Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pump It Up with Protein

I recently had a student tell me this...

"I can't find enough protein in the campus dining hall. I am stuck eating protein powder to make sure I get enough protein."

I politely gave him this answer..."Don't waste your money! We've got plenty of options" much protein does a college-aged male and college-aged female need in a day? A man who is 190 pounds would need 69-172 grams of protein per day and a 160 pound female would need 58-145 grams of protein per day. The upper end of both of these ranges is 2 grams of protein per kilogram of weight. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need massive amounts of protein even if you are highly active and trying to build muscle. Studies have shown that there is no added benefit to eating more than 2 grams per kilogram when trying to build muscle. 

For the sake of example, let's look at 150 grams of protein since this would cover the recommendation for both men and women. To get 150 grams of protein you need to eat roughly 21 oz of meat/poultry/fish/eggs. Luckily protein is not only present in meat/poultry/fish/eggs, but it is also in dairy products, grains, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, cereals... Read on to see how a student might eat 150 grams of protein by eating all meals on campus in a dining hall.

1 small handful Raisin Bran (5 grams)
1 cup skim milk (8 grams)
1 scoop scrambled eggs (11 grams)
1 handful melon (0.5 grams)

3 oz roasted chicken breast (25 grams)
1 cup roasted asparagus and garlic soup (5 grams)
1 cup mixed greens and veggies (0.6 grams) with
1 handful kidney beans (7 grams)
1 handful hard boiled egg (5.5 grams)
2 slices cinnamon walnut bread (6 grams)
1 glass skim milk (11.5 grams)

1 serving beef teriyaki (27.5 grams)
2 scoops brown rice (4 grams)
1 glass skim milk (11.5)
1 side Caesar salad (4 grams) with
1/2 handful shredded cheese (7 grams)
1 banana with 2 TBSP peanut butter (10 grams)


As you can see from the daily intake above, there are many protein choices in the dining hall. Here are some that you will find on a daily basis...

Animal Protein Sources:
-Scrambled eggs and omelets at breakfast
-Cottage cheese and yogurt at breakfast
-Dairy products (skim milk, chocolate milk, 2% milk) at the drink station, all day
-Daily entree options with: chicken, beef, pork, fish found at the main stations
-Hard-boiled egg and shredded cheese on the salad bar

Non-Animal Protein Sources:
-Whole grain breads and cereals, all day
-Pasta and rice during lunch and dinner
-Beans & legumes in soups, main dishes, and always at the salad bar
-Peanut butter available all day at Fresh Food Company
-Tofu featured in vegetarian daily specials

Happy Eating!

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