How to Eat Enough Protein

As I discussed in a recent post, my diet has been trending toward a higher protein intake than in years past. Rarely do I consume less than 100 grams of protein. Most days I’m considerably higher even eating only two meals. Those meals center around protein first and foremost with vegetables playing more of a supportive role. After so many years of following a Primal diet, I feel wholly confident in my ability to eat intuitively. I trust my body to guide my food decisions from meal to meal, day to day, and week to week, so I don’t bother with tracking macros (the exact amounts of protein, carbs, and fat I eat each day). However, knowledge is power. You should have a sense of your protein and carb intake at least, even you’re getting even if you ballpark it. Most folks don’t have a clue what they’re eating, though. Sure, they might read nutrition labels at the supermarket, but how many people know what 100-150 grams of protein look like in terms of actual food? Do you know how much protein is in a single chicken breast? How about a six-ounce steak? Three eggs, handful of nuts, or even vegetables? How to Measure Protein Intake Protein is measured by the gram weight of the protein itself, not the total volume of food you eat. This is a common point of confusion for people who are new to tracking their food. As you’ll see, four ounces of steak is different protein-wise than four ounces of chicken breast or salmon. To determine how much protein a given food contains, you’ll need an app like Cronometer (my current favorite) plus a food scale for precision. Measure all meat raw and make sure to select the correct entry (raw versus cooked) in your tracking app. Even if you don’t want to weigh and measure all your food, consider tracking just your protein intake for a few days. See what you’re averaging. In my experience, almost everyone is eating less than they think, especially if they practice intermittent fasting. Once you have a decent sense of what it takes to hit your daily protein goal, it’s up to you whether you want to continue to track or not. I’ll save you some time and provide protein data for a bunch of common foods below. All values came from Cronometer. You’ll notice right away that this list includes both animal- and plant-based sources of protein, including things like legumes and soy products that aren’t strictly Primal. Don’t take this to mean that I think animal and plant sources of protein are equivalent. There’s no question that animal-based proteins are superior in terms of bioavailability and amino acid profiles. However, our Primal community includes individuals who self-identify as plant-based, vegetarian, or even vegan. I want them to eat enough protein, too, from the best possible sources. I’ve thoroughly covered the question of plant-based diets vis a vis Primal Blueprint recommendations in the past. Scroll to the end of … Continue reading How to Eat Enough Protein