How Much Meat Should You Really Be Eating?

There is no doubt that protein is essential for good health. It’s used to build muscle and boost energy while also helping you stay full longer. But do you know how much protein you actually need in a day? The Institute of Medicine recommends a minimum of eight grams of protein for every 20 pounds you weigh. That means a 160-pound woman should be eating 64 grams of protein and a 200-pound man should be eating 80 grams.

But that doesn’t mean you should be ordering double cheeseburgers with every meal. Although meat has a lot of protein, it can also have a lot of saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium (if it’s processed). While meat is healthy in moderation, it shouldn’t be your only source of protein. The good news is that protein can also be found in foods like beans, eggs, nuts and dairy items. With that in mind, here are some healthy sources of protein and the protein count in a single serving:

  • 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt: 17 grams
  • 1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese: 14 grams
  • ½ cup of cooked beans: 7 grams
  • 1 cup of milk: 8 grams
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter: 8 grams
  • 1 ounce of almonds (23 of them): 6 grams
  • 1 egg: 6 grams
  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa: 8 grams

In a recent Twitter survey, we found that 83 percent of you eat red meat just one to three times a week. If you want to cut down on how much high-fat meat you’re eating, here are some simple ways to do it:

  1. Replace beef burgers with turkey, salmon or bison burgers.
  2. Try meatless dinners once or twice a week.
  3. When filling your plate up, keep your meat portion to one-fourth of the space (the rest should be whole grains and vegetables).

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Photo credit: Taryn

 

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