Adding Protein to the Diet-made Simple
I recently visited my first nutrition focused smoothie shop. I was drawn in by the branding, each smoothie was 200 calories and 24g protein. A variety of flavors were offered, including peanut butter and chocolate. The website did not mention prices, so I went in.
The drinks were apart of a 3 step process. 1st step a shot of Aloe to help the digestion system. 2nd step, an iced tea 16oz, with most sweetened by Stevia, also containing caffeine. 3rd step the smoothie, 24 oz serving with additional boosters available to add to your smoothie such as added protein. Total price:$9.00. Considering what you get, price wasn’t too bad. I received my drinks, and began to drink them. Initially, I was like mmmm, not too bad. However as I kept drinking, the after taste of the protein powder and the added sweeteners, got to me. After an hour, I found myself with 2 beverages barely touched, and no desire to keep drinking.
Made me think though, getting enough protein in a day, doesn’t need to be this complicated. Adding protein to the diet can be relatively simple. Most of us are likely getting more protein than we think we are. Protein is in more foods than we think including fruits and vegetables.
How much protein do I need?
The standard conversion for basic protein needs is take you body wt in pounds and divide it by half. Somebody weighing 160# would need 80g of protein/day. The amount of protein would increase based on different factors: Wounds, burns, disease, and activity. One would multiply that activity factor by weight to determine protein needs. Average activity factor is 1.2-1.5. An average person basic needs 60-80g/day.
- Dairy is one of the easiest way to get protein. Whether you are vegan, lactose intolerant or consume a “regular” diet, dairy and dairy alternatives can provide unaverage 10-15g pro per 1/2cup
- Greek yogurt vs non Greek: Standard Greek yogurt provides 12-15gpro/1/2 cup serving vs non Greek yogurt averages 5-8g/serving. Yogurt is also low on calories 60-120kcals average
- High protein granola (Trader Joes peanut butter high protein granola is soooooo good). Add 2/3 cup to your yogurt for an extra 11gprotein.
This combination provides the same amount of protein as the $9.00 smoothie I purchased above for about $1.24 vs $9.00. Its going to taste good, not take an hour to drink, and won’t overwhelm your gut.
- Use in place of mayo on a sandwich, or making of a mayobased sandwich.
- Use in place of sourcream or cream in a dip, mashed potatoes or soup.
- Cottage Cheese: ½ cup of cottage cheese offers 12-20g/pro avg.
- Add fresh fruit to it. Cottage cheese can be high in sodium, purchase low salt if need
- 8oz glass of milk offer 12gprotein. Don’t’ like the flavor of milk, add a little flavoring
- Soy and almond milks on average have the same Ca as milk however not the added protein
- Powdered Peanut Butter: Peanut butter offers good protein, 6g/2TBSP however can be high in fat and calories. Many people want the flavor but not the calories. 2tbsp of powdered peanut butter is 45 calories/6g pro vs regular PB 200 calories and 6g/pro
- Read the instructions on the package, easily mixes into regular peanut butter. I suggest adding a little salt
- Sprinkle into desserts, yogurt, smoothies, use it as Peanut Butter. You can use it as peanut butter and eat MORE!
- Orgain protein powder: Powdered protein powder, like peanut butter can easily be added to foods to provide more protein. It doesn’t have to just go in smoothies
- Cakes/Brownies/Cookies: 1 scoop will provide that brownie with 20gpro and a rich flavor of your choice.
- Pancake and Waffle mixes: High protein waffle/pancake mixes are very popular and also very expensive. Adding your own protein will likely give you more protein than the box will and save you a lot of money.
- Cream sauces or dips.
- Frosting?! Yes I said it, high protein frosting
Fruits and Vegetables
There is actually good sources of protein in fruits and vegetables. Try incorporating these into your meals.
According to the USDA, the top cooked veggies high in protein include:
- Green peas: 6 grams of protein per 1 cup
- Spinach: 3 grams of protein per 1 cup
- Asparagus: 3 grams of protein per 1 cup
- Brussels sprouts: 4 grams of protein per 1 cup
- Broccoli: 7 grams of protein per 1 cup
- Artichokes: 5 grams of protein per 1 medium artichoke
- Sweet corn: 3 grams of protein per 1 small ear
- Oyster mushrooms: 8 grams of protein per 1 cup
According to the USDA, fruit sources of protein include:
- Jackfruit: 8 grams of protein per 1 cup
- Avocado: 3 grams of protein per 1 cup
- Dried apricots: 4 grams of protein per 1 cup
- Passion fruit: 2 grams of protein per 1 cup
- Dried plums: 8 grams of protein per 1 cup
- Raisins: 5 grams of protein per 1 cup
Quick on the Go
- Frozen meals have many options that are high protein. Most will provide 20-40glean pro for under $4.00 and taste good too.
- Protein chips/popcorners varieties. What ever you are craving, there is likely a high protein variety. When comparing prices, they are typically pretty comparable so why not grab the healthier one?
- Humus and pita chips
- Beans and legumes are a great non-meat source of protein
- Chickpea or high protein pasta. I actually prefer it.
At the end of the day, there is nothing wrong with getting your protein in a smoothie, I enjoy these as well. Just hoping to give you some additional options of simple ways to add protein to the diet
#protein, #nutrition #seniornutrition #nutrition #orgain #geriatricnutrition