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Good Living
March 17, 2017
Protein… The essential part of our diet!

My dear friends!! You know I love to fill beef steaks with prosciutto and brie, to slowly roast picanha and to present recipes full of nutritional values! But honestly, what do all of these protein foods offer us?

The other day, while talking with Kitchen Lab’s dietician/nutritionist Christo, about the value of protein in our diets…. many ideas came to mind and I would like to share them with you!

In which foods is protein found?

First of all, I would like to tell you that proteins exist in many, many foods both animal and vegetable. Primarily in meat, fish, beans, soy, seafood, dairy and many more. I would like you to know that a great amount of vegetable foods contain equal high amounts of protein as animal foods.

In the following chart you can see the content of proteins in various foods…

Animal Protein

Grams of Protein /100g food

Vegetable Protein

Grams of Protein /100g food

Red meat

20 -23

Vegetables

1 - 5

Poultry

22 - 37

Beans

4 - 14

Fish

15 - 25

Fruit

0,3 - 2

Eggs

11 - 13

Nuts and Seeds

8 - 29

Hard cheeses

27 - 34

Pasta and Rice

2 - 6

Soft cheese

12 -28

Bread

6 – 13

Dairy Products

2 - 6

Breakfast Cereal

5 – 13

Why do we need protein?

Proteins are needed for almost all the functions in our organism, whether it has to do with the immune system or the production of our hormones. Christo told me that animal proteins are more complete, meaning that they contain substances (amino acids) that our body cannot produce, whereas vegetable proteins contain these substances to a lesser degree. This is the reason why we tend to combine vegetable foods so that we can have a greater protein intake. In this way we are able to receive protein of the greatest biological value.

How much protein do we really need?

Practically, a woman consumes 50 g of protein a day and a man consumes 60 g (without taking pregnancy, breast feeding or any special pathological conditions into account). If these amounts are consumed, is very difficult to have any shortages in our diet. Another way to describe the recommended amount of protein intake is that it should reach 15% of our total daily calories. Since I understand that these numbers can confuse you, I will offer some examples of foods that will safely cover the aforementioned amounts.

If you consume a 200 g beef steak (or fish or chicken etc) we immediately reach the 50 g mark of high biological protein value. (High biological value protein is contained in foods that have all of the necessary amino acids for our health.) If we also consume 2 glasses of milk, we will have consumed over the 60 g mark of protein, which means that it is so simple to be able to consume the necessary protein!!

In addition, if we choose to consume vegetable proteins like ½ a cup of breakfast cereal and further on in the day we consume a deep dish of beans with rice and 2 handfuls of peanuts, then we have yet again been able to pass the 60 g mark of protein consumption with ease!!!

In between these two examples, there are endless combinations which I am sure that you can put together among all of the delicious recipes I offer you daily. So you can create many different healthy variations!

Akis

This article was written in collaboration with Kitchen Lab’s dietician/nutritionist Christo Papavaggeli.

 

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