Sources of Protein
My doctor says I need to add more protein to my diet. What are the best sources for protein that are low in calories and fat? —M.W., Springfield, Missouri
Excellent sources of lean protein are beef or pork cuts (round, loin or tenderloin), skinless chicken or turkey, seafood, legumes, egg whites and fat-free dairy products. Three ounces (a serving the size of a deck of cards) of cooked sirloin steak, pork loin chop, tuna, chicken or turkey breast provides about 25 grams of protein. Legumes, such as dried beans and lentils, are also good sources of lean protein. A half cup cooked provides 9 grams of protein (the same amount found in three egg whites), without any fat. And don't forget fat-free dairy products such as milk and yogurt. A cup of either contains 8 grams protein and plenty of bone-building calcium. Protein plays many roles in the body, including building and repairing tissue and providing the building blocks for the over 11,000 proteins, enzymes and hormones that help regulate the body. That's a big job! Your body depends on dietary protein to provide the essential amino acids that keep it running smoothly. The recommended daily protein intake is about .4 grams per pound of body weight (60 grams for a person weighing 150 pounds).