Macronutrients are substances in our food that provide living organisms, such as ourselves, with the energy we need to survive. Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are macronutrients that can be found in different types of foods and are all part of a healthy, balanced diet. This article will be the first, in a series of three, about foods you can eat to get the recommended amount of macronutrients in your diet. There are many delicious ways to get the recommended amount of protein in your diet; check out the three suggestions below.
The Center for Disease Control website states that it is important to include lean meats in your diet. Lean meat is meat that has very little fat in it. Lean red meat has one of the highest ratios of protein to calories and can contain up to 25 grams of protein per serving. The average adult only needs to have about 45 grams of protein per day. Along with a huge amount of protein, red meat also contains healthy fats, loads of B12, and other vitamins and nutrients that are important to your body. Americans as a whole don’t have any problems consuming enough protein, in fact, we usually consume more than we need to. Red meat should be eaten in small portions and shouldn’t be eaten daily in order to avoid certain health risks like high cholesterol and hypertension.
Extra greens in your salad is a great way to get your daily recommended amount of protein and keep the calories low. Don’t be afraid to pack in the kale, spinach, or romaine. One serving of kale has approximately 3 grams of protein in it. A small salad will usually have two servings of greens so if you eat a large kale salad, you could get 12 grams of protein in only 130 calories. Kale is a great option for vegetarians. Throw some tomato and other colorful veggies on that salad and you just added 5 more grams of protein.
Much like red meat, cheese should be enjoyed in moderation. Its high calorie content can play its part in weight gain, but its fat and protein content can help you reach your daily recommended intake with no problem. The caloric make up of non-fat mozzarella cheese is over 30% protein and can make any meal that much more delicious. A good serving size for cheese is about the size of 2 dominoes. Note that harder types of cheeses, such as cheddar and jack are higher in fat than softer cheeses such as goat cheese.
Whether you feel like you aren’t getting enough protein, or you’re a steak-a-day type of person, remember that there are many options from which to get the proper amount of protein. Try some of these options and maybe they’ll become a staple of your diet=)
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