Dietary Protein


Protein is a nutrient that serves several important functions. In addition to serving as the body’s principal source of nitrogen, it is used for protein synthesis and for formation of low molecular weight metabolites with essential biological functions such as nucleic acids and hormones.


Dietary proteins can be derived from animal or vegetable sources. The protein requirements of healthy people are defined by the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR).

1. Eggs

Eggs are rich in high-quality protein, with all essential amino acids. One large egg provides 6.3 g of protein and contains 6 g of the recommended daily value for protein, making them an ideal source of protein. Eggs are also low in calories, containing only 72 calories per large egg and providing a healthy source of energy.

Egg proteins are highly digestible, facilitating the absorption of other nutrients such as fats and vitamins. They are especially valuable for older individuals because they stimulate muscle protein synthesis and inhibit the breakdown of skeletal muscle protein, thereby improving overall nitrogen balance [75]. The egg yolk is also an important source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin D, selenium, iron, and phosphorus.

In addition to their protein-related functions, egg proteins have been shown to exhibit anti-microbial and immune-enhancing properties. For example, egg immunoglobulin Y (IgY) protects the developing chick in a manner similar to mammalian IgG, and egg immunoglobulins such as lysozyme, avidin, and phosvitin have antimicrobial activities by binding metal ions and disrupting the cell walls of bacteria [76].

Although eggs are a good source of cholesterol, it is not known whether they increase the production of small, dense LDL particles that are associated with heart disease risk. Additionally, the evidence is mixed on whether dietary cholesterol increases or decreases blood levels of total cholesterol.

2. Lean Meat

Whether your doctor has steered you away from red meat because of cardiovascular concerns or you simply have a sensitive stomach, lean protein is the best choice for a healthy 단백질보충제 meal plan. While many steaks and corned beef options are high in calories and fat, lean choices like skinless chicken and turkey or red meat with the fat trimmed off are much better for you.

These foods are also lower in saturated and trans fats, which can raise blood cholesterol levels. Additionally, they contain fewer calories (fat has 9 calories per gram versus protein’s 4).

Lean meats are also great for people who don’t like fish or are vegetarian. These protein sources provide all of the amino acids that your body cannot make, referred to as essential amino acids. If you’re looking for a plant-based option, try chickpeas in soup, salad, or as a base for a veggie bowl; tofu in stir-fry or grilled; or tempeh in a wrap.

Getting your protein from lean meats will help ensure you are getting the amino acids that your body needs. However, you should also eat a variety of other protein-rich foods, such as beans and nuts, to ensure you are getting all of the amino acids necessary for your health. In addition to providing the full range of amino acids, these foods are rich in fiber and other nutrients that support overall good health.

3. Lentils

Lentils are a pantry staple and an easy way to boost protein. They contain a third of the daily protein needs per cup and are high in soluble fiber to help control blood sugar and reduce blood cholesterol. They also contain iron, folic acid and potassium.

Like other legumes, lentils are low in a couple of essential amino acids (called nonessential amino acids). However, when they’re combined with other legumes, nuts and seeds or whole grains, they become a complete source of protein.

In addition to their nutritional value, lentils offer several health benefits, including a lower risk of obesity and diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and inflammation. This may be due to their phenolic compounds, which have antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

When purchasing dried lentils, look for those that have husks or skins, as these tend to be heartier and hold their shape better than those without. They can be found in grocery stores, health food stores and at “bulk bin” markets. Dried lentils can be stored in airtight containers for up to six months.

Always make sure to cook lentils fully before eating. When eaten raw, they can cause digestive discomfort and are high in lectins, which are plant proteins that disrupt digestion. However, when cooked, lectins are eliminated and lentils are safe to consume.

4. Nuts

Nuts (tree nuts and peanuts) are nutrient dense foods containing high-quality vegetable protein, unsaturated fats, minerals, phytosterols, polyphenols, and other plant compounds. They have been a staple of the human diet since pre-agricultural times and are currently eaten whole, roasted, salted or used as spreads, in sauces, pastries and mixed dishes. Nuts have been shown to improve health in a variety of ways. Epidemiologic studies show nut consumption to be associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and gallstones in men and women, and diabetes in women. There is also evidence of beneficial effects on other chronic diseases and risk factors including metabolic syndrome, hypertension, cancer, and inflammation.

In addition to their protein content, nuts are a source of vitamin E and an excellent source of plant omega-3 fatty acids, particularly walnuts. They are also rich in the amino acids trp-tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, leucine, methionine, valine, and lysine. [53] The fatty acid composition of nuts is diverse with lower levels of saturated fat and higher amounts of monounsaturated fatty acid MUFA (oleic acid) in almonds, pine nuts and sunflower seeds, and a greater proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), particularly linoleic acid and a-linolenic acid (ALA), in Brazil nuts and walnuts.

However, the high sodium content of some salted varieties can be a problem for those with kidney disease. Therefore, it is important to choose unsalted nuts.