Protein Food -- nutritional balance for optimum diet
The protein in our food contributes essential amino acids. Amino acids are used by cells to build new proteins and repair muscles. Protein food is not a high source of energy, however protein is essential in the right amount for proper functioning of our bodies.
Protein in food contributes essential amino acids to your diet. Amino acids are used by cells to build new proteins and repair the muscles, repair the bone, skin, organs and blood. Without protein, cuts and abrasions will not heal quickly, muscles will not grow and the blood doesn't clot correctly. Your body uses proteins for growth and to build hormones, antibodies and the enzymes that regulate the chemical reactions within the body.
Protein Rich Foods. It is important to get the right balance of protein to carbs and fats in your food. However, a diet of protein rich foods is not necessarily better. See Protein Requirement. Athletes need the right balance of protein, not more protein rich foods. Our bodies need between 50 - 65 grams of protein food each day. This is about 8 ounces, or 225 grams of meat per day. Athletes should eat more complex carbohydrates to provide energy needs to muscles, but keep the amount of food protein and fat within the daily recommended amount. See food fat, how muscles work, carbohydratesand carbohydrate loading. Protein rich foods can be found in animal, plant and dairy foods. Animal protein food, like meat, fish, poultry contains all 9 complete amino acids required for body function and growth. Plant and dairy food protein such as eggs, milk, cheese, nuts, seeds, beans, peas, lentils, soy, breads and cereals, and green vegetables do not have complete proteins. However, the amino acids missing in some plant/dairy protein foods are present in others. It is easy to get complete protein food requirement by eating combinations of several plant or dairy food proteins. For example, just the two plant protein foods rice and beans in combination have the complete set of 9 amino acids which make a complete protein.
High Protein Foods List:
|Animal Protein Foods||1 gram edible protein
per 100g (3.5 oz) in weight
|Plant and Dairy Protein Foods||1 gram edible protein
per 100g (3.5 oz) in weight
|Beef Topround, Lean||36.12g||Pumpkin Seeds||32.97g|
|Pork Bacon||35.73g||Peanut Butter||25.09g|
|Beef Brisket, Lean||33.26g||Cheddar Cheese||24.90g|
|Beef Steak, Lean||31.06g||Monterey Cheese||24.48g|
|Beef Top Sirloin, Lean||30.55g||Colby Cheese||23.76g|
|Pork Top Loin||30.48g||Peanuts||23.68|
|Bluefin Tuna||29.91g||Mozzarella Cheese||22.17g|
|Chicken, Dark Meat||28.99g||Pistachio Nuts||21.35|
|Beef Tenderloin, Lean||28.51g||Tofu||17.19g|
|Turkey, White Meat||28.48g||Oats||16.89g|
|Beef Kidney||27.27g||Egg Yolk||15.86g|
|Beef Liver||25.51g||Fried Egg||13.63g|
|Lamb Cooked||24.52g||Ricotta Cheese||11.26g|
|Beef T-bone||24.05g||Wheat Bread||8.80g|
|Hamburger 80% lean||24.04g||Acorn Nuts||8.10g|
|Pork Chop||21.91g||Mungo Beans||7.54g|
|Turkey Heart||21.47g||Green Peas||5.36|
|Shrimp moist heat||20.91g||Yogurt||3.47g|
|Turkey Liver||20.02g||Non-fat Milk||3.37g|
|Alaska King Crab||19.35g||Whole Milk||3.22g|
|Chicken, White Meat||16.79g||White Rice||2.69g|
|Fruits||~1g or less|
Summary of Protein Foods
It is important for athletes to get the right balance of protein foods, not necessarily more protein. The protein food list provides examples of foods ranging from high to low for common protein food sources. Protein can be found in almost all foods. Some foods are rich in protein while other foods have low protein value. Our bodies need between 50 - 60 grams of protein food per day plus combinations of protein foods, which provide complete amino acids. It is not necessary to consume large volumes of high or protein rich foods. It is more important to eat the correct balance of protein foods and fats, with complex carbohydrates.