Salmon Dish

In the realm of nutrition, protein reigns supreme as an essential macronutrient for overall health, well-being, and muscle mass in particular.  Getting 30g protein at meals is a simple benchmark and a great way to ensure you’re actually getting enough to accomplish your goals. Not only does protein serve as the building blocks for skeletal muscle, but it also plays a vital role in several bodily functions including strengthening your immune system, assisting with weight management, hormone regulation, cognitive function, blood sugar stability and supporting healthy hair skin and nails

With all these important functions in the body, you don’t want to be deficient when it comes to your protein goals.  As we learn more about exercise performance and weight management, the traditional Recommendation of Dietary Allowance is not enough for active individuals. Meeting your daily protein needs can sometimes feel like a daunting task, especially if you’re unsure of where to start. Fear not! In this guide, we’ll explore simple and delicious ways to incorporate more protein into your daily diet and what 30 g protein looks like. 

Incorporating More Protein into Your Meals:

For most people, protein should be included at all your meals, but you don’t just have to choose 1 protein source. Get creative in the kitchen by intentionally adding protein to your favorite dishes. Remember that whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, & dairy all contain a little bit of protein!  Consider trying the following to boost the protein content of a meal;

    • Use Greek yogurt as a creamy base for sauces, dips, and dressings.
    • Add beans or lentils to soups, stews, and salads.
    • Toss tofu or tempeh into stir-fries and pasta dishes.
    • Incorporate protein powder into smoothies, pancakes, and baked goods.
    • Choose whole grain breads, wraps, quinoa, or chickpea pasta  instead of white breads, flour wraps, or white rice/pasta.
    • Add a side of cottage cheese to your salads or wraps.
    • Sprinkle hemp seeds or pumpkin seeds onto a soup or salad.
    • Sprinkle shredded cheese on to vegetables, pasta dishes, 

Snacking Smart:

When hunger strikes between meals, or if your performance goals are to increase muscle mass, strength, or power, opt for protein-rich snacks to keep you satisfied and energized. Some convenient options include;

    • Greek yogurt with berries and a sprinkle of nuts.
    • Cottage cheese with sliced fruit or whole-grain crackers.
    • Hard-boiled eggs paired with carrot sticks or cucumber slices.
    • Hummus with veggie sticks or whole-grain pita bread.
    • A small handful of almonds or trail mix.
    • A serving of Chia pudding

What 30 Grams of Protein Looks Like:

We know protein distributed throughout the day is extremely important especially for athletes and active individuals . In the sports nutrition world, animal proteins are often preferred simply because they are more easily digested and used in the body. They also have a higher amount of leucine, a key amino acid for building muscle tissue.  However, plant proteins have several health benefits as they often include fiber, phytonutrients, and are more sustainable. Whatever your preference, try to choose a variety of healthy proteins in the right amounts.  Here are some quick and easy equivalents for 30g of protein for you to pick from; 

    • Chicken Breast:  5 oz cooked
    • Salmon: 5 oz cooked
    • Turkey sliced: 5 oz cooked or 4-5 slices deli
    • Shrimp: 5 oz or 10 shrimp
    • Lean Beef: 5 oz
    • Greek Yogurt: 1.5 cups 
    • Cottage cheese: 1.2 cups
    • Eggs: 4-5 whole eggs or 8 egg whites
    • Organic Tofu: 10.5 ounces
    • Black Beans: 2 cups
    • Chickpeas: 2.5 cups
    • Quinoa: 1.5 cups

This sample for 30g protein equivalents is simply a benchmark, and a common protein goal at meals. How much protein YOU need may vary tremendously depending on age, sex, body composition, activity level, underlying conditions and several other factors. Contact me to learn more about your individual protein needs. 

By incorporating a variety of protein-rich foods into your meals and snacks, you can easily reach the amount of protein you need to feel good, recover from exercise, and optimize your body’s function every day. Remember to listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues, and adjust your portion sizes accordingly. Not sure how much protein you should be eating? Reach out to find your individual needs!  With a little planning and creativity, you’ll be well on your way to fueling your body with the protein it needs to thrive. Cheers to your health and vitality!

Be well,


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