A Nutritionist’s Guide to Plant-Based Protein: How to Make It, Eat It, and Love It

Table of Contents

1. Seitan

Nutrition: This wheat-based protein is relatively low cal and low carb, at just over 100 calories and 4 grams of carbs per serving. Its sizable dose of the antioxidant selenium combats cellular damage from free radicals.

Taste: Although seitan is made of wheat gluten, it doesn’t taste like bread. Its flavor and texture is sometimes compared to the chewiness of plain chicken or mushrooms.

Using in cooking: Seitan’s meaty texture is one you can really sink your teeth into. It makes a convincing substitute for chicken strips, burgers, or meat kabobs.

2. Tempeh

Nutrition: Tempeh is tofu’s firmer, denser cousin. It contains more protein, fiber, iron, and potassium.

Taste: Tempeh is made from soy, but you may find it hits your palate with a nutty or mushroomy taste. Like tofu, it adapts easily to match other flavors.

Using in cooking: With its thick texture, tempeh holds its shape well in a variety of preparations. It works well sautéed as a chicken-like filling for sandwiches. You can also use it as the centerpiece of a stir-fry.

3. Tofu, soy crumbles, and edamame

Nutrition: Soy foods are among the highest protein vegan options. One 3-ounce serving of tofu provides 8 grams, while edamame supplies 7 grams per half cup.

Soy crumbles, sometimes called textured vegetable protein or TVP, are protein-rich as well, with 13 grams per 1/4 cup.

Taste: Tofu and soy crumbles are famous for their ability to take on any flavors applied during cooking. This is why you probably don’t want to eat them all by themselves.

Edamame, on the other hand, has a rich, almost buttery flavor straight out of the shell.

Using in cooking: Crispy, firm tofu makes a delectable base for stir-fries, tacos, and even sandwiches. To make it crisp up to perfection, squeeze as much liquid from the tofu as possible before cooking.

Use silken tofu to add protein to smoothies or as a substitute for ricotta cheese.

For a convenient weeknight side dish or protein-rich afternoon snack, serve steamed edamame with a sprinkle of salt.

Enjoy experimenting with soy crumbles as a partial replacement in any dish that calls for ground meat.

4. Eggless eggs

Nutrition: Faux eggs, typically made with mung beans or soy, are a viable alternative to chicken eggs for their comparable calorie and protein content.

Do watch out for sodium, though. Fake eggs commonly contain over double the amount that’s in regular eggs.

Taste: With the magic of food science, eggless eggs mimic the taste and texture of the real thing almost to a T.

Using in cooking: Pourable mung bean-based “eggs,” such as JustEgg, can be used anywhere you’d cook with whisked eggs. Try them in quiches, souffles, scrambled eggs, and baked goods.

5. Impossible Burger

Nutrition: A 4-ounce, soy-based Impossible Burger supplies 3 grams of fiber and an impressive array of vitamins and minerals.

It’s also high in protein, at 19 grams.

Downsides here include 40 percent of the Daily Value of saturated fat in one patty, plus a relatively high level of sodium.

Taste: Some people say the Impossible Burger’s taste is indistinguishable from a traditional beef burger. Others are less convinced.

One thing’s for sure: Impossible’s food scientists have poured tremendous time and research into attempting to nail the savory taste of beef through a blend of seasonings and oils.

Using in cooking: Impossible Burgers are a popular restaurant entrée, but you can purchase and cook them at home too.

According to the manufacturer, Impossible Burger patties cook just like ground beef, about 2 minutes per side on the grill or pan.

6. Pea protein

Nutrition: Talk about nutrient-dense! In a single scoop of pea protein, you’ll find 24 grams of protein, 120 calories, and 35 percent of your daily iron supply.

Taste: Does pea protein taste like peas? Not necessarily. Many fans of the alt-protein powder say it’s got a pleasantly mellow flavor. Plus, it’s not chalky or gritty and blends well in recipes.

Using in cooking: Pea protein is used in a number of store-bought products, like pea milk and meat alternatives. As a standalone food, you’ll most likely find it sold as a powder.

Scoop a tablespoon or so into your morning smoothie or into the batter of baked goods.

7. Lentils

Nutrition: Need a fiber boost? Lentils will do the trick with 14 grams per cooked cup, plus 18 grams of plant-based protein.

Taste: Lentils come in multiple varieties, including green, brown, yellow, red, and black.

Each may have a slightly different taste, but you can expect them to have an earthy flavor and a soft, creamy texture when cooked.

Using in cooking: Lentils are a culinary rock star! Their relatively neutral flavor and velvety smoothness lend themselves well to soups, curries, and salads.

You can also substitute them for a portion of ground meat in dishes like tacos, casseroles, and burgers.

8. Beans and rice

Nutrition: Beans and rice have long been touted as a complete vegetarian protein. This means they supply all the amino acids your body can’t produce on its own when combined.

Another bonus: No matter which beans you use, this classic combo is extremely high in fiber, especially when made with brown rice.

Taste: The taste of any B&R dish will depend on the variety of beans you use. For an adaptable dish, start with a milder bean like cannellini or black.

Using in cooking: While you can eat beans and rice all on their own, they also make a tasty filling for stuffed peppers, enchiladas, or wraps.

9. Chia seeds

Nutrition: For such a small food, chia seeds are remarkably nutritious. They’re ripe with omega-3s, antioxidants, and fiber.

Taste: These itty-bitty seeds aren’t known for strong flavor. In fact, added to recipes, you may not taste them at all.

Using in cooking: Chia seeds provide a protein boost for smoothies and puddings, but they can make friends with savory foods, too. Soak your seeds and add a sprinkle to a basil pesto or homemade salad dressing.

10. Mycoprotein

Nutrition: Mycoprotein, sold under the brand name Quorn, is unusual in that it’s derived from fermented fungus. One serving offers a sizable amount of protein, coming in at 15 grams.

Taste: Quorn’s seasonings aim to create a sensory experience similar to that of eating chicken.

Using in cooking: Although it’s made from plants, Quorn must be cooked before eating. Try mycoprotein meatless grounds in lasagna or baked meatless nuggets dipped in ketchup.

11. Quinoa

Nutrition: Think quinoa’s just a wimpy side dish? Think again!

This fluffy “grain” (which is technically a seed) is high in calcium, potassium, complex carbs, and — of course — protein.

Taste: “Nutty” is the word most people use to describe quinoa’s flavor, with a texture similar to couscous.

Using in cooking: Quinoa cooks quickly on the stove top. From there, you can use it as a starter for everything from Mexican dishes to fried patties to casseroles.

Sprinkle leftovers on salads, or add milk and cinnamon to eat it as a porridge for breakfast.

12. Spirulina

Nutrition: For a noteworthy amount of protein and not a lot of calories, consider spirulina.

One tablespoon of the dried stuff has just 20 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of protein.

Taste: I won’t lie, spirulina has a strong taste many people find unpalatable. This plant-based protein is actually a type of algae, so it’s no wonder it’s often described as tasting like salt water.

Still, your taste buds may eventually adapt to its unique flavor.

Using in cooking: You can take spirulina in tablet form. To add it to food, the most common methods are blending it into a smoothie or simply stirring the powder into water or juice.

13. Chickpeas

Nutrition: Chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, are chock-full of nutrients. One cup provides 15 grams of protein, 13 grams of fiber, and 10 percent of your daily calcium needs.

Taste: Like many other plant-based proteins, chickpeas taste somewhat nutty or earthy.

Using in cooking: In whole form, chickpeas make an easy addition to savory salads. There’s no shortage of options for mashed chickpeas, too.

Read more  Does Diet Dr Pepper Have Caffeine?

Try them in wraps, falafel, hummus, or chickpea cakes.

14. Ezekiel bread

Nutrition: Because of its base of lentils, soy, and sprouted and whole grains, Ezekiel bread offers a robust nutrition profile that’s much higher in protein than most breads.

Taste: You’ll probably taste the difference between Ezekiel bread and traditional breads, and that’s not a bad thing! Its variety of ingredients give this loaf a signature heartiness.

Using in cooking: Use Ezekiel bread as you would whole grain bread.

15. Potatoes

Nutrition: You may not think of potatoes as a protein powerhouse, but as vegetables go, they’re in the top tier. You’ll get 4.5 grams of plant-based protein from 1 medium Russet potato.

Meanwhile, this humble starch provides plenty of potassium and fiber.

Taste: Dress up the mild taste of white potatoes with herbs and spices for a low or zero-calorie flavor boost.

Roasting and sautéing can also help bring out the natural sweetness of spuds.

Using in cooking: Since potatoes don’t contain off-the-charts levels of protein, you may want to pair them with another plant-based protein in recipes.

Try potato-chickpea burritos, potatoes with a faux egg scramble, or a potato-tofu hash.

16. Nuts

Nutrition: Hello, healthy fats! Nuts like almonds, cashews, pistachios, and walnuts come preloaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.

An average of 4 to 6 grams of protein per 1-ounce serving adds to the nutritious mix.

Taste: Flavor profiles vary between nuts, and so will the flavor of nut butters, depending on the nut used.

Using in cooking: There’s nothing quite as convenient as a handful of nuts for a quick snack.

Nuts can also take center stage at meals and desserts. Briefly toast almonds in the oven for a perfect ice cream topper or whip up a rich cashew curry.

17. High protein vegetables

Nutrition: Higher protein veggies include Brussels sprouts, spinach, peas, corn, broccoli, and asparagus.

Though these may not match the protein content of some other plant-based choices, every little bit helps.

Plus, what they lack in protein, they make up for in fiber and micronutrients like potassium, calcium, and vitamin K.

Taste: No one will turn their nose up at veggies prepared the right way.

Make vegetables like spinach and broccoli more palatable by choosing cooking methods that enhance rather than obliterate their flavor. These include grilling, sautéing, and roasting.

Using in cooking: Anything goes when it comes to veggie preparation.

On a Meatless Monday, veggies can stand in for meat in just about any food package.

Nestle asparagus in a cheesy pasta, top pizza with roasted broccoli, or pack a pot pie with peas and corn.


— Update: 30-12-2022 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Keto Protein Guide: How Much to Eat and Where to Get It? from the website www.trifectanutrition.com for the keyword protein for keto diet.

How much protein do you actually need on keto and is it possible to get too much? We break down the science behind this popular topic so you can learn exactly how to dial in your perfect ketogenic macros for results. 

Keto Protein Calculator

To figure out the right amount of protein for your ketogenic diet, use this simple calculator. 

How Much Protein On Keto Should You Be Eating?

Research continues to suggest that protein is one of the most beneficial macros to eat when looking to lose weight (1). 

Higher intakes of protein are linked to better appetite control decreased cravings, and improved body composition (2,3). Protein also protects lean mass in a calorie deficit, keeping your metabolism running strong and assisting in better physical results overall. 

But unlike many other low carb diets, keto doesn’t typically suggest high protein intake. In fact, the exact amount you need seems to be up for constant debate. 

When keto was first used in the early 1920s as a way to treat seizures in children with epilepsy, the macro ratio skewed very high on the fat (90% of all calories from fat) and provided little protein.

As this popular eating style has evolved as a potential tool used for fat burning, this macronutrient balance has also shifted – today a common keto diet for fat loss provides roughly 60 to 80% of calories from fat, 5 to 10% of calories from carbs, and as much higher protein. 

In fact, based on this generally accepted macronutrient range your keto protein intake would equal 20 to 30% of your total energy. With the understanding that protein supplies four calories for every gram, you can easily calculate this amount for yourself. 

  • For example, if you need 2,000 calories per day, your protein intake would be 100 to 150 grams of (400 – 600 calories/ four calories per gram). 

However, your ideal protein requirements are more closely determined by your muscle mass than your calorie needs. This is because protein is crucial for so many vital functions and acts as a building block for nearly every cell in your body.

Don’t know your lean body mass? Consider getting a body composition test done to assess how much muscle you have. 

Is It Possible To Get Too Much Protein On Keto? 

Some argue that because protein can be metabolized into glucose (sugar), eating too much protein can interfere with your body’s ability to enter ketosis. However, this theory is not well supported by research (4,5).

In fact, analyzing multiple studies on the keto diet, you won’t find an association between protein intake and the ability to produce ketones or increase fat oxidation (6,7,8). 

The many health benefits of eating protein for weight loss likely outweigh any impacts it may have on ketosis. 

Your ability to get into ketosis and use more fatty acids for fuel is most strongly influenced by how many grams of carbs per day you consume, as well as how many grams of fat. 

In other words, as long as you keep your net carbs below the right amount and eat high amounts of healthy fats, you should be able to have success on a ketogenic meal plan. 

It is also important to consider that while ketosis may potentially provide unique benefits, many of which are still being discovered, it does not outweigh the need for calorie control to lose weight.

Best Keto Protein Foods

A ketogenic lifestyle can sometimes lead to high intakes of saturated fat from animal-based foods like fatty meats and dairy. While these foods can support your keto macros, they aren’t always the best quality choices to support your health. 

The best sources of quality keto proteins are either nutrient-dense lean (low fat) proteins or options high in healthy fats – like unsaturated fats from plant-based foods and omega-3s from seafood – along with other important nutrients. 

Here are some of the best keto-friendly proteins to note next time you build your keto shopping list. 

Lean Meat 

Animal foods are naturally high in protein, but the best cuts are lean or come from grass-fed/free-range poultry. Lean meat simply means meat lower in fat – which is the opposite of what one might reach for on keto. 

However, not all fat is created equal and the saturated fat found in certain meats is associated with high cholesterol (8,9). Moreover, processed red meat like pepperoni, sausage, and bacon has been linked to an increased risk of colon cancer and is classified as a level carcinogen by the world health organization (10,11).

Grass-fed and free-range proteins, on the other hand, tend to be leaner and have a more favorable fatty acid composition – meaning less saturated fat overall(12)! 

Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to avoid high fat meat altogether, but you should be mindful of your intake and choose more of the following choices when available. 

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Ostrich
  • Quail
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Bison
  • Pork loin
  • Venison
  • Elk
  • Lamb (fat trimmed off)
  • Goat
  • Rabbit
  • Duck Breast (skinless)

Fatty Seafood

Most seafood is fairly lean, making it a nutritious, protein-dense food choice. Also, unlike some land-based proteins, high-fat fish contain higher amounts of beneficial fats. 

Choosing more fatty fish can increase your intake of essential omega-3 fats that are associated with improved heart health, brain health, and improved management of type 2 diabetes (13,14,15).  

Regardless, nearly all seafood proteins pack good nutrition and fit well into a healthy keto diet. Here’s a list to get you started. 

  • Anchovies
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Arctic Char 
  • Cod
  • Tuna
  • Basa
  • Sea Bass
  • Catfish 
  • Pollock
  • Mackerel
  • Grouper
  • Rockfish
  • Snapper
  • Trout
  • Squid
  • Shrimp
  • Oysters
  • Octopus
  • Eel
  • Mussels
  • Crab
  • Clams
  • Lobster

Low Fat Dairy 

Similar to meat, high-fat dairy can also be high in saturated fat and it is entirely possible to overdo it on the cheese and cream. However, low-fat dairy can be a great source of protein and nutrition and fits well into a keto meal plan. 

For the best dairy sources of protein, stock up on these options: 

  • Low Fat Milk
  • Low Fat Greek Yogurt
  • Low Fat Cottage Cheese
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Low Fat Cheddar Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Egg whites

Plant-Based Proteins

Plant-based proteins can be a challenge because nearly all plants contain some amount of carbs – making it harder to balance your keto macros.

The trick is to look for more high fiber plants! Fiber is a type of carb that is not absorbed by the body, helping to reduce your total carb count. This is commonly referred to net carb intake (your total carbs minus fiber intake)

The best vegan proteins that provide a decent amount of protein  include: 

  • Edamame
  • Tofu
  • Broccoli 
  • Spirulina
  • Soy crumbles
  • Soy milk
  • Pea protein crumbles
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Nut butters

Read more  Keto Protein Guide: How Much to Eat and Where to Get It?

Keto Protein Powders

You can also supplement your protein intake with keto protein powders. The main difference between a traditional protein powder and a keto version is that keto options often include additional ingredients like exogenous ketones or MCT oil. Regardless, any low carb protein choice will help with your daily nutrition goals!

Make sure you hit your keto diet goals on the reg by learning your full keto macro breakdown! Use this simple online keto calculator to get started now. 

Protein for keto diet


— Update: 30-12-2022 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article How Much Protein Should You Eat on a Low-carb Keto Diet? from the website biointelligentwellness.com for the keyword protein for keto diet.

Protein is one of the most important macronutrients obtained from food, and it has many crucial roles in the human body and research continues to suggest that protein can be greatly beneficial when trying to lose weight. This also backs up the strategy taken by many modified high protein, low-carb keto diets and why they are more successful compared to a low-carb, high fat ketogenic diet.

When keto was first introduced in the early 1920s for treating epilepsy seizures in children, it was very high on fat content (90% calories coming from fat) and incorporated little protein. However, when its potential as a fat-burning tool got popular, the macronutrient balance also shifted. Today, a true keto diet for fat loss provides close to 6080% of calories from fat, 510% of calories from carbs, and much higher protein.

But like any other diet, keto diet also imposes many restrictions, and to get the desired result, one must adhere to the guidelines. One such concern is how much protein you require daily on a keto diet and what foods deliver the adequate portion.

In this article, we are going to discuss all you should know about protein on a low-carb keto diet.

To Begin With, What is Protein?

Protein is composed of several tiny units known as amino acids. While the human body can make nearly all the twenty necessary amino acids, there are nine that it cannot produce. These are referred to as essential amino acids, and they need to be consumed through food every day.

Since animal foods contain all the essential amino acids in approximately equal amounts, they are referred to as “complete” proteins. On the other hand, most plants do not have one or more of these essential amino acids and are therefore called “incomplete” proteins.

Keto-friendly sources of animal protein are meat, cheese, eggs, and seafood, and keto-friendly plant protein sources are tofu, nuts, seeds, soy-based products, etc.

What Are the Functions of Protein in the Body?

Every cell in our body is made up of protein. Once it is consumed, protein is broken down into smaller units known as amino acids, which are assimilated into the muscles and other body tissues.

Here are some major functions of protein:

1. Muscle Growth and Repair

The protein present in the muscles is broken down and built up again every day. Hence, a new supply of amino acids is required for muscle protein synthesis – that is, the production of new muscle. Obtaining enough amounts of protein from diet helps avoid muscle loss and encourages muscle growth, especially when combined with resistance training.

2. Maintain Healthy Functioning of Various Organs

Protein helps maintain healthy hair, skin, bones, and nails, and as well as our internal organs. While protein is replaced more slowly in these structures than in the muscles, new amino acids are needed to take the place of the old and damaged ones.

3. Production of Enzymes and Hormones 

The hormones important for life, such as insulin and growth hormone, are basically proteins. Similarly, most of the enzymes in our body are proteins. The body needs a regular supply of amino acids to produce these important components.

4. Weight Loss

Moreover, studies have shown that taking adequate amounts of protein can make managing weight easier. The reason is that protein can lower appetite and help avoid overeating by stimulating hormones that make you feel full and satisfied.

Also, the body burns higher amounts of calories when breaking down protein compared to carbohydrates or fat.

5. Reduce Fat and Sugar

Lastly, there is a growing body of research that consuming more protein in a low-carb diet reduces liver fat and the levels of sugar in the blood.

Other Functions

6. Supporting healthy bones and joints

7. Promoting healthy skin, hair, and nails

8. Maintaining pH of blood and bodily fluids

9. Supporting immune function

Guidelines for Customized Protein Intake

Considering the different opinions amongst nutrition experts, we recommend a daily protein intake of around 1.2 to 1.7 grams per kilogram of body weight for most individuals. Consuming protein within this range has been shown to help prevent muscle loss, lower body fat percentage and offer many other benefits for people on higher or low carb diets.

Higher consumption of protein up to 2 grams per kg of body weight may also be helpful for some people. This includes people with low body weight or those recovering from sickness, injury, surgery, and sometimes, those who regularly engage in physical activities.

On the contrary, people who are on keto diets for healing purposes (for example, for managing some kind of cancers) may have to cut down their daily protein intake to below 1 g per kilogram of body weight.

However, this should be under thorough medical supervision. Follow the guidelines below to customize your protein intake:

If You are Overweight, Use Your Ideal Body Weight or Reference

If you have well-developed muscles or are close to your ideal body weight, use your real weight to determine the amount of protein you need. But if you are overweight, it will be good to use your ideal body weight or reference weight to avoid overestimating your protein needs, which depend on your lean muscle mass.

The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) of protein is 0.36 grams per pound (or 0.8 grams per kg) of body weight. That means you can determine your average daily protein intake target by multiplying your body weight in pounds by 0.36 or your body weight in kg by 0.8. For example, a 50-year-old woman weighing 140 pounds in a sedentary lifestyle (doesn’t exercise) would have a protein RDA of 53 grams.

Aim for a Minimum of 20g of Protein at Every Meal

Studies have shown that the body requires around 20 to 30 grams of protein at every meal to make sure amino acids are absorbed into the muscles. So, you should spread the protein you take over two or three meals instead of taking most of it in a single meal – if you intend to build your muscle mass.

But can you consume too much protein in a single meal?

This is a controversial topic, with only a few studies to answer this important question. Two 2019 studies suggested that taking 20 or 30 g of protein per meal promotes muscle growth.

But incorporating more protein in a meal did not immediately improve muscle growth. Hence, some people believed this means that anything more than 30 g in one meal was “wasted.” However, this is not actually what the studies suggested.

Since muscle synthesis is not the only possible benefit of consuming protein, these studies don’t indicate that the additional protein is “wasted.”

Furthermore, questions arise – how does eating once or twice per day impact the way the body uses protein? Do low-carbohydrate diets help change this?

Presently, we have no answers to these questions, so it’s recommended that you take no more than 30 g of protein per meal.

Minimum Protein Requirements By Height 

  1. Under 5’4″ ( <163 cm) – 90g to 105g
  2. 5’4″ to 5’7″ (163 to 170 cm) – 100g to 110g
  3. 5’8″ to 5’10” (171 to 178 cm) – 110g to 120g
  4. 5’11” to 6’2″ (179 to 188 cm) – 120g to 130g
  5. Over 6’2″ (188 cm+) – 130g to 140g

Older Adults and Children Need More Protein

Children that are still developing have a much higher RDA (recommended daily allowance) for protein than adults (0.95 g per kg against 0.8 g per kg), which in theory makes a lot of sense considering their higher growth rate.

As we become adolescents, our protein needs are not as high as children’s relative to our height and body weight. However, our protein needs go up again as we reach old age.

Health organizations in Europe, the United States, and many other countries recommend at least a daily protein intake of 0.8 g per kg for adults up to 19 years and above. Still, many protein experts think that people older than 65 need at least 1.2 g of protein per kg every day to prevent muscle loss and other age-induced changes.

In a new study conducted on older women, a daily intake of more than 1.1 g of protein per kilogram was associated with a lower risk of frailty, a condition characterized by weakness, lack of strength, and many other changes common in old age.

Resistance Training Raises Your Protein Needs 

People who do weight-lifting, other kinds of resistance training and endurance exercise probably require a higher protein intake than inactive people with the same weight and height. So, if you engage in strength training, try to aim for a protein intake close to or at the top of your range, particularly if you want to add muscle. Consuming up to 1.6 grams per kilogram every day may help raise muscle mass.

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However, note that even if you train rigorously, there’s a limit to how fast you can improve your muscle mass – no matter the amount of protein you take.

How Much Protein Should I Eat Every Day?

Obtaining the correct amount of protein should not be hard or complicated. Most times, all you have to do to reach your daily target range is consume a satisfying amount and be mindful of when you start to feel full.

Below are the amounts of food you have to consume to gain 20 to 25 grams of protein:

  • 100 g (3.5 oz) of fish, meat, and poultry birds (approximately the size of a pack of cards)
  • 4 big eggs
  • 240 g (8 oz) of plain Greek yogurt
  • 210 g of (7 oz) of cottage cheese
  • 100 g ( 3.5 oz) of hard cheese (around the size of a fist)
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) of peanuts, almonds, or pumpkin seeds (the size of a fist)
  • Other veggies, nuts, and seeds contain a little amount of protein, about 2 to 6 grams per serving.

Example of Three Levels of Protein Intake Per Day Using the Same Foods

1. About 70g of Protein

In breakfast
  • 2 eggs
  • 30 g (1 ounce) of cheese

Serving suggestion

  • 1 cup of mushrooms
  • 1 cup of spinach
Lunch
  • 85g (3 ounces) of salmon

Serving suggestion

  • 2 cups of mixed salad
  • 1 half avocado
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Dinner
  • 100 g (3.5 ounces) of chicken

Serving suggestion

  • 1 cup of cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons of butter

2. About 100g of protein

Breakfast
  • 3 eggs
  • 30 g (1 ounce) of cheese

Serving suggestion

  • 1 cup of mushrooms
  • 1 cup of spinach
Lunch
  • 130 g (4.5 ounces) of salmon

Serving suggestion

  • 2 cups of mixed salad
  • 1 half avocado
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Dinner
  • 140 g (5 ounces) of chicken

Serving suggestion

  • 1 cup of cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons of butter

3. About 130g of protein

Breakfast
  • 4 eggs
  • 60 g (2 ounces) of cheese

Serving suggestion

  • 1 cup of mushrooms
  • 1 cup of spinach
Lunch
  • 150 g (5 ounces) of salmon

Serving suggestion

  • 2 cups of mixed salad
  • 1 half avocado
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Dinner
  • 180 g (6 ounces) of chicken

Serving suggestion

  • 1 cup of cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons of butter

Tips for Further Customization of Your Protein Intake

  1. Increase or decrease the protein portions as necessary, and do not worry about reaching a particular target. Bear in mind that your protein range is wide, so you shouldn’t hesitate to change the amount you consume by 30 g or more per day. If you eat a lower amount of protein in one day, make sure to add extra the next day.
  2. If you practice intermittent fasting, you may want to raise the amount of protein in the two meals you take. For example, in the 70 g example above, you may choose to consume bigger portions of fish at lunch and chicken at dinner or include boiled eggs at lunch and eat a little amount of cheese after dinner.
  3. It can be difficult to obtain adequate amounts of protein if you consume one meal per day (OMAD). So, try to eat OMAD a couple of days a week and consume more protein on the other weekdays. Alternatively, if you want to keep to OMAD every day, eat within a two-hour time window. This will enable you to eat your meal and also have time to take meats, nuts, and cheese as snacks to raise your protein intake.
  4. Eat seeds and nuts in your meals or have them as snacks. Remember that a quarter cup (30 g) of these offers around 2 to 6 grams of protein. However, they contain some amounts of carbohydrates that may quickly add up and are rich in calories. So, it’s good to be careful with nut intake, especially if you are planning to shed weight

Different Expert’s Views on Protein Consumption

If you are unsure or overwhelmed about the right amount of protein to take on a low-carb or keto diet, know that many people feel the same way too.

Protein consumption is a controversial subject in the world of low-carb and keto diets. And it is not uncommon to see contrasting information about this in books or on the internet, especially with the increasing popularity of this lifestyle.

This is the reason why we provided some simple tips earlier in this article as a guide. But if you want to know the different opinions of low-carb and keto experts regarding protein intake, continue reading for a summary.

The point is – nutrition experts don’t agree on the amount of protein that is optimal when on low-carb or keto diets.

Lower Protein

Dr. Ron Rosedale, a world-known expert in nutritional and metabolic medicine, recommends taking 1 g of protein per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of lean muscle mass when on a keto diet to promote longevity. For someone weighing 68 kg (150 pounds), this would be around 60 to 63 grams of protein every day, based on body composition.

Higher Protein

On the other hand, Dr. Ted Naiman suggests that people on keto or low-carb diets take a higher amount of protein, especially when trying to lose weight. He recommends eating 1 g of protein per 1 pound of lean mass. For a person weighing 68 kg, this would be around 130 to 140 g of protein per day, which is over 100% the amount Dr. Rosedale recommends.

Moderate Protein

Many other nutrition experts recommend a protein intake within these two. For example, ketogenic experts Dr. Jeff Volek and Dr. Steve Phinney recommend about 1.5 to 1.75 g of protein per kilogram of “ideal” body weight or reference weight for most people. For a person weighing 68 kilograms, this is about 102 to 110 grams of protein every day.

Moreover, other doctors and researchers think that protein restriction promotes health and longevity. For this reason, we need to aim for lower amounts of protein than the RDA advises. The big concern is that protein is important for growth, and as we grow older, we have to prevent abnormal growth, like cancer cells (tumors) or amyloid plaques in the brain.

Although protein restriction has been shown to promote longevity in rodents, worms, and other animals, there is little or no available data in humans, especially those consuming a low-carb diet.

Hence, it will be too premature to conclude about the possible risks of taking too much protein on a keto or low-carb diet, especially considering the risks of consuming too little protein.

Does Protein Negatively Impact Blood Sugar?

One of the arguments in support of protein restriction is that consuming higher amounts of protein can raise the levels of sugar and insulin in the blood. This is often an anecdotal report from people with diabetes. But there seems to be a disconnect between anecdotal reports and published studies.

For example, two studies indicated that a diet with 30% of the total calories coming from protein helped improve the levels of glucose in the blood. Although this was compared to a higher-carbohydrate diet, the higher intake of protein did not blunt the benefit of reducing carbohydrates.

Other studies of people with type II diabetes have shown that protein also helps reduce blood sugar. While it’s true that protein may raise blood insulin levels acutely, there is no evidence that high protein diets chronically increase the concentrations of insulin in the body (hyperinsulinemia). High protein in a carb-restricted diet may even help reduce fasting insulin levels.

As a matter of fact, the significant increase in insulin after eating may be one of the reasons why protein helps maintain low blood sugar levels.

Will Extra Protein Increase Sugar Level?

One big concern with a protein-rich diet is that the amino acids in protein may be converted into glucose through gluconeogenesis. However, physiological studies have shown that protein does not contribute significantly to blood sugar levels in healthy individuals or those with type II diabetes.

Even a meal containing 50 grams of protein will not bring about a significant increase in blood glucose. Dr. Benjamin Bikman, a professor of pathophysiology and biomedical scientist, recently proposed that your body’s ability to control blood glucose and insulin levels depends on the amount of carbohydrates you take and your metabolic health. He found that people on keto or low-carb diets are not impacted by high protein consumption as those on carbohydrate-rich diets are. Hence, while protein may induce a sugar and insulin response in the body, this is not likely to be a big concern for most individuals.

If you realize that your blood sugar rises after consuming a low-carb, moderate-protein meal, you first have to confirm that it does not have any hidden sugars or carbohydrates. If the meal is indeed low carb, you may then decide to cut down your protein intake to see if there will be a difference.

Bottom Line

It will be hard for people to take too much protein when consuming meals rich in fat and non-starchy veggies and are based on wholesome foods. So, we advise that you aim for a moderate amount of protein (around 1.2 to 1.7 gram per kilogram of body weight) every day, spread it out over two or more meals, and focus on eating healthy low-carb foods you love!

Another way to get rid of the headache of measurements is to follow Ideal Protein that offers a sheet to clearly outline which foods can be consumed and provides easy recipes for meal preparation. Ideal Protein too is a keto diet that is modified on the basis of clinically-approved testing and delivers adequate, high-quality protein instead of high protein.

To learn more about the program and for any questions regarding your daily protein intake, schedule a complimentary consultation here.

References

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About the Author: Tung Chi