How To Get Your Protein Levels Up

Ways To Get More Protein Without Eating Meat

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There are lots of wholesome ways to increase your protein intake without resorting to meat.

These days, protein seems to be the superstar nutrient and for good reason. Gram for gram, its more satisfying than carbohydrates or fat meaning it keeps you fuller, longer. Protein is also essential for repairing and building muscle and keeps your metabolism humming along.

The daily recommended dietary allowance is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For most adult men and women, that translates to 46 to 56 grams of protein each day. For reference, a 3-ounce, fist-sized hamburger delivers 24 grams of protein.

Go Old School With Snacks

Remember when youd hop off the school bus and your mom would have some snacks waiting for you? You didnt know it then, but those ants on a log were actually a way to keep you from munching on sweets before dinner time. Snack on two tablespoons of natural peanut butter with a banana or celery sticks. A peanut butter snack can add 8 grams of protein to your day, Lesht explains. If you still love the ants part, add no more than a tablespoon of raisins, as theyre pretty high in sugar. Cant eat peanut butter? Try hummus.

Where Does Protein Come From

Protein is found in your food and in your body. Your body breaks down protein into amino acids. Your body uses the amino acids to build, repair and maintain your body. Protein can be from animal or plant sources. Amino acids are either:

  • Essential
  • Nonessential
  • Conditional

Essential amino acids need to come from your food. Nonessential amino acids are made by your body from the foods you have eaten. Conditional amino acids are the ones you rely on when you are ill or injured.

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How Is High Blood Protein Treated

Treatment for high blood protein depends on the underlying cause. For example, if you have hyperproteinemia because of mild dehydration, your doctor may recommend that you drink more liquids and then recheck your blood.

Doctors treat high blood protein due to other medical conditions according to the problem and your symptoms.

If a test shows high blood protein, check with your doctor. Make sure that you get any additional testing that your doctor recommends. Be sure to keep your follow-up appointments. Follow-up care can help make sure the underlying cause is adequately treated and to reassess the need for further blood tests.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/30/2020.


Greek Yogurt Is Your Friend

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In the dairy category, greek yogurts protein content is hard to beat. An average serving of nonfat greek yogurt has between 12 to 17 grams of protein. This makes it a great addition to everything from smoothies to pasta sauces, like this greek yogurt alfredo sauce. If youre a fan of yogurt parfaits, use greek yogurt to get an extra boost of protein. Sometimes, Ill eat cereal with greek yogurt instead of milk for a change.

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What Causes High Blood Protein

High blood protein is not a disease. It is a sign of another underlying medical problem.

Many diseases or medical conditions may cause elevated protein blood levels or an imbalance of the ratio of albumin to globulins. These conditions include:

Spring Vegetable Chicken Pot Pie

Promote proper nutrition for yourself and your loved ones with these amazing chicken and spring vegetable pot pies. The markets are brimming with fresh shell peas, potatoes, and pearl onions but frozen options are available as well.

Peas are often overlooked as a healthy option, but they are a complex starch full of fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Marrying them in a rich sauce, along with potatoes, pearl onions, carrots, chicken, and tarragon, while finishing with a topping of either store-purchased biscuits or homemade dough makes for a tasty lunch or dinner option.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

2 small red skin new potatoes

1 carrot

¼ tsp dried tarragon

½ tsp black pepper

2 tsp tapioca flour

1 cup chicken bone broth or chicken stock

1 cup leftover diced or shredded chicken

4 pre-made biscuit rounds or this recipe


  • In a medium pot, add one teaspoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and onions and sauté for 3 minutes.
  • Add the red potatoes, peas, salt, pepper, and tarragon and sauté for 30 seconds and then turn off the heat.
  • In a small bowl, combine two teaspoons of tapioca powder and two tablespoons of the chicken bone broth. Mix together until smooth.
  • Turn the heat on the vegetables back onto medium high heat and add the remaining the remaining bone broth into the vegetable mixture.
  • Add the tapioca and broth to the mixture and cook until bubbly .
  • Turn off the heat and add the chicken to the mixture.
  • Top with 4 biscuit rounds.
  • Nutrition Facts

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    Replace Cereal With Eggs

    Many breakfast foods are low in protein, including toast, bagels, and cereals.

    Although oatmeal contains more protein than most cereals, it still only provides about 5 grams in a typical 1-cup serving .

    On the other hand, 3 large eggs provide 19 grams of high quality protein, along with important nutrients like selenium and choline .

    Whats more, several studies have shown that eating eggs for breakfast reduces appetite and keeps you full for several hours, so you end up eating fewer calories later in the day .

    According to one older study, eating whole eggs can also modify the size and shape of your LDL cholesterol particles in a way that may even decrease your heart disease risk .


    Replacing cereal with eggs boosts protein consumption, makes you feel more full, and helps you eat fewer calories.

    Add Beans To Anything

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    Your vegan friends are onto something when they rave about how much they love creating culinary concoctions out of good ol simple beans. Add garbanzo beans, white beans, lentils, kidney beans, or black beans to meals like salads, soups, or pastas, Lesht says. Beans are full of fiber and average around 15 grams of protein per cup. These are the best plant-based protein sources.

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    Medical Causes Of High Blood Protein

    Only your doctor can determine the cause of your high protein levels, which may require additional testing. Infections cause your body to release certain types of protein to fight off the invading bacteria or virus. Bone marrow disorders, such as multiple myeloma, also raise protein levels in the blood. Other causes of high blood protein includes HIV/AIDS and amyloidosis.


    Add Pepitas To Your Hummus

    Pepitas, also known as roasted pumpkin seeds, are a delicious way to increase your protein intake in hummus . You can whip them in with a food processor, or you can just sprinkle them on top for a crunchy topping. For more awesome toppings to throw on your oatmeal, hummus, and yogurt, scope out these 30 Healthy Toppings for Weight Loss!

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    Eat Your Protein First

    When eating a meal, eat the protein source first, especially before you get to the starches.

    Protein increases the production of peptide YY , a gut hormone that makes you feel full and satisfied .

    In addition, a high protein intake decreases levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and increases your metabolic rate after eating and during sleep .

    Whats more, eating protein first can help keep your blood sugar and insulin levels from rising too high after a meal.

    In one small study, people with type 2 diabetes were served identical meals on different days. Blood sugar and insulin rose significantly less when they consumed protein and vegetables before eating high carb foods, compared with when the order was reversed .


    Eating protein first at meals can help you feel full and keep your blood sugar and insulin levels from rising too high.

    Add Tofu As A Smoothie And Shake Thickener

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    Tofu doesn’t have to just be scrambled into a stir fryyou can use it as a thickener in shakes and smoothies, as well as a base for dips and soups. A half a cup of the stuff will give you 10 grams of excellent, flavorless protein, but make sure to choose a tofu that doesn’t use the coagulating agent magnesium sulfate, which has been shown to cause cancer in lab animals. Tofus that use nigari salts, lushui, or clean sea water as a coagulating agent are safer choices. Once you found that better-for-you product, find your new favorite shake recipe with this list of 23 Best Protein Shake Recipes!

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    High Protein Breakfast Ideas

    Breakfast tends to be the meal where most people lack protein.

  • Add nuts and seeds to cereal. If you enjoy a bowl of cold or hot cereal for breakfast, try decreasing the cereal and replacing with nuts or seeds like:
  • Pumpkin
  • Hemp
  • Flax
  • Start with an egg. Eggs are a neat little protein package. Each egg holds 6 grams of protein. There are so many ways to eat eggs. For a quick no-cook breakfast, try hard boiling six eggs at a time in advance. Keep in the fridge and grab one for a quick addition to breakfast.
  • Make a breakfast bowl. Instead of cereal try a Greek yogurt breakfast bowl. 8 ounces of yogurt could give you 17-20 grams of protein. Throw in a handful of nuts and seeds for even more protein-packed energy.
  • Load up on nut butters. Keeping a jar of your favorite nut butter on hand makes adding protein easy. Try a spoonful of peanut, almond or cashew butter. Be careful to avoid nut butters with added sugars. Eat nut butters:
  • On whole grain toast
  • In a shake
  • On a sweet potato with cinnamon
  • Protein shakes. Protein shakes make a quick and easy protein breakfast. You can use a plant-based or animal-sourced form of protein. Some protein powders will even mix right into your coffee or tea. You want to make sure you use a high-quality protein powder that does not contain:
  • Sugar
  • Choosing The Right Proteins

    Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of tissues. The body needs many different amino acids to fulfill its various functions.

    Animal proteins offer complete proteins. Examples include meat, fish, eggs, and poultry. Soy, a plant-based protein, is also a source of complete protein.

    These foods contain all the essential amino acids the body needs.

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    Choose Quinoa Over Rice Or Pasta

    Quinoa is considered a complete protein because it contains all the essential amino acids we need. The seed is packed with about 8 grams of protein per cup. Swap quinoa for rice or pasta, or, add it to soups, salads, or even muffins and pancakes for extra nutritional value, Lesht recommends. Considering how many meals are better with a base, swapping your usual brown-rice habit for protein-packed quinoa will add a good chunk of protein to your diet.

    Protein Levels And The Plasma Donation Process

    How do you determine if youâre getting enough protein?

    Plasma donors must meet certain eligibility requirements and undergo screenings to ensure their plasma is safe and viable. Part of the screening process involves total protein measurements being taken.

    The total protein measurement process is relatively simple. It involves a finger stick test that is used to collect a blood sample. A capillary tube containing the blood sample is then spun and TP is measured. The minimum acceptable TP level for plasma donation is 6.0 g/dl.

    If your TP levels dont reach that level, you wont be eligible to donate plasma on the day of the test. However, there are things you can do to bring your protein levels up and resume your plasma donation sessions if you find yourself in this scenario.

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    Track Your Protein Consumption For One Day

    Its helpful to have a baseline and see about how much protein you consume on a typical day. Log all the food you eat with a macro food calculator to get an estimate of your daily protein consumption . Dont pay too much attention to the calories, just focus on the grams of protein. Then, calculate the amount of protein you need to stay healthy based on your height, weight, age and activity level. Doing this gives you an idea of how much protein is in the foods you eat on a regular basis, so you won’t have to meticulously track your protein every day.

    Include A High Protein Food With Every Meal

    When it comes to protein, its not just the total amount you take in every day that matters. Getting enough at each meal is also important.

    Several researchers recommend consuming a minimum of 2030 grams of protein at each meal.

    Studies show that this amount promotes fullness and preserves muscle mass better than smaller amounts eaten throughout the day .

    Examples of foods high in protein include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes, and soy products like tofu or tempeh.

    You can also select foods from this list of delicious high protein foods to make sure you meet your needs at every meal.


    Include a high protein food at each meal to get what you need to feel full and maintain muscle mass.

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    You Probably Aren’t Eating Enough Of The Mighty Macronutrient But Here’s How To Fix It

    Get more Spoon in your feed.

    Having to balancing classes, jobs, clubs and a social life, college students often forget about maintaining healthy eating habits. I try to eat foods that make me feel good and sustain me throughout the day, and eating enough protein is key. Its an important macronutrient for everyone, not only athletes trying to bulk up. According to Kris Gunnars, a nutrition researcher for Healthline, a higher protein intake reduces hunger levels and promotes stronger bones and muscles, faster metabolism, lower blood pressure, and higher energy levels.

    Here are eight tips and tricks that Ive found helpful to increase your protein intake.

    Add Protein To Your Breakfast

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    In my experience, breakfast is the hardest meal to work in protein. Cereal, toast, bagels and pancakes are high in carbs and low in protein, which explains why I feel hungry an hour after eating. Pairing these carbs with a source of protein, like an egg or yogurt, will leave you feeling more satisfied and energized.

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    Getting Or Staying Sick

    Amino acids in your blood help your immune system make antibodies that activate white blood cells to fight off viruses, bacteria, and toxins. You need protein to digest and absorb other nutrients that keep you healthy. There’s also evidence that protein can change the levels of disease-fighting “good” bacteria in your gut.

    Plasma Donation Protein Level

    According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in order to be eligible to donate plasma, blood protein levels must be within 6.0 to 9.0 grams per deciliter. You can help avoid a low-protein blood test by including high-protein foods in your daily diet. Harvard Health Publishing states that the Recommended Dietary Allowance, or RDA, for protein intake is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For a 150-pound person, this equals 54 grams of protein. However, up to twice the RDA might be beneficial for people who live active lifestyles.

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    Focus On The Essentials

    Protein is made up of essential and non-essential amino acids. A complete protein source is one that contains all nine essential amino acids to support human dietary needs.

    Not only does a complete protein contain all essential aminoacids, but it also contains them in perfect proportion in terms of biologicalfunction. Great examples include whey , lean meat, egg whitesand soy.

    Why Do Seniors Need A High Protein Diet

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    Protein is one of the foundational nutrients that make up your body. Every cell in your body relies on protein to function including:

    • Skin

    Protein is essential for healing, building and repairing cells and body tissue. You need protein to:

    • Heal from injuries
    • Keep your fluid levels in balance
    • Recover from surgery or illness
    • Maintain healthy vision
    • Balance your hormones and digestive enzymes

    Without protein, your body starts to break down muscle mass and bone strength. Research has found that seniors are not able to use protein as easily as younger people, so their bodies may need more protein to meet its needs.

    A diet high in protein can protect you from losing muscle, and muscle is important because you require the use of your muscles for everything you do.

    Strong bones and muscles allow you to get out of a chair, walk to the store, do yard work, go dancing, or play with your grandchildren. Even simple tasks like pulling on your socks and getting out of the shower are made easier by healthy and strong muscles.

    As we age, it is normal to lose muscle mass, but a loss of strength can also cause you to fall. You may also be more susceptible to illness and injury.

    The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that seniors were not getting enough protein, with 6% of men over 71 and 4-6% of women over 50 not getting the recommended amounts of protein.

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