Getting Enough Protein

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How much protein should I be eating?

For various reasons I eat a mostly vegetarian diet, I made the change from eating meat to eating almost no meat gradually over the past year. I never worried too much about protein, I just made sure I had a source in every meal (eggs, cheese, yoghurt, nuts etc.) and figured it would be fine. However, I've recently noticed that MFP has my protein set for 67g and on average I probably eat just under 50g a day.

I've tried to figure out whether this is a problem or not but have only managed to confuse myself! It seems like 48g would do me fine if I was just sedentary but I run 3 times a week (aiming for a 5k in March) and am fairly active outside of work (desk job unfortunately). Should I be trying to get more protein into my diet? I'm not sure how to increase my protein other than eating larger portions which are likely to push me over on my calories.

If it makes a difference I'm a healthy weight and not actively trying to lose weight at the moment. My diary is open.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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  • Nativestar56
    Nativestar56 Posts: 112 Member
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    Bump.
  • Buckeye_Fittie
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    Chobani, chobani, chobani. It's packed with protein, and delicious.
  • Cr01502
    Cr01502 Posts: 3,614 Member
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    MFP sets it's protein pretty low anyways,

    Unless you have any underlying health issues you should aim for 1 gram of protein per pound of Lean Body Mass (LBM). I would say this is especially important if you're running as much as you are and eating on a calorie deficit.

    You're best options are meat, eggs, dairy, quinoa, and tofu as they contain all nine Essential Amino Acids.

    You can also supplement with whey protein or vegan protein powder.
  • healthyKYgirl
    healthyKYgirl Posts: 272 Member
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    I started substituting Greek Yogurt (Plain) in recipes that called for: sour cream, yogurt, heavy cream, milk (23g per 1 cup)
    Also debittered Brewer's Yeast - tastes like Parmesan cheese grated is able to be tossed on stuff to add protein (15g per 2Tbl).

    Both of these are vegetarian sources of protein. Beans are another option. So is Quinoa instead of rice. Basically, I try to substitute higher protein options whenever possible. I just started eating like this to help me cut carbs a bit. I don't know if it will make any difference.
  • Minerva624
    Minerva624 Posts: 577 Member
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    I'm a vegetarian and I run 6 times a week. I try to get at least 60 grams of protein a day. 60-65 grams sounds good for you.
    My favorite sources of protein are:
    Kirkland non fat Greek yogurt (24 grams of protein for one cup) I usually pair this up with a banana and make a shake out of it after running.
    One cup of quinoa has roughly 18 grams of protein and is pretty low in calories.
    Two cups of kale has 5 grams of protein which isn't much but it's low in calories and perfect for sneaking extra protein into meals.
  • Nativestar56
    Nativestar56 Posts: 112 Member
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    I'm not sure we have that in the UK (if we do its not easily available), but I do like greek yoghurt.
  • Nativestar56
    Nativestar56 Posts: 112 Member
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    Whoa! I just worked out for 1g per 1lb of LBM I should be aiming for 97g a day! I never reach that, let alone on a daily basis.

    I don't like protein powder or tofu but I had been thinking of trying Quinoa, I've never had it before but I keep hearing good things about it. I'll definitely try a meal with that this week. Thanks!
  • Nativestar56
    Nativestar56 Posts: 112 Member
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    I've never heard of debittered Brewer's Yeast, are you in the US? I'm in the UK and I can only find supplements for that.

    I love beans and I eat a variety of them, but never tried Quinoa, that's definitely on my shopping list this week, thanks!
  • Nativestar56
    Nativestar56 Posts: 112 Member
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    Thanks, sounds like it'll be a good idea to aim to hit at least 60g. I've not had quinoa before so I'll give that a go this week. I'll put kale on the shopping list too (after I work out what 2 cups is in grams, I can never get my head around the US measuring system!) I already eat greek yoghurt, I have a little with my oats for breakfast most mornings and I'll occasionally have it with a little bit of honey and some blueberries.
  • JosieRawr
    JosieRawr Posts: 788 Member
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    Quinoa's a really good crock pot filler! you can even sneak it in with other veggies. I <3 quinoa! It's good with tomato, Alfredo, cheese sauce and any veggie I've put with it! Not so much w/ turkey, but as a vegetarian you wouldn't have to worry about that anyways. And it's a "complete" protein, all essentials so that's a plus! you can also mix it with a rice dish if you're not to crazy about it.

    Sweet peas are also a decent source of protein, as are beans and cheese. I believe in diet and nutrition we were told that beans and rice were complementary proteins also as they fill in each others blanks to make a "complete" protein. Meaning that together all the essential amino acids are present.

    and if you're needing a quick fix for low calories that can just be added in egg whites - mine are 3tbs for 5g could easily be mixed in with a veggie pasta dish without even noticing(I've done it with whole eggs, but got the whites recently)
  • skinnyinnotime
    skinnyinnotime Posts: 4,078 Member
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    Beans and tofu are good for protein. You didn't say whether you eat fish/seafood, these are very high in protein and low in cals.
  • jenilla1
    jenilla1 Posts: 11,118 Member
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    I can't eat beef, pork, eggs, or casein (dairy protein) due to a digestive disorder. I supposedly COULD eat lamb, but I don't eat babies, so that's out of the question for me. I thought it would be hard to get enough protein, but it's not that difficult. I get about 85-90 grams of complete protein a day through fish, lean poultry, quinoa, and vegan protein powder blends that contain all the essential amino acids (pea, hemp, cranberry proteins.) I occasionally have some non-GMO soy, but that's only a couple of times a week. I never worried about protein until I started lifting heavy. I don't get as much protein as a lot of people on MFP, but I seem to be doing fine and I am continuing to progress on this amount of protein. Good luck! :drinker:
  • Nativestar56
    Nativestar56 Posts: 112 Member
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    Thanks, I'm going to try quinoa this week! I *love* cheese, its a shame its relatively high in fat and calories. I make risotto fairly often and usually put a tin of beans in that, and I love chickpeas so I usually get some protein at lunch by having some hummus and carrot sticks.
  • Nativestar56
    Nativestar56 Posts: 112 Member
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    I don't like tofu but I do like a variety of beans, I should probably try and sneak them in most days. Good point about the fish, I forgot to mention that. I do eat fish but not very often, I love salmon I just wish it wasn't so expensive.
  • Nativestar56
    Nativestar56 Posts: 112 Member
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    See I was the opposite, I didn't think it would be hard to get enough protein especially as I love eggs, cheese, yoghurt and eat a lot of fruit and veg but somehow I'm not hitting what I should be!

    Good luck to you too!
  • shaunap3
    shaunap3 Posts: 206 Member
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    I've been having the same issue. I enjoy meat, but sometimes you can only eat so much chicken and steak. I get burnt out! But recently I started adding whey protein (mixed with almond milk) and greek yogurt into my diet. It's an easy way of getting some serious bang for your buck! And with minimal fat and carbs as well.

    Also, my boyfriend eats a lot of canned fish and frozen seafood because it's high in protein and easy to prepare. I personally hate the tastes of most seafood.
  • mudmonkeyonwheels
    mudmonkeyonwheels Posts: 426 Member
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    Just a question- have you checked the protein content of your bread? When I eat bread it tends to have some protein but yours does not appear to have any. Also, if you reduce your bread intake you may be able to fit more protein in under your calorie allowance.
  • JosieRawr
    JosieRawr Posts: 788 Member
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    Try tuna, or here tilapia is really cheap. I get canned tuna n just toss it in with whatever i made if I need protein n it doesn't have a meat in it.

    EDIT-Also I take sweet peas and throw them in my food processor n just put it in my sauce along with all my seasonings, simmer it a bit and you can hardly tell it was added...
  • Energizer06
    Energizer06 Posts: 311 Member
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    Was a Veggie for 2 years. Egg whites, Quinoa, Tofu, Greek yogurt were my best friends. Would have a Vega Fruit smoothie for breakfast every morning....protein and vitamins. Take a multivitamin. I'm sure I was low in Iron and all of my B's. There are some great sites out there for Vegan's and veggie lovers..Google a few and you'll get some great ideas. Shoot for above 60g at least.
  • Gliz53
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    Silly me what's cobami