Are you overloading on protein at dinnertime? Registered Dietitian Sue Mah says that it might be one of the most common mistakes we make when we’re trying to eat a balanced diet. Sue recommends having 25 to 30 grams of protein in every meal to spread the protein throughout the day. Here she suggests easy ways to pump up the protein at breakfast and lunch.
Oatmeal is the perfect start to the day! But a basic pack of oatmeal prepared with water and a glass of orange juice only give you seven grams of protein. If you make your oatmeal with warm milk instead, top it with a handful of almonds and enjoy a yogurt and fruit smoothie, you'll be getting about 30 grams of protein.
If your go-to breakfast is white toast with jam and a coffee, you're only getting about six grams of protein. But if you switch to whole wheat toast with a slice of Cheddar or Swiss cheese and turn your coffee into a latte, that's about 25 grams of protein. To round out your breakfast, add a handful of grapes. Now that's a wholesome and tasty breakfast!
Tip: Protein keeps us feeling fuller for longer, so we're less likely to feel hungry and less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks. Including protein sources at breakfast is a smart tip for everyone, especially if you're watching your weight.
Garden Salad Lunch
You might think your garden salad with vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, cucumber and even an egg has enough protein, but it doesn't! This salad is giving you just eight grams of protein, even with the egg. But adding a quarter of a can of tuna plus some cubed cheese and two tablespoons of pumpkin seeds packs in 30 grams of protein. You can also add either chickpeas or beans instead of tuna.
You might love your spaghetti with tomato sauce but it's only giving you 10 grams of protein. A great way to up your protein is to add some cooked chicken, and a tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese with some yogurt for dessert. That's a total of about 30 grams of protein, just like that!
Tip: Protein helps build antibodies as well as build and repair our muscles. It also prevents the muscle loss that naturally happens as we age. Because protein helps us feel fuller for longer, it's an important nutrient to help us stay at a healthy weight as we get older too.
There's a lot more to milk products than most of us realize. Learn more at GetEnough.ca.