Protein is an essential nutrient essential to building muscle, regulating hormones, transporting molecules and acting as enzymes. Unfortunately, many individuals struggle to consume enough protein in their daily diet.
This visual guide shows how to consume 100 grams of protein daily regardless of your dietary choices: vegan, vegetarian or omnivore. It includes both whole food sources as well as high-protein plant-based meat substitutes like tempeh and the Impossible Burger.
1. Eat Lean Meats
One simple way to add more protein into your diet is through lean meats such as chicken breast or lean beef, which are packed with proteins while being low in both saturated fats and total fat content. Each serving of skinless chicken breast or lean cut of beef contains approximately 31 grams of protein.
Dairy products like yogurt and milk, fish, legumes/tofu/nuts are among the many food sources that contain proteins for optimal body functioning. A cup of plain yogurt, piece of salmon or handful of almonds will all contribute to meeting your daily 100-gram goal with ease!
Balance your protein consumption with healthy fats and carbohydrates for maximum efficiency. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables can help achieve this balance. Protein is an essential nutrient; taking more than the recommended daily allowance will help meet your health goals; however, eating too much of this macronutrient may lead to weight gain. For best results, aim to incorporate protein-rich foods at every meal and snack – this will ensure you’re consuming enough to support muscle-building goals.
2. Eat Eggs
To reach 100 grams of protein a day, it’s necessary to consume various protein-rich foods and supplements. Scott suggests making whole food your primary source for this purpose; they offer other health benefits like vitamins and minerals in addition to protein. But if that is not feasible for you, try protein supplements instead to fill any gaps.
Mix up your diet with lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy products and plant-based proteins such as beans, lentils, tofu, quinoa and nuts in order to prevent monotony and obtain all essential amino acids. Doing this will also make reaching your protein goal much simpler, especially if eating larger portions.
Eggs are a convenient source of protein that can fit easily into any diet. To maximize protein content, choose organic free-range eggs that have been cooked thoroughly to avoid Salmonella contamination and foodborne illness in humans. To minimize risk, boil or poach eggs prior to consumption or consider pasteurized egg whites for safest results.
To reach your protein goal, it’s also necessary to eat protein-rich snacks such as turkey jerky or whey powder between meals. Try creating a protein-rich snack mix in advance or boiling extra eggs so you always have protein snacks available when needed.
3. Eat Dairy Products
Protein is an indispensable macronutrient, essential for building and repairing tissues, synthesizing enzymes and hormones, maintaining strong bones and muscles, controlling appetite and speeding metabolism (10)
Active individuals typically require over 100 grams of protein daily while sedentary people require less. Maintaining this nutrient intake over the long-term can be challenging, but there are ways you can stay on track – choosing protein-rich whole foods, setting a meal schedule and keeping track of everything with an app can all help keep you on track with reaching this goal.
Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese offer both high-quality protein as well as essential micronutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, potassium and niacin (14). Dairy can also add protein-rich flair to other dishes by using yogurt-based dips, dressings or sauces in soups, sauces pastas or baked goods (14).
Vegetarian and vegan diets offer plenty of sources of plant-based proteins, such as legumes, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, seitan and nuts – these sources contain essential amino acids (the building blocks for proteins). Planning meals that incorporate these high protein plant foods at appropriate portions throughout the day is an effective way to reach 100 grams a day (16).
4. Eat Legumes
Legumes (also known as beans and pulses) are an inexpensive source of protein-rich food, boasting high amounts per serving at an economical cost. Their production requires less water, nutrients and greenhouse gas emissions than most foods while sequestering carbon into the soil. Choose from chickpeas, black-eyed peas or lentils – add them into salads, soups or stews for an additional protein boost!
As part of your lunch meal, try opting for animal-derived options like chicken breast or salmon for their lower sodium and saturated fat content than meat, and their increased protein intake. A veggie burger/wrap or leafy green vegetables such as spinach or kale also provide high levels of protein.
Reaching a 100-gram protein goal may seem intimidating, but there are numerous strategies for reaching it. Focus on eating protein-rich whole foods (like meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts and tofu) when planning meals as well as supplementing with powders or shakes from betterMe. Snacking on some extra protein post workout is also ideal to support muscle recovery and growth! To stay on track of your intake use BetterMe as your tracking app of choice to stay on the right path!
5. Eat Tofu
Tofu (which stands for soybean curd) has been around since ancient China. Today it provides an excellent plant-based protein source that makes an ideal meat substitute. Furthermore, tofu contains high levels of isoflavones – plant estrogens – making it highly desirable as a healthful option in any diet. Available from grocery stores as plastic packages of tofu in plastic packages for easy storage, it is versatile enough for sauteeing, stir frying or grilling to become part of any dish; additionally it makes an amazing breakfast combo when combined with eggs & veggies or as part of a healthy lunch/dinner with rice + tofu salad!
Increase the protein in any meal by replacing fat with tofu or beans, including legumes or other plant-based foods into meals, and using cooking techniques that preserve or increase protein. For instance, switching cream in sauce for tofu will raise its protein content; you could even create ground tofu burgers to add to lasagna or manicotti for additional boosts of protein content.
To reach your daily protein target of 100 grams, focus each of your meals around protein-rich foods like meat, dairy products, eggs, dairy-free yogurt, tofu legumes or nuts. This can help ensure you reach your goal without overeating or turning to carbs to feel full. You can also schedule in protein-rich snacks by creating a weekly schedule that covers meals and snacks you plan to prepare, as well as including options that fit into your dietary preferences.
6. Eat Nuts
Protein is essential to a balanced diet, yet consuming 100 grams per day may seem unachievable. That is why it’s essential to focus on including various protein-rich foods into your daily meals and snacks in order to reach this daily target.
Start by developing a meal plan that prioritizes protein-rich foods such as lean meats, eggs, dairy products, legumes, tofu and quinoa. Next add protein-rich snacks like nuts or seeds (e.g. almonds or pumpkin seeds), protein shakes or protein bars into your snack plans.
Be sure to select high-quality proteins that are low in saturated fat, processed sugars, and trans fats. Keep in mind that protein doesn’t come exclusively from animal sources – plant foods like beans and other legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds as well as vegetables and fruits all provide excellent sources of high-quality proteins.
Try incorporating different types of proteins into every meal or snack to maximize their benefits, and experiment with cooking techniques that preserve or increase protein content of dishes you love.
As doing so can cause digestive upset, adding protein gradually over several weeks or months may be easier – for example, making lunch a complete protein meal by including chicken with some roasted chickpeas and quinoa for lunch as one example of such an approach.