January 15, 2013

How to Eat Cleaner – Day 16 of 31 – Protein – How Much Protein Do You Need? What Protein Should You Eat?

Posted in Diet, Eating Cleaner, Health, Healthy Eating, Healthy Habits, Healthy Living, Healthy Recipe, Nutrition tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:31 PM by lanaholt

How to Eat Cleaner – Day 16 of 31 – Protein – How Much Protein Do You Need? What Protein Should You Eat?

Hello everyone. I’m so excited that you decided to join me in our 31 days to cleaner or healthier eating. Each one of these videos will have 1 simple concept for you to chew on. It’s your choice what you do with it. Try it for a day, a week, a month or implement for your entire life. My hope is it helps you open your mind to learning more about fueling your body more healthily.

Part of cleaning up what we eat is getting educated and alot of these videos focus on awareness.

Today we talk about protein and yes, this is another topic that could be pages and pages.  Here is just a brief overview, please research for yourself if you want to dig deeper.

Proteins are made up of amino acids and are the building blocks of every part of our body. There are 20 different amino acids that make up proteins. Some of these proteins are complete and some are incomplete depending on how many essential amino acids they provide. Essential amino acids are necessary for us to exist and we need to get from the food we eat. It’s pretty easy to get complete proteins if you aren’t a vegetarian or vegan. Complete proteins are meat, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese… But even as a vegan or vegetarian you can get all you need you just need to combine incomplete proteins. An example would be beans and rice. Both are incomplete by themselves but are complete together. This is one of the reasons I drink vegan Shakeology. I get 16 grams of complete protein in 1 shake. 

There are many different ways to determine your protein needs but if you want to get technical here are 2 ways to calculate it. Even though they are calculations, they are still estimates for each individual. Ultimately you need to determine how you feel in order to know what is right for you. Especially if you have any medical issues, are pregnant or nursing. Note, most sedentary Americans eat about 50% more protein than recommended.

Calculate Protein Needs Using Weight and Activity Level:
1. Weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kg
2. Weight in kg x [ from 0.8 to 1.8 gm/kg depending on your activity level] = protein gm.
If you are sedentary .8, if you exercise regularly, are under stress, pregnant, recovering from an illness, anywhere from 1.0 to 1.8.

Calculate Protein Needs Using Percentage of Daily Calories:

We need to start by figuring out how many daily calories you need. These are your maintenance calories.

There are very detailed ones and general ones.

Here is a general one.  http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/calories-burned.php

If you want to get more specific, you can calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate, the calories you need to exist, then add your activity calories. It’s still not going to be exact, but may be closer. This one combines the BMR calculation with activity calories.. http://nutritiondata.self.com/tools/calories-burned

Next you need to figure out what percentage of these calories needs to be protein. This is very dependent on your activity level, health, goals, metabolic rate, etc. Usually between 15-30%.

For example:

2000 calories for maintenance
20% calories from protein
2000 x .20 = 400 calories from protein
How many grams of protein would that be?
1 gram of protein = 4 calories
400/4= 100 grams from protein per day

Do you need extra protein if you workout hard or are trying to build bulk? Alot of research is suggesting that we should not be doubling our protein because our muscles can only absorb so much. It’s more important to have balance and good nutrition, good protein sources.

So, what are good sources of protein?

For red meat and poultry products, choose free range, grass fed, and organic. Some research has shown that grass fed, free range, organic beef has less fat & calories, is higher in Omega-3s, and is higher in Conjugated Linoleic Acid, which has been shown to defend against cancer. Free range, organic chickens and eggs contained more Vitamin a and Omega-3s. Plus people find that grass fed, free range products taste much better. When I ate meat, I could tell the difference.

For fish you will have to figure this out. I’m still on the fence with this one. I would choose high omega-3 fish like salmon. But whether you should eat farmed or ocean caught is debatable. Ocean & fresh water caught brings up the issue of the environment impact and exposure to mercury and PCBs, but is supposed to be healthier. Farmed supposedly does not hurt the environment, but may have chemicals or antibiotics in them. Usually, it’s suggested to choose ocean or fresh water caught.

Non meat protein sources. We’ve already touched on soy in another video. Choose organic tempeh, miso, natto, low processed tofu, soy milk without soy protein or soy isolate. You would be surprised that you can get all the protein you need on a diet of vegetables, fruits and grains. 1 cup of cooked spinach has 7 grams of protein. Research the protein in vegetables to get a good idea. Some great protein sources are quinoa, lentils, beans, hemp, and there are more.

What I challenge you to do is get an approximate idea of how much protein should you be consuming each day? Are you on target? Play around with it. You may find your body may need less or more.

Thanks for your time. This is Coach Lana and I would love for you to join me at http://facebook.com/coachlana so we can connect.

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1 Comment »

  1. Mary Case said,

    Great info Lana. Love when I learn something. Your videos are great for that. Also want to comment that I am somewhat hearing impaired and read lips…you are very easy to understand. Thanks for that. It is much appreciated.


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