Protein is essential for a healthy diet. We are brought up in the knowledge that meat is the best place to get protein, however if we consume a diet high in pulses, nuts and grains we can achieve our protein requirements without meat.
Proteins are known as the building blocks of live, as they break down into Amino Acids that help the body grow and repair. Our hair, skin, and muscles, are all created from the protein we eat. animal foods and three plant sources - soy protein, quinoa and Quorn - comprise of all the essential Amino Acids require for good health.
We need around 0.75g of protein per kilo of body weight per day, that's equivalent to eating 15% of our daily food intake per day. It equates to approximately two portions of meat, fish, nuts or tofu per day.
On average here in the UK we eat almost double our protein needs. This is OK if it's a mix, not a meat-heavy diet and it's a mix of meat, fish and plant. as meat-heavy diets have been linked to increase risks of heart disease, diabetes some cancers, and may shorten your life.
If your protein levels are generally achieved by a meat-heavy diet, you should eat more peas, beans and lentils, two portions of fish a week and try limiting your red meat and processed meat to 70g per day.
Beans (Adzuki, Black, Fava, Chickpeas, Kidney, Lima, Mung, Pinto, etc...)
Peas (Green, Snow, Snap, Split etc...)
Nuts and Seeds: - Almonds
Squash & Pumpkin Seeds
Whole Grains:- Kamut
Other:- Vegetables and fruit contain some level of protein but generally its
much smaller amounts. Vegetables with high protein quantities;
- Brussel Sprouts
Preferred; Poultry (Chicken, Turkey, Duck) and a variety of Seafood (Fish,
Crustaceans, Mollusc's) are your best animal proteins and Eggs.
Dairy foods are the good in moderation 1-2 portions a day (Yogurt,
Milk, or cheese)
Red meat and processed meats limit to just 70g per day if that.
Protein is needed for growth and repair of body tissues and is especially important for healthy muscles and bones, particularly for children.