31 August 2016

Foods rich in protein -All about protein

If you have been following my previous posts about carbs,fats etc etc-all health related topics,you will agree with me simply or is secretly swearing me in your head, that I am such a nutrition illiterate freak (Yes I am :D) and so ,you are not gonna be an ounce surprised, if I tell you up until now I had no idea what are proteins ,why do our body need protein ,how much protein we need to eat and Which food contains the apt number of protein for healthy consumption .

Well,the pious time has arrived ,all my healthy stars are getting aligned it seems- and today we are gonna learn all about - Protein the great !!

So,the question is what is a protein -what is it ?

Protein is one of the three (other two are Carbohydrates and Fats) main or macro nutrient essential for the proper development and functioning of the body . Proteins are made up of small compounds called Amino acids .Our body needs upto 22 amino acids ,of which 9 amino acids cannot be produced by our body which are called "essential amino acids" which must be taken from healthy foods .

Animal proteins like meat,dairy and eggs contains all the essential amino acids and so they are called "complete proteins".On other hand,plant based proteins like beans,grains,nuts etc may not have all the required essential amino acids and so they are called "incomplete proteins".(There are exceptions nowadays like Quinoa,Amarnath etc).In which case,the diet needs to be adjusted in such a way that the optimal amount of protein is achieved by the body by the apt combination of proteins spread through out the day ,which is called "complementary protein".

Now,the question arises why do we exactly need protein for?

Every cell in our body contains protein.
  1. Protein helps in boosting metabolism in our body.
  2. Reduces appetite ,keeps us full and energized.
  3. Helps in weight loss especially belly fat.
  4. Builds muscle mass and strength .
  5. Supports neurological functions - keeps our moods upbeat .
  6. Repairs cells and makes new ones.
  7. Boost immunity.
  8. Keeps blood sugar steady.
  9. Helps in the proper functioning of tissues and organs.
  10. Promotes proper growth and development in infants,teenagers,elderly people and pregnant women.
Now,the next question is so how much are we suppose to consume protein daily ?

According to USDA (US Department of agriculture) , the recommended daily protein intake for adults at an average weight and physical activity level is :
  • 56 gm for men per day .
  • 46 gm for women per day.
However,protein should be spread and consumed through out the day  to meet the recommended protein intake than at once or twice because our body can't store protein .So,it only absorbs a little at a time, rest are stored as fat or just eliminated . So ,56 or 46 gm of protein should be distributed over 3-4 small meals more or less in equal proportion and not at once. At the same,too much of protein over the limit can cause other health issues as well.

Now,the main question is what are good sources of protein or foods rich in protein :
Here is the list I prepared that will show the foods rich in protein and their calories and how much they contain protein in grams :

Foods Serving size Calories Protein in gram
Eggs 1 74 6 g
Chicken Breast 4 oz 124 35.18 g
Turkey Breast 4 oz 118 34.17 g
Lean Beef 4 oz 175 26.16 g
Fish (approx for each fish) (Tuna,Sardines,Salmon,Cod) 4 oz 147 34 g
Shrimp 4oz 134 25.83 g
Lamb 4oz 310.4 25.57 g
Scallop 4 oz 125.9 23.29 g
Bone Broth (approx for different types) 1 cup 69 6 g
Milk 1 cup 103 8 g
Yogurt (Whole milk) 1 cup 149 8 g
Kefir (whole milk) 1 cup 106 10 g
Chocolate Milk 1 cup 209 8 g
Soy Milk 1 cup 131 8 g
Tofu ½ cup 88 10 g
Cottage cheese 1 cup /225 g 222 25g
Parmesan Cheese 1 oz 122 11 g
Swiss 1oz 108 8 g
Mozarella 1 slice 78 8 g
Cheddar 1 slice 113 7 g
Oats 1 cup /81g 307 11g
Quinoa 1 cup 222 8 g
Wheat Germ 1.67 Tbsp 51 4.4g
Ezeikeil Bread ( a bread made up of organic whole grains and legumes) 1 slice 80 4.8g
Lentils-Chickpeas/Soybeans/Kidney Beans/ Pinto beans/Black Beans/Navy Beans (approx for each) 1 cup 269 15 g
Almonds 1 cup 529 20g
Pistachios 1 cup 691 25g
Cashewnuts 1 oz 157 5g
Almond Butter (no salt) 2 Tbsp/16g 101 2g
Peanut Butter (no salt) 2 Tbsp/32g 188 8g
Coconut 1 medium 1405 13g
Avocado 1/201g 322 4g
Brussel Sprouts 1 cup 56.2 3.98g
Broccoli 1 cup 54.6 3.71g
Green Peas ½ cup 115.7 4g
Baked potato A large potato 290 8g
Sundried tomato 4gm per ounce 1 cup /110g 234 6g
Spinach 1 cup 41.4 5.35g
Asparagus 1 cup 39.6 4.32g
Bagel 1 medium size 289 10g
Whey Protein supplements 1 scoop 110 cals approx 20g

Other vegetables - Green Beans ,Cauliflower ,Cabbage ,Mushrooms, Kale ,Turnip Greens ,Beet Greens,Summer Squash ,Bok Choy,Mustard Greens,Tomatoes .

Other fruits - Pomegranate (4.7gm),Jackfruit (2.8gm),Strawberries ,Mulberries ,Blackberries ,Raspberries ,Starfruit ,Apricots ,Nectarines ,Grapefruit (White) ,Cantaloupe Melon ,Peaches ,Passion Fruit ,Currants (Red, White & Black) Oranges ,Guavas ,Watermelon ,Kiwi Fruit (Gold) ,Cherries ,Honeydew Melon ,Bananas ,Raisins,Dates,Prunes,Figs.

Hmm,so proteins are the major building blocks of the human body . Now I know how important protein is exactly for our body and how much protein I must consume and how to take proteins aptly and just not for the name sake .

 Whey to the right protein ..I mean on my way to get my right proteins.

 Hail protein !



DISCLAIMER : I am collecting all these vital health related info (from reliable sources all over the internet) ,for my personal use and storing it at one place as guidelines for good health .So that I don't have to google it always .So,these are otherwise strictly for informational purpose only and not to be substituted for professional medical advice.

19 August 2016

Fat is not bad for our health - Good fat vs Bad fat

 "FAT" is a word that is too scary to think of,dream of,swallow or digest ~ for me ! Don't you wish this fat-ty word didn't exist at all . I did ! Wonder what would have happened if there was no such thing called fat at all - well,whole world would have been filled with happy women dancing on happy feet -slim and trim ,men wouldn't look ever pregnant ,kids would eat non-stop pizzas,pasta,ice creams and chocolates etc etc ..and the most important thing there won't be any disease at all and we all will be happy and healthy ever after....

Hmm..sounds like one of my best dream and yes that much I am scared of fats...

However,we NEED fats !! Guess what I found out - That our body needs little fat for sure ! Fat is not something to be eliminated entirely from our diet . Fat is in fact very important for our body :
  • Fat is a major source of energy .
  • Fat helps in absorbing some vitamins and minerals - Vitamin A,D,E and K - the fat soluble vitamins .
  • Fat keeps our skin soft and hair healthy .
  • Fat derived from food produces the "essential" fatty acids required by the body called linoleic acid (Omega 6) and linolenic acids (Omega 3 ) which our body, neither can make by itself or can function without it.These essential acids helps in the formation of healthy cell membranes,nervous system,brain development,hormone production,healthy immune system,controlling inflammation,blood clotting,blood pressure,liver function,cholesterol etc etc..
  • Fat helps in regulating our body temperature and keeps it warm
  • Fat also forms a protective layer for different organs in the body -it holds them in place and prevent them from any injury .

DID YOU KNOW ? - A human brain is nearly 60 percent fat !

So just like carbs,we do need fat in our diet and body BUT they are of two types - Good fats or Unsaturated Fats and Bad fats or Saturated fats and obviously, we should aim for the good fats in our diet to make sure that even if we are dieting to lose weight ,our body is not deprived of any essential fat benefits .

Good fats are of two types :
  1. Monounsaturated Fats (MUFA) - are fats or oil that are in liquid form at room temperature but starts to solidify when chilled. Examples -Olive oil,canola oil,peanut oil. Other than oil they are also found in dairy products (whole milk),Red Meats,Nuts,olives,Avocados ,popcorn,whole grain wheat,oatmeal,cereals etc..
  2. Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFA) are also like monounsaturated fats except their chemical structure,liquid in room temperature but gets solid in refrigerator .They are more solid though and may even get spoiled when kept chilled.Heat and oxygen are more damaging to this type of unsaturated fat.
Monounsaturated fats and Polyunsaturated fats are also known as "OMEGAS". Mononunsaturated fats are also called Omega-9 fatty acids like Canola and Sunflower oil etc whereas Polyunsaturated fats are called Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids .These are essential fatty acids that our body is incapable of producing it by its own and so should be derived from apt food sources like fish,flax seeds,oils etc...
Bad fats are of two types :
  1. Saturated Fats - are usually solid in room temperatures .They come mainly from animal sources like meat and whole fat dairy products ,baked and fried products and plant based oils like Palm oil,coconut oil . Saturated fats are considered to be one of the main cause of high cholesterol levels,heart attack or stroke.
 (Unlike other saturated fats,Coconut oil has about 90% saturated fat but when taken sparingly also helps in raising good cholesterol !) 

 The Academy of nutrition and dietetics recommends to get no more than 7% to 10% of calories from saturated fats.

    2. Trans Fats - Natural trans fats occurs in small quantity in animal products -meat and dairy products .However,there is the artificial trans fat created in industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid .These oils are affordable to produce,can be used many times for frying etc,has longer shelf life and also gives food a good taste and texture. Because of these properties these oils are the most sought after oil by restaurant owners.

However,trans fats are the most harmful fats that can reduce good cholestrol/HDL and raise the bad cholestrol/LDL leading to heart diseases and even diabetes ,cancer etc etc..So,this type of fat is suggested to be taken carefully .Even lots of restaurants have been and are banning the use of this deadly oil.

So,basically the monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats should be our go to fats (within limits) and saturated fats should be taken sparingly but should not be avoided and just say NO to Trans fats !!

The U.S Department of Agriculture 's dietary guidelines recommend that adults should get 20%-35% of their calories from fats.

Now,let's see what are some good fat foods that we must consume and bad fat foods that we must avoid :

Monounsaturated Fats Polyunsaturated Fats Saturated Fats /Trans fats
Canola Oil Sunflower Oil Butter
Olive Oil Corn Oil Lard
Peanut Oil Safflower Oil Poultry with skin
Almond Oil Sesame Oil Red Meat
Walnut Oil Soybean Oil Whole fat dairy products (even 2% milk)
Avocados Cottonseed oil Palm oil
Olives Fish Oil Partially Hydrogenated oil
Peanut Butter Nuts and seeds Coffee Creamer
Almond Butter Walnuts Vegetable shortenings
Nuts (Cashews,almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans) Kale Margarine

Spinach Bakery food – cakes/cookies/pies etc

Parsley Deep fried foods

Brussel Sprouts Fast foods

Soymilk Frozen foods -ice cream/pies/pizzas

Tofu Readymade frostings/icings

Fatty fish- Salmon,Tuna,Mackerel,Herring,Trout,Sardines Refrigerated dough products

Sunflower seeds/Sesame/Flaxseeds/Pumpkin seeds Pre-mixed products like pancake,cakes etc


Making wise choices while consuming fat,not only helps in keeping unnecessary weight off but also helps in warding off many deadly diseases like heart attack,stroke,diabetes,cancer etc etc and live longer healthily and happily.

It is not good to be fat but fat is good !! - hmmm not scary anymore ,knowledge is power - full !!

Take care,

Disclaimer:I am collecting all these vital health related info (from reliable sources all over the internet) ,for my personal use and storing it at one place as guidelines for good health .So that I don't have to google it always .So,these are otherwise strictly for informational purpose only and not to be substituted for any professional medical advice.

 References and sources: