Summer Slimming TipsThe Hood Answer Mom, Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D.
Spring is in the air, and that means summer isn't far behind. If you're thinking about shedding pounds for the warmer weather, you'll want to include this nutrient every day.
Protein does a body good
A study published last week in the Journal of Nutrition found several benefits to a higher-protein eating plan for weight loss.
Dieters typically reduce their intake of most nutrients, including protein, but that approach may backfire. Your body needs protein to maintain lean tissue, such as muscle; lean tissue burns more calories than fat, making weight control easier overall.
In the current study, overweight people on the higher-protein plan preserved more lean tissue, had a faster metabolism, and lower blood pressure.
How much protein do you need?
Experts recommend .8 grams of protein for every kilogram (kg) of body weight. (A kilogram is equal to 2.2 pounds.) The participants in the Journal of Nutrition study on the higher-protein eating plan consumed 1.2 grams of protein per kg.
To put the difference in perspective, a 150-pound person on the lower-protein diet would need 55 grams daily, while their higher-protein counterpart would need 82 grams of protein daily.
These levels fall within the acceptable
set by the Institute of Medicine.
Dairy foods provide protein and several other nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D, and some offer even more nutrition for the calories.
For example, for just 90 calories per cup, Simply Smart Fat Free Milk has 25% more protein and 20% more calcium than regular white milk. Simply Smart 1% Lowfat Milk supplies the same protein and calcium as Simply Smart Fat Free Milk for 120 calories per cup.
This delicious drink offers 10 grams of protein:
Iced Vanilla Latte
Makes 1 serving
8 ounces Simply Smart Milk
2 tablespoons sugar-free vanilla syrup
1 1/2 ounces brewed espresso (decaf or regular)
In a tall glass, combine all ingredients, stirring well. Add desired amount of ice.
Use this chart to include the protein you need throughout the day in every meal and snack.
Food Protein (grams)
Chicken, pork, beef, salmon, tuna, About 22
3 ounces, cooked
Hood Lowfat Cottage Cheese, 1/2 cup 14
Greek yogurt, fruit, fat-free, 6 ounces 14
Tofu, raw, 1/2 cup 10
Simply Smart Milk, any type, 1 cup 10
Peanut butter, 2 tablespoons 9
Hood Milk, any type, 1 cup 8
Lentils, cooked, 1/2 cup 8
Edamame, shelled, 1/2 cup 8
Egg, large 6
Almonds, roasted, 1 ounce 6