There are so many different sources of protein, but some sources are much healthier choices than others.  Lean proteins are the ones that are best for you, but sometimes it is better to have a fatty protein depending on your situation.  For those who are vegetarians, it is very important to make sure that you’re getting enough sources of protein.  Everyone knows that there is plenty of protein in meat, but there are other sources that you should consider, especially if meat isn’t something that you or your family eats on a regular basis.

What is Protein and Why Do You Need It?

Protein is a nutrient that is very important for your body.  Protein is what helps your body feel full, which is especially great for anyone considering dieting.  Protein is built from amino acids, which are essential for your body to have.  Protein, like carbohydrates, contains 4 calories per gram.  Fat contains 9 calories per gram, so protein is something that is very important for those that are trying to lose weight.Substituting protein for fat will not only keep you fuller, it will keep you fuller at the expense of fewer calories.  Cutting back on calories is especially important when you’re trying to lose weight, and eating plenty of protein is one way that you can achieve this.  Protein isn’t the only thing that is important in a balanced diet, but it is definitely a very important component.


  • Seafood, particularly fish, is a great source of protein.  Most seafood is very low in fat, which makes it a particularly good source of protein.  Some fish, like salmon, has a lot of fat.  This kind of fat, however, is good because it is omega-3 fatty acid.  It is the kind of fat that is good for your heart; it’s essential to have fat in your diet because your body needs fat.  You should replace as much bad fat as you can with this good kind of fat.  You can get this kind of fat from sources like fish and nuts
  • White meat poultry is a great provider of protein because it is very lean.  Dark meat is a little bit higher in fat than white meat, so try to avoid it if you can.  Especially try to avoid the skin on poultry, because it is loaded with the bad kind of fat, called saturated fat.  You should even try to avoid the skin before you cook your meat, as it can cook together
  • Dairy products are fantastic sources of protein.  They aren’t as lean as some other sources of protein, but they are very high in other essential nutrients.  Milk, cheese, and yoghurt are great for providing calcium and vitamin D.  Choosing low fat milk, cheese, and yoghurt can make this source of protein a golden choice.  The other nutrients in dairy products are great for building strong bones and teeth, and they can help to prevent you from getting osteoporosis
  • Eggs are very good for you, and they are loaded with protein but very low in calories.  The American Heart Association has declared that it is good for healthy adults to have an egg a day.  It is a great breakfast that will keep you full for a long time without adding an excessive amount of calories to your diet
The Absorption Factor

There has been substantial talk about which foods will absorb the most, how much protein to have, and when to have it. The bottom line is that your body cannot absorb more than it can use. Extra will either get stored as fat or be excreted. Excess amino acids have no effect on protein breakdown at rest, but with weight training protein breakdown is slowed; therefore, increasing your odds for muscle growth. Take note that in the absence of food intake your body will go in a state of net catabolism. Thus, for hypertrophy the idea is to ingest as much food in the right ratio of Pro:Carbs:Fat in as many time periods as possible. This will help keep your metabolism at an optimal throughout the day. As for post workout meals a combination of protein and carbohydrates 4 hours before and immediately (20 minutes) after a workout is the best combination for increasing muscular size (Hypertrophy). The research concludes that it is very important to ingest your protein and carbohydrates immediately after exercise. It has been shown to have the maximal uptake due to the blood circulation from your workout. 

Recommended intakes:
Sedentary Person: 0.8 grams per kg bodyweight
Endurance Athletes: 1.8-2.0 grams per kg bodyweight
Resistance Trainers: 1.8 grams per kg bodyweight

Best Sources of Protein and Rating: 
Eggs 100
Fish 70 (Salmon is the best)
Cow’s Milk 60
Lean Beef 69
Soybeans 47
Dry Beans 34
Peanuts 43
Whole-grain Wheat 44
Brown Rice 57
White Rice 56
White Potato 34
(The rating means the percent of amino acids in the food that your body will actually use.)

The best plan of action is to have around 6 meals per day with 17% protein (daily caloric intake) to increase the amount of protein absorption, increase synthesis and decrease protein breakdown