Protein’s role in the body
You’ve probably gotten some mixed messages about protein. On the one hand, you know you’re supposed to eat more of it. But, you’ve also heard that you shouldn’t eat too much protein or it will make you bulky. The truth is, protein is important for every system in the body. Protein is digested into amino acids and dipeptides, it grows muscle tissue, hair, and nails. It’s important for hormone regulation and, just like fiber, protein is important for satiety.*
One thing protein won’t do? Suddenly turn you into a hulk monster. Women just don’t have the hormonal profile to be as muscular as men. That said, if you’re actively trying to build muscle and get leaner, more protein in your diet may help you reach that goal.
The Recommended Daily Allowance
Even with all the important things protein does for our body, the truth of the matter is, you’re probably not eating enough of it. But, that’s partly because the RDA (recommended daily allowance) isn’t high enough.We think the recommended daily allowance (RDA ) of .08 grams per 1 kilogram of body weight is probably a little low for most people. Those estimated daily requirements were made decades ago based off a sedentary individual and created to discourage protein deficiencies.
We’re fairly certain you’re not completely sedentary. We’re also pretty sure you’d like to eat more than just enough to be “not deficient.” Plus, numerous studies have found that RDA amount just isn’t enough for active people. Even if you’re taking a 30-minute walk around your neighborhood most days, you’re still active enough to need more protein.
We think you should aim for something like 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Now, don’t get caught up in the numbers. Instead of trying to count every gram you put into your mouth, aim to make protein 25-35% of your diet. When you’re snacking on something, or eating a meal, make sure 1/4-1/3 of it is protein. That’s pretty simple, right?
Eating More Protein
You may not be in the habit of eating enough protein, but there are a few good rules to follow to make it a little easier. The first one is easy: make sure there is protein in your breakfast. Are you an avocado and toast kind of girl? Add a couple hard boiled eggs to the top, or enjoy it with some of our Whole Food Shake. Adding protein to your breakfast will help you feel fuller until you have time for a snack or lunch, and will be a good reminder to keep up the habit all day.
The second easy rule is to pay attention to the quality of your protein sources. Some sources, like pea protein, are not “complete proteins.” That means they’re missing some essential amino acids. If you like to eat vegan proteins, make sure you find some that pairs pea protein with rice or bean protein.
The last rule is to vary your protein sources. Even if you love our Whole Food Shake, don’t rely on it for all the protein you get in a day.
Don’t like tofu? You’re in luck. There are lots of vegetarian options. You can try tempe, seitan, and mycoprotein (Quorn). Pairing beans with rice is also a great option, as is quinoa. Even if you’re not vegan or vegetarian, having meatless meals is a good for the environment and sustainability.