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Monday, November 8, 2010

Protein - Where Art Thou?

Hi folks!  I hope that each and everyone of you had nothing short of a truly splendid and healthy weekend!  Tofu mock chicken wings and roasted kale chips during the big game.  And a green smoothie at half time.  Oh... yes... And mock cheese spread to dip your tofu wings in!

Me?  I spent the entire weekend thinking of what my next blog might be.  Yes, this particular blog.  And I decided that it's probably time to answer the most common question that I am asked.  Strangely enough no-one really asks why we chose to become a vegetarian.  Perhaps it's because friends and family have come to expect the unexpected from me?  One of the most common questions?  "What are you doing for a protein source?"  "Are you taking protein supplements?"  "Are you adding protein powder into your smoothies?"

Then I thought to myself, "Hmm...  What exactly are the protein sources that I now consuming?"  I believe that I am consuming lots of protein but from where?  If I were not, the Diet Power software would inform me so.  How much am I consuming though?  Let us lift this little stone in our vegetarian creek of knowledge.  Maybe we'll find an answer or maybe we'll find a crayfish.  If a crayfish, we'll simply leave it alone because we don't consume meat any longer. 

Let's establish a baseline just so we understand what the USDA believes to be the recommended daily allowance of protein.  It's approximately 50g per day.  This value is approximate and other factors affect the specific individual value (age, sex, pregnancy, etc.)

I don't really want to over complicate this so let me keep it simple.  Here is a listing of common meat items that I used to eat and non-meat choices that I now include in my diet.  Perhaps you can clearly see that getting one's daily protein from non-meat sources is easier than you had imagined?

Per 100 gram (3.5274 ounce) portion unless otherwise stated
  • Beef, lean, top round - 36 g
  • Chicken broiler - 33 g
  • Pork chops - 30 g
  • Fish, salmon - 27 g
  • Fish, tilapia - 26 g
  • Cheese, Parmesan - 42 g
  • Cheese, Mozzarella - 24 g
  • Cheese, Cheddar - 27 g
  • Cheese, cream - 7 g
  • Milk, dairy, 2% - 9 g per 8 ounce
  • Milk, almond - 9 g per 8 ounce
  • Milk, soy - 8 g per 8 ounce
  • Milk, rice - 0.4 g per 8 ounce
  • Yeast, Nutritional - 46 g
  • Seed, Flax - 19 g
  • Seed, Chia - 14 g
  • Seed, sunflower - 22 g
  • Rice, wild - 9 g
  • Bean, black - 6.4 g per cup
  • Bean, kidney - 6.7 g per cup
  • Quinoa - 13 g
  • Barley - 12 g
  • Tofu - 10 g
  • TVP - 19 g
  • Quorn - 13.5 g
  • Egg - 6 g per each
  • Spinach - 3 g
  • Kale - 3 g
  • Pasta, whole wheat - 5 g
  • Bread, whole wheat - 4 g per slice
I think that I'm okay.  I just checked my Diet Power food log and so far I've accumulated 46.1 g of protein in my diet today.  This includes:  Tiffany's Smoothie, 1/2 cup egg whites, 1 cornmeal/almond paste pancake, and 6" falafel sandwich on whole wheat sub roll.
    Hi-dee hi-dee protein-ho my friends!

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