Tonight’s dinner reminded me of why it is so important for me to incorporate the most balanced meals I can, every meal, for my family. This meal tastes fantastic, and has a phenomenal amount of nutrients and vitamins. But it is lacking in protein. Granted it has some (parmesan cheese is added to enhance flavour to the risotto) but not in the amounts I would like. It’s dishes like these that give me reason to put protein into every meal. Like snack for today, greek yogurt and fruit. Double the amount of protein as regular yogurt , greek yogurt has 20g of protein per 6oz (packs a good protein punch.) Then for lunch; dinner leftovers from last night filled with protein rich cannellini beans (19g protein per cup.)
So why do I care about the lack of protein in my dinner?
The CDC (centre for disease control – American) recommends 10-35% of all calories to originate from a protein source.
The Institute of Medicine at Harvard recommends 0.8g of protein per kg of body mass. Example: An average adult weighing 160lbs would then require 58g of protein per day. And based on calorie requirements for that same adult (approx. 1600cal/day) 58g of protein fits with the CDC recommendation of 10-35%. And when you break that down into 5-6 meals a day you are looking for about 10g protein per meal…(breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks)
Food guides and recommendation boards such as the Canada Food Guide and the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans aren’t as specific but do give portion recommendations. See their websites for more details. You can also try my new favourite for nutritional info. stats.
I could throw facts at you until I’m blue in the face, but the truth is I listen to my body and fill my plate with healthy, whole foods. I do vary my diet and always have a vegetable source, protein source and grain product at each meal. Usually in a ratio of about 2 vegetable portions:1 protein :1 grain portion. Snacks are where I make up the extras I feel required (like protein today.) And water, lots of lots of water. I focused on protein this blog. Not because it is all I focus on, but because so many diets are so focused on increasing protein content. I don’t recommend that. It’s taxing on your kidneys (especially if your body is compromised, like a diabetic). Balance is key.
Disclaimer: I am not an expert in your life. I am not a registered dietician. Seek out your own answers with the health care professionals of your choosing.