Which Type of Protein is Right for You?

November 30, 2018

You, me, her, him, them. Who needs what? How much? What kind? So many questions!!

Each one of has a different body type with different goals and lifestyle habits. The type of protein our bodies need differs from person to person, just like the color of our eyes and the color of our hair. Choosing which proteins we need and how much to consume depends on a variety of factors. Some of us will need much more than others (lucky!), while some will need just enough to keep our organs happy. Remember, protein is a key macronutrient that our bodies need to function. Think of them as building blocks for survival. They help make and repair your muscles, bones, blood, and organs. Plus, it keeps us from getting hangry. Protein is your friend! Heck, make it your bestie.

For most people, a daily amount of 0.8-1g of protein per 1lb of body weight is great. Those who are athletes or weightlifters will need a bit more -- about 1.4-2g of protein per 1lb of body weight. Pass the chicken, please. Since protein is essential for muscle repair, you’ll also want to consume some within 30-45 minutes of exercise. Your muscles will be the most receptive to protein during this time, so aim for about 15-25 grams post sweat sesh. Protein shake, anyone?

Once you know how much is right for your lifestyle, it’s up to you to choose which types of protein are best. First and foremost, it’s best to get a variety of proteins. Today we’ll list some great sources of protein that will keep your body functioning at its very best.

  • White Meat Poultry - An excellent, lean protein. If you’re on a low-fat diet, white meat chicken or turkey (versus dark meat) is the preferred option. Remove any skin before cooking to avoid unnecessary saturated fat.
  • Lean Beef - Though lean beef has a little more saturated fat than skinless chicken breasts, it’s a great source of iron, vitamin B12, and zinc.
  • Seafood - A great, low-fat protein. Fish like salmon and tuna will be higher in fat, but rest assured you’re getting the heart healthy kind: omega-3 fatty acids. These are great for memory and proper brain function.
  • Dairy - Milk, cheese, and yogurt are excellent sources of protein as well as calcium and vitamin D. If you are on a low-fat diet, choosing low-fat dairy is a great option. This type of dairy will also help keep teeth and bones strong.
  • Eggs - Ballin’ on a budget? Eggs are one of the least expensive forms of protein. It’s safe to enjoy 2-3 eggs per day on a standard diet.
  • Beans and Lentils - If you’re on a vegetarian diet, know that you have plenty of options to get enough protein. Both beans and lentils are not only a great source of protein (comparable to steak!), but are also loaded with fiber. The high protein and fiber combo will keep you full for hours.
  • Oats - This grain is a great way to get both fiber and protein and makes for an awesome daily breakfast. It’s incredibly versatile, allowing you to get creative each morning.
  • Soy - Soy proteins are another great option for vegetarians. Soy can help lower cholesterol and is a better source than many higher-fat proteins. This is a great option for those who are daily intolerant as well.
  • Nuts and seeds - Got a busy, on-the-go lifestyle? Nuts and seeds are a practical choice for you. With nuts likes walnuts and almonds, you’re getting a dose of healthy omega-3s too.
  • Protein bars - If you’re low on time, grabbing a protein or energy bar is a great way to fill your needs. We recommend finding a bar that has at least 6 grams of protein and is low in both sugar and fat.
  • Protein powders - Not just for bodybuilders! Protein powders come in a variety of options, like whey protein, pea protein, and soy protein. Depending on your diet, you’re bound to find a protein powder that’s right for you. Use protein powder to make smoothies, energy bites, or protein-packed oats.

Want an easy way to make sure you’re getting enough protein throughout the day? Simple. Just kick off each morning with a good amount and you’ll roll right into success. You’ll start your day the right way if you have a nice meal full of the right amount proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Need some breakfast ideas? We’ve got plenty!

  • Breakfast oats topped with fresh fruit, chia seeds, and nuts
  • Greek yogurt topped with berries, flax seeds, and honey
  • Whole wheat toast with almond butter, sliced bananas & cinnamon
  • Eggs scrambled with sauteed spinach, peppers, onions, and mushrooms

With such a vast variety of proteins out there, you’ll have no problem getting the right amount your body craves. Make sure to get creative at each meal to keep yourself from getting stuck in a rut. Each type of protein listed above has a multitude of health benefits aside from the actual protein. We’re talking loads of vitamins, nutrients, fiber, and healthy fats. The better a variety you consume, the greater amount of nutrients you’ll get overall. Keep things interesting and your body will love you right back!

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