From the above foods you can vary the meals to ensure that the protein requirements are meet for all family members.
Legumes (Beans and Peas)
Below is a list of legumes that contain high values of protein along with their values for the serving sizes as indicated below:
- Broad beans – 10 Grams, 1 cup
- Butter beans – 0.9 Grams, 1 tablespoon
- Chickpeas – 2.4 Grams, 1 tablespoon
- Haricot beans – 6 Grams, 1 cup
- Kidney beans – 43 Grams, 1 cup
- Lentils – 1.1 Grams, 1 tablespoon
- Lima beans – 0.9 Grams, 1 tablespoon
- Soy beans – 68 Grams, 1 cup
- Split peas – 48 Grams, 1 cup
Note: Some individuals that are on a gluten free diet may have allergic reaction when eating soy. Just eliminate it from the high protein diet list for that individual.
Below is a list of the grain sources that have high values of protein for the serving size shown below:
- Amaranth – 9 Grams, 1 cup
- Brown Rice – 5 Grams, 1 cup
- Buckwheat – 23 Grams, 1 cup
- Millet – 22 Grams, 1 cup
- Certified Oats – 4.75 Grams, 1/2 cup dry portion
- Quinoa – 8 Grams, 1 cup
- Teff – 3.9 Grams, per 100 grams or about 1/2 cup
Nuts and Seeds
Below is a list of the nuts and seeds that contain high values of protein based on the serving size portions given below:
- Almonds – 6 Grams per ounce or 23 raw almonds
- Brazils – 4 Grams per 1 ounce or 8 medium size Brazil nuts
- Cashews – 4.75 Grams per 1 ounce or 18 medium size cashews
- Chestnuts – 0.9 Grams per 1 ounce of roasted chestnuts
- Flaxseed – 1.9 Grams per 1 tablespoon whole
- Hazelnuts – 2.1 Grams per every 10 nuts
- Linseed – 1.9 Grams per 1 tablespoon
- Pecans – 9 Grams per 1 cup, halves
- Pumpkin Seeds – 5 Grams per ounce or 85 seeds
- Peanuts – 7 Grams per ounce
- Sesame Seeds – 1.6 Grams per 1 tablespoon
- Sunflower Seeds – 29 Grams per cup
- Walnuts – 4.3 Grams per ounce or 14 halves
Below is a list of the vegetables that have high values of protein:
- Artichokes – 4.2 Grams in 1 medium artichoke
- Brussel Sprouts – 3 Grams per cup
- Broccoli – 2.4 Grams per 1 cup chopped or diced
- Cabbage – 1.1 Grams per 1 cup chopped (89 g)
- Cauliflower – 2.1 Grams per 1 cup chopped 1/2″ pieces
- Courgettes (Zucchini) – 1.5 Grams per 1 cup chopped (124 g)
- Green Peppers (Capsicum) – 1 Gram per 1 medium pepper (2 3/4″ long & 2 1/2″ diameter)
- Kale – 1 Gram per 3/4 cup
- Mushrooms – 1.1 Grams per 1/2 cup pieces
- Parsley – 0.1 Grams per 1 tablespoon
- Spinach – 0.9 Grams per 1 cup
- Watercress – 0.8 Grams per 1 cup chopped
Benefits of Consuming Protein
Some of the benefits of eating protein is a quick recovery after exercise, reducing muscle loss, builds lean muscle, maintain a healthy body weight, and curb hunger.
You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Your hair and nails are made of protein. Protein is an important building block for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
A lack of protein will have some cause and effect on any of the above on the body and effect your overall health.
But unlike fat and carbohydrates, the body does not store protein, and therefore has no reservoir to draw from when it needs a new supply.
Lack of protein in the diet initially causes fatigue, irritability and lethargy. If inadequate intake continues, loss of muscle mass, generalized swelling, decreased immunity, weakened cardiovascular and respiratory system and eventually death can occur. Other potential symptoms include diarrhea, changes in skin pigment, development of dermatitis or a rash and changes in hair texture, thickness and color.
It is vital that you receive sufficient amounts of protein for your gender and age every day.
How Much Protein Is Enough
How much protein you need will vary on your age, gender and activity. To determine how much protein you need daily in your diet checkout the following link: http://fnic.nal.usda.gov/fnic/interactiveDRI/ There is a calculator there you can use to determine your specific daily protein, calories, fiber, vitamin and mineral requirements.
Note: Woman who are nursing will need to add 20 grams of additional protein into their diet daily until they finish nursing. Athletes will need to add about 50% more protein into their daily diet.
As you can see, the above food groups that contain high values of protein can be used to vary the meals and snacks your individual will consume on a daily basis to supply his/her protein needs. However, some of these foods people may have an allergic reaction to them. If this is the case, just eliminate them from the list of foods they can eat and go on from there.
One of the major concerns for individuals that are on a gluten free diet face is that they may ingest insufficient amounts of protein in their daily consumption of food. As the meal planner for your family it is vital that all members, including those that are vegan and gluten free, consume sufficient amounts of protein in their daily diet.
Another area of concern is that vegan persons may have a lack of B12 in their body. The only way you can consume B12 is from animal products. So, if you are a vegan and don’t consume meat or any animal products, than you will need to add B12 into your diet using supplements.
Remember, protein is an important part of your daily food requirements besides fiber, vitamins and minerals. Make sure your body ingests sufficient amounts for good health.
You will be glad you did.
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