What To Eat To Increase Protein

Use A Pesto With Pine Nuts And Tree Nuts

How To Increase Protein Intake on a Vegan Diet (6 ways)

Pine nuts, traditionally used in pestos, have about 9 grams of protein per half a cup, which is a great option for spreads on sandwiches and for quinoa pastas. But if you add a handful of tree nuts such as almonds or walnuts to your pine nut pesto, you can almost double the amount of protein you’re getting!

What Foods Are In The Protein Foods Group

All foods made from seafood meat, poultry, and eggs beans, peas, and lentils and nuts, seeds, and soy products are part of the Protein Foods Group. Beans, peas, and lentils are also part of the Vegetable Group. For more information on beans, peas, and lentils see Beans, Peas, and Lentils are Unique Foods.

Select a wide variety of protein foods to get more of the nutrients your body needs and for health benefits. Meat and poultry choices should be lean or low-fat, like 93% lean ground beef, pork loin, and skinless chicken breasts. Choose seafood options that are higher in beneficial fatty acids and lower in methylmercury, such as salmon, anchovies, and trout. The advice to consume lean or low-fat meat and poultry and a variety of seafood does not apply to vegetarians. Vegetarian options in the Protein Foods Group include beans, peas, and lentils, nuts, seeds, and soy products.

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How Much Protein Is In Oatmeal

In fact, many different types of oats that are used to cook oatmeal. The most common being steel cut oats, rolled oats and quick oats, but the list does not stop there.

A standard serving of oatmeal is a half-cup of dry oats. When the portion is measured dry, it has around 5.9 grams of protein.

When cooked, half cup of dry oats turns into a full cup of tasty and nutritious cooked oatmeal. If you eat the oatmeal as it is, you will be able to get only around 5.9 grams of high quality plant based protein.

Hence, it is quite common for many of us to find ways and means by which it is possible to increase the amount of protein in a serving of oatmeal.

Is this possible? Let us try and have a look at ways to increase protein in oatmeal.

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Groups With Increased Protein Requirements

  • Growing teenagers during their adolescent growth spurt protein needs are high to cover both energy requirements and support the growing body.
  • Pregnant and breastfeedingwomen – protein requirements are increased to support the changes in the mother and foetal growth.
  • People with illnesses and injuries – as protein aids the repair of body tissue, and keeps our immune systems healthy. When your body doesnt get enough protein, it might break down muscle for the fuel it needs. This makes it take longer to recover from illness and can lower resistance to infection.
  • Athletes and the very active – Endurance athletes in heavy training require extra protein to cover a small proportion of the energy costs of their training and to assist in the repair and recovery process after exercise. Strength athletes, who are interested in gaining muscle size and function, require more protein in the early stages of very intensive resistance exercise.
  • Older adults – The increased protein recommendation for older age groups counters the age-associated loss of muscle mass and overall body protein stores. Eating more protein as we age can reduce the risk of falls, frailty and infection.

Easy Ways To Increase Your Protein Intake


Getting enough protein is important for your health.

For this reason, the Daily Value for protein is 50 grams per day.

However, some researchers believe that many people should be eating significantly more than this amount .

A high protein intake offers several potential health benefits and could help increase weight loss, enhance muscle growth, and improve your overall health.

Here are 14 easy ways to eat more protein.

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Putting It All Together

Studies and literature are the backbone of the scientific method, but it’s all worthless if you don’t have a practical means to apply that information.

With that in mind, here’s how to put this all into practice.


  • Protein Source: 30-50g of any medium to fast-acting protein source. Whole-food is okay, but you may want to restrict whole-food protein closer to 60 minutes out than 30 minutes out. Examples of fast-acting protein sources include mixtures of whey and casein isolates/hydrolysates and concentrates like Metabolic Drive® Low Carb.
  • Carb Source: Optional, but if you plan to train hard, you should include carbs. 25-75g of low to medium GI carbs. Example is a cup of oatmeal with a cup of blueberries.
  • John’s favorite pre-workout meal: Lean animal protein, 30 grams of carbs , and 1-2 tablespoons of almond or peanut butter mixed into oats.
  • Bill’s favorite pre-workout meal: Whey protein isolate with approximately 45 grams carbs from 1/2 cup oatmeal mixed with 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce.


  • Protein Source: 10-20g of BCAAs or 20-30g of isolates / hydrolysates from casein or whey or a mixture like Plazma or MAG-10®.
  • Carb Source: Optional. 35-50g of high glycemic carbs, sipped throughout the workout.

The insulin response from carbs may synergistically amplify protein synthesis in the presence of amino acids. Insulin is also a powerful inhibitor of protein degradation.


Harness The Power Of Protein Powder

You can do a lot more with protein powder than shake it up with some water or milk. I prefer to use my protein powder for baking!

Whether you mix a scoop into your morning oatmeal or use it to make a chocolate crumb crust, having some protein powder readily accessible is an easy way to get more protein into your diet. Adding protein powder to your recipes is also a great way to add flavor and cut some carbs.

The Bodybuilding.com healthy recipe database is full of fun ways to use protein powder. Check it out and try a recipe today!

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Choose Meats With Higher Protein Percentages

3The higher the protein percentage, the more protein youll get per calorie.

Fortunately, many meat and poultry options have high protein percentages:

  • Chicken or turkey breast, thigh, drumstick, and wings
  • Ground chicken and turkey
  • Lean steaks, such as the eye of round, top sirloin, and filet mignon
  • Lean or extra-lean ground beef or pork
  • Pork tenderloin, chops, and roast
  • Lamb tenderloin, leg, and shank
  • Bison, buffalo, and other game
  • Veal

What about beef ribeye, prime rib, pork ribs, and pork belly? Feel free to enjoy these fattier meats sometimes if theyre your favorites. But if your goal is to boost protein intake and cut back on fat, choose meats with higher protein percentages most of the time.

See the complete list of protein percentages for poultry and red meat.

Here are a few tips for making leaner cuts of meat taste great:

  • Use generous amounts of basil, cumin, rosemary, tarragon, or other herbs and spices in cooking.
  • Intensify the flavors of meat, poultry, and fish with high-heat cooking methods like pan-searing, grilling, or broiling.
  • Keep the skin on your poultry. Although youll get a bit more fat, eating the skin on your chicken or turkey can make your meal more enjoyable.
  • Slow-cook tough, lean cuts with moisture like broth, tomato juice, red wine, and seasonings.

Also, try our popular high-protein meat and poultry recipes:

Always Keep Protein Powder Handy

4 Tips To Increase Your Protein Intake

Just like you keep some deodorant for the sweaty days, hair-ties for when you just *cant* with your hair, and lipstick for an impromptu happy hour, Dale suggests keeping another must-have item at hand: protein powder. I always keep a mini Ziploc of high-protein, zero-carb powder in my purse to make sure Im never hurting for my post-workout recoveryor a healthier snack choice at work, she says. Watch for the signs youre not getting enough protein.

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Increases Muscle Mass And Strength

Protein is the building block of your muscles.

Therefore, eating adequate amounts of protein helps you maintain your muscle mass and promotes muscle growth when you do strength training.

Numerous studies show that eating plenty of protein can help increase muscle mass and strength .

If youre physically active, lifting weights, or trying to gain muscle, you need to make sure youre getting enough protein.

Keeping protein intake high can also help prevent muscle loss during weight loss (10, 11,

is made primarily of protein. High protein intake can help you gain muscle mass and strength while reducing muscle loss during weight loss.

How Much Protein Does My Child Need

Protein is an essential nutrient we all need in our diets that:

  • Helps boost energy levels
  • Helps kids’ bodies growing
  • Aids in repairing injuries

Protein can be found in many different types of food, so meeting the daily recommendation for protein can be relatively easy. Only 10% to 20% of the calories we eat in a day need to come from protein.

Protein requirements will be different based on a childs age, gender and weight. Do you know if your child is getting enough protein?

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Proteins High In Healthy Fats

Even though they aren’t as protein dense, or often as low in calories, nutritionally speaking, higher-fat proteins can be just as good for you as low-fat protein options. It all depends on your personal nutrition needs and dietary goals.

Because fat is more calorically dense – providing twice as many calories per gram as other macronutrients – you can get more calories in a smaller portion size. Which is why a little healthy fat, like plant based fat from nuts and seeds, can be a great addition to help add calories when trying to gain muscle.

But this also doesn’t mean eating high fat foods will make you fat! Some fatty foods can be satiating – keeping your appetite in check when trying to cut calories. Fat can also slow the absorption of protein and carbs. This may be beneficial if you are looking for long-lasting energy.

Additionally, fatty proteins from fish and plant based sources are associated with heart health benefits and support good nutrition overall .

Quality proteins that are higher in fat and lower in carbs include nuts, seeds, nut butters, fatty fish, full fat dairy, and some meat alternatives.

High fat proteins work especially great for keto dieters or those looking to gain muscle.

Here are eight options to try:

  • Mackerel
  • Whole Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • While many nuts and seeds may seem like they have a higher carbohydrate content at first glance, their net carbs are actually low when consider their high fiber content.

    Good Sources Of Protein

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    There are many foods that are good sources of protein. However, remember that these food products, like humans, have high water content. This means that even if your chosen food is low in carbohydrates or fats, 100 grams of chicken breast is not equivalent to 100 grams of protein.

    Some examples from the USDA Food Products Database include:

    • Cheese: It varies between types, but is considered a good source of protein. Certain types of cheese, like feta and paneer, are considered particularly healthy options. The protein in paneer per 100 grams is substantial 21.43 grams.
    • Chicken, especially cuts like chicken breast, is very high in protein 100 grams of chicken breast has 14.49 grams of protein.
    • Fish, especially fatty fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, are a great source of protein. A fish like salmon will have 30.23 grams of protein in every 100 grams.
    • Nuts are good sources of protein, especially for vegans and vegetarians. You can eat almonds

      one of the most protein-rich nuts

      raw, toasted or as a nut butter. One hundred grams of almonds contains 21.15 grams of protein.

    • Seeds are also good sources of protein. Sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds are both good options that can be used in salads or other dishes, and 100 grams of pumpkin seeds contains 20 grams of protein.

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    But First: What Is Protein

    Protein is an essential macronutrient made up of building blocks called amino acids. There are 22 amino acids in total, including nine essential amino acids that the body cant produce on its own. These amino acids must come from food.

    Any foods or combination of foods that contains these nine amino acids is known as a complete protein. Foods that dont contain all nine amino acids are known as incomplete proteins. As a general rule, animal proteins tend to be complete, while plant-based proteins tend to be incomplete .

    The USDA recommends46 grams of protein per day for adult women and 56 grams for adult men. Alternately, the International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends basing daily protein intake on current body weight. They suggest 1.4 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for active adults. Using this method, a 150-pound person should eat 95 to 136 grams of protein per day.

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    How To Increase Protein Levels In Your Blood

    There are two major types of protein in your blood — albumin and globulin. The majority of blood serum protein is albumin, manufactured by your liver and used for healing, tissue growth and to prevent blood from leaking out of your blood vessels. There are three types of globulin, some made from the immune system, others by the liver. Globulins help fight infection and carry minerals, such as iron, throughout your body. You may have low blood serum levels if your diet is low in protein, or if you have liver or kidney disease. Other causes of low blood serum include hormone imbalances, severe skin burns and dehydration.

    Determine the cause of your low blood protein levels 1. Your treatment depends on the cause. Often, an underlying illness or health problem needs to be resolved before your blood serum protein levels will increase. Severe burns, skin loss and dehydration cause low protein levels. Levels naturally rise as the body heals, provided you eat a diet that includes complete proteins — particularly animal proteins that contain all 22 amino acids — the building blocks of protein. According MSN Today “Animal protein has the complete profile of all the amino acids. Beef, chicken, veal, lamb, port, fish, eggs, are all complete proteins. Eggs are the most ideal protein and the standard to which others are measured regarding usability by the body.”



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    Trade Nuts For Snacks That Provide More Protein Per Calorie

    For starters, nuts are only 4 to 18% protein, depending on the type. Between 77% to 94% of the calories in nuts come from fat.

    Additionally, it can be tough to stop eating nuts once you start, and the calories can add up quickly.12

    If you need a snack between meals, choose one that provides plenty of protein per calorie. Doing this can help you feel full and take in fewer calories than youd get from nuts.

    One ounce of almonds has about 6 grams of protein and 15 grams of fat. The same serving size of pecans has 2.6 grams of protein and 20 grams of fat.

    Here are some tasty snack options with more protein and less fat compared to nuts:

    • Zero-sugar jerky or meat sticks : 15 grams of protein , 1.5 grams of fat, and 1 gram of net carbs per ounce
    • Ham or turkey roll-ups: Place one slice of reduced-fat cheese on top of one slice of sliced meat and roll up. One roll-up contains 14 grams of protein , 2 grams of fat, and 1 gram of net carbs per ounce .
    • Low-fat cottage cheese: 13 grams of protein , 2.5 grams of fat, and 5 grams of net carbs per half-cup
    • Dry-roasted edamame: 14 grams of protein , 6 grams of fat, and 3 grams of net carbs per ounce

    Eat Proteins Before Carbs

    Easy Healthy Meal Swaps to Increase Protein Intake

    Findings of a small 2015 study suggest that eating protein before carbohydrates could help with maintaining a healthy blood sugar level.

    In this study, participants ate two identical meals on two separate days but changed the order in which they ate the proteins and carbs.

    The researchers found that the participants glucose and post-meal insulin levels were lower when they had eaten the proteins first.

    Research shows that protein has a satiating effect on appetite, helping people to feel fuller for longer. This is, in part, because protein decreases levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin.

    A found that consuming 2530 g of protein at every meal can help regulate the appetite and facilitate weight management.

    This, in turn, may help protect against cardiometabolic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

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    Sprinkle On Nutritional Yeast

    Nutritional yeast is the best-kept secret of the vegetarian and vegan community. One-and-a-half tablespoon of this flaky seasoning contains 8 grams of protein, Nutritional yeast has a cheesy flavor and can be used to season anything from scrambled eggs to salad to pesto, says Mashru. Its also an amazing source of B vitamins, doubling as a perfect vegan alternative for cheese. Here are some complete protein foods that dont contain any meat.

    How Much Food From The Protein Foods Group Is Needed Daily

    The amount of protein foods you need to eat depends on your age, sex, height, weight, and level of physical activity. For women, the amount can also depend on whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Most Americans eat enough from the Protein Foods Group, but need to select leaner varieties of meat and poultry and increase the variety of protein foods selected, choosing meats less often. Find the right amount for you by getting your MyPlate Plan. For general recommendations by age, see the table below.

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