fThese days, protein seems to be the superstar nutrient – and for good reason. Gram for gram, it’s 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.
Some say Americans get adequate or even too much protein; others argue we could safely eat more than what’s recommended (and perhaps should).
If you’re looking to up your protein intake, that doesn't necessarily translate to “eat more meat.” Plus, you’re likely aware of ways to add meat-based protein to your diet – with beef, chicken, turkey, seafood, etc. Though animal-based protein delivers all of the essential amino acids we need, you can absolutely get sufficient protein from plant-based sources.
Here are 21 easy, alternative ways to add protein to your diet:
1 cup peanuts: 41 grams of protein.1 cup pumpkin seeds: 39 grams.1 cup cheese (Swiss, mozzarella, Colby Jack): 36 grams1 cup tempeh: 34 grams1 cup low-fat cottage cheese: 28 grams1 cup oats: 26 grams½ cup tofu: 22 grams1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt: 22 grams1 cup kidney beans: 21 grams1 cup white beans: 19 grams1 cup pinto beans: 19 grams1 cup lentils: 18 grams1 cup edamame: 17 grams1 cup lima beans: 15 grams1 veggie burger: 11 grams2 tablespoons peanut butter: 9 grams1 cup tofu yogurt: 9 grams1 cup cooked quinoa: 8 grams1 cup skim milk: 8 grams1 cup soymilk: 7 grams1 tablespoon miso: 2 grams