Proteins are essential for overall health. Besides vitamins and minerals, proteins are equally important in our everyday diet. They provide us with energy, support our cognitive functions, build and support the growth of our muscles, repair, maintain, and build our cells and organs, and aid our immune system. All these functions of proteins make them an indispensable part of our nutrient supply. For this reason, Better Weigh Medical experts have made a list of the highest-quality proteins that will satisfy the needs for this necessary nutrient for both meat-eaters and vegetarians.
What are proteins?
Proteins are large molecules composed of amino acids. There are at least 10,000 different proteins that are constructed from one or more chains of amino acids. When we digest proteins, they break down into the 20 amino acids necessary for our organism to function correctly. The difference between proteins is based on the amino acid sequence that differs.
Proteins can be found not only in animal meat and products but also in plants. Meaning you don`t necessarily have to eat animal products to obtain the required amount of amino acids. Plant-based proteins are equally adequate sources of the amino acids needed to cover your daily requirements.
Low-quality and high-quality proteins
Low-quality proteins are considered food, such as industrially raised meat, grass-fed animals, inorganic plants, and processed meat. To ensure a high protein intake, you should include various protein sources in your diet and not rely on only a few protein sources. meaning you should combine different protein-rich foods such as fish, beans, vegetables, grains, and nuts with the most commonly consumed red meat and poultry.
This also implies that, besides the quantity of protein you consume, its quality is equally important. While exceeding the number of proteins can be harmful to people with some medical conditions, to healthy people, they ensure the proper functioning of the immune system, heart, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems, are vital for the elderly and children, boost the defense against anxiety, depression, and stress, and even improve the mood. Additionally, proteins are responsible for healthy hair, skin, and nails.
When it comes to the quality of proteins, the important things to consider are the way protein-rich food is prepared, the cut of meat, and other circumstances that can significantly influence the amount of protein that certain foods will provide.
Daily required amount of proteins
Daily protein requirements for adults are 0,8 g per kilogram (2,2lb) of body weight. This means that men around 81kg (180lb) should eat at least 65 grams of high-quality proteins daily.
Elderly people should eat more proteins daily between 1 and 1,5 gr per each weight kilogram (o, 5 gr per lb weight).
Average-weight women should intake approximately 50 grams of proteins daily, while nursing women require 20 gr more proteins per day to support their milk production.
For people who exercise the number of required proteins is higher as they need more energy and proteins to support recovery.
Sources of high-quality proteins
Eggs are a convenient source of proteins for both vegetarians and meat-eaters. Whole eggs supply numerous nutrients and are easy to digest and absorb.
One average-sized egg contains 6 grams of proteins and is considered the food with the most bioavailable amino acids.
Regarding how the body utilizes proteins, eggs have a high rank with a score of 100 in this measure of biological value.
Egg white is composed almost entirely of proteins but it’s highly recommended consummation of the whole egg as the yolk provides plenty of minerals, vitamins, and healthy fat.
Dairy milk contains a small amount of almost every nutrient your body needs. Dairy milk provides 1gr of protein per once. Besides being rich in proteins, milk provides 13 essential nutrients and vitamins and only vitamin D is not included in its content. Not only milk, but also milk products such are yogurt, cheese, and especially cottage cheese offer a lot of proteins.
You can prepare a delicious milk-based smoothie with various fruit to boost protein intake during the day.
On the other hand, processed chees and low-fat milk usually lack nutrients and proteins.
Greek yogurt is a creamy and thick yogurt that is loaded with proteins and is convenient for mixing with various fruit to ensure a protein-rich snack throughout the day. 200 grams of yogurt contains 19.9 grams of proteins. Other types of yogurt contain a bit fewer proteins such as kefir with 9.21 grams in 243 ml, or low-fat yogurt with 11.9 grams in 227 ml.
Almonds are a type of nut packed with proteins. 28.3 grams of almonds are supplied with 6 grams of proteins. Nuts are convenient to add to various dishes, desserts, snacks, and salads making them great for boosting meals with extra proteins.
Besides almonds, other nuts also packed with proteins are pistachios with 5.73 grams in 28.3 grams (one ounce) and chews with 4.34 grams of proteins per ounce.
Non-GMO soz and their products are excellent alternative for meat as it provides a significant amount of proteins. Tofu contains 11 grams of protein in only half a cup, while whey protein powder supplies with19 grams of protein in ⅓ cup.
Implementing quality-protein food into your diet will not only ensure recommended daily protein intake but also supply you with other necessarily nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, healthy fat, and fiber. Thus, the best thing is, you can increase your protein intake easily as most of the mentioned protein-rich food is convenient for adding to dishes and even desserts.