Weekly Focus: Protein Power!

Getting the right amount of this nutrient (and others!) pays off in lots of ways.
Published April 9, 2017

You don’t need us to tell you that eating a variety of foods is a smart way to go—and not only because a roster of the same old foods gets boring after a while. Every food has its own special blend of nutrients, so eating an array, particularly fresh and unprocessed foods, helps ensure that you're getting the key vitamins and minerals your body needs.

Protein is a biggie. But many people don’t get quite enough of this nutrition hero, which is the main building block of your cells; it basically keeps your body humming along, and is essential for its smooth functioning.Because protein makes up so much of our body, eating enough can help preserve muscle - which can be important as you lose weight. What’s more, as your Weekly explains, protein can help you feel more satisfied than carbs or fats* so lean protein is a good friend to us folks on plan! How much is enough? You should aim for 8 grams of protein for every 20 pounds you weigh.

Sources are plentiful: 3 ounces of cooked 95 per cent lean ground beef gives you 22 grams of protein; 3 ounces of cooked salmon delivers 18. Not a meat eater? No worries: A cup of plain fat-free Greek yogurt packs 20 grams; cup of fat-free cottage cheese has 15. You get 6 grams of protein in an egg, and 7 in half a cup of black beans. Search for any food in the Tracker to see its protein content.

While we’re on the topic of nutrition heroes, take a look at these other candidates—an absolute rainbow of delicious choices!

  • Green foods contain folic acid, vitamin C, and potassium. Think spinach, avocado, peppers, and broccoli.
  • Yellow foods like lemons, pineapple, yellow peppers, and bananas are loaded with vitamin C, and potassium.
  • Orange foods contain vitamins A and C. Try sweet potatoes, carrots, mangoes, oranges, and apricots.
  • Red foods like strawberries, tomatoes, raspberries, and cranberries are full of vitamin C.
  • Brown foods contain zinc and vitamin E. Think nuts and fortified cereals.

Eating the best and the brightest gets you loads of vitamins and nutrients, not to mention a treat for the taste buds and eyes!

In the Swim

Go fish! It's delish! (Not to mention packed with protein and other nutrients