Protein contains nine essential amino acids necessary for building and repairing body tissue, and is a major component of enzymes, hormones, and antibodies. Protein foods include egg whites (the highest quality protein), chicken or turkey (white meat is leanest), fish, cheeses (cottage cheese is the best), milk and yogurt
(non-fat is best), legumes (combined with a grain to have all nine amino acids), and nuts. Cheeses (except cottage cheese) and nuts should be consumed in moderation due to their high calories. Protein recommendations are 10-35% of your caloric intake, or approximately 0.8-1.0 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. Protein sources contain 4 calories per gram.
Formula to calculate your protein requirement:
Weight in pounds:_____divided by 2.2 =________weight in kilograms
Weight in kilograms:_____X 0.8 (or 1.0) =_______protein requirements per day
We recommend eating a protein source with each meal to be sure you receive your daily allowance. A serving size of meat/poultry/fish is about the size of your palm and the thickness of a deck of cards. Serving sizes for milk, cottage cheese, yogurts are 1/2 cup. Again, non-fat or low fat are recommended. Cheeses and nuts should be avoided or used sparingly if weight loss is your goal. A serving size of cheese is one ounce, about the size of the tip of your thumb. Two tablespoons of peanut butter is 190 calories, and 1 oz. (about 1/2 cup) of almonds or peanuts is 170 calories.