painless protein

Posted on April 26, 2007


food!We’re not huge Atkins fans ’round these parts, but we do know that protein is critical for good nutrition, having simultaneously swelled up and slowed down during our own ramen-based days (weeks, months, whatever). Now science is providing some pretty compelling reasons to think about subbing in some protein/carb foods for the carb-heavy foods you might be chowing down on right now (*hastily tucks hint o’ lime chips out of webcam view*).

The International Journal of Obesity reports that people who had previously lost weight cut their regain by 50% by increasing their protein intake from 15% to 18% of their total calories. Note, of course, that this means they cut back elsewhere by 3%. Not only did they regain less, but what they did regain was not fat; it was muscle, organ tissue, and bone.

Self magazine, September 2004, took this news and ran with it. Here are their suggested protein-for-carb swaps. You can see that all of these foods contain both carbs and protein, so it’s not as if you’re cutting carbs out of your life, just changing the balance in favour of more amino acids and fewer starches and sugars. These are still balanced suggestions; well, except the nachos (where are the jalapenos for your veggie serving???)! In all cases instead of the top row suggestion, try the bottom one to increase your protein and give you a similar eating experience for the same or fewer calories. As always, try the ones that you think will work for you; I, personally, do not allow cottage cheese anywhere near my mouth.

1/3 cup granola with 1 cup berries
7g protein, 250calories

6-8 nacho chips with cheese
9g protein, 346cal
1c cooked spaghetti, no sauce
7g protein, 197cal
11/4c mashed potatoes
5g protein, 296cal
6-inch pancake, plain
5g protein, 175 cal
½ cup lowfat cottage cheese, 1 cup berries
15g protein, 131cal
1 cup canned meat & bean chili
15g protein, 287cal
¾ c cooked plain brown lentils
14g protein, 173cal
11/4c vegetarian baked beans
15g protein, 295 cal
1c lowfat plain yogurt, ½ c apricots
13g protein, 183 cal

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Posted in: diet, food, health