What is protein?

You are made of protein.

What is protein?

Simple answer! It’s the building bricks of your body. It`s everything like flesh, skin, tissue, organs, living cells. So that`s an essential part of your diet — not possible living without it.

Protein is composed of smaller parts called amino acids. Twenty amino acids are needed to make one protein. The body can make most of them itself except for 8.

So we need to get them from our food. We depend on that. Those eight amino acids are for that reason named the essential amino acids. For small children, that`s slightly 10.

Sources of protein

You can divide sources of protein into a good quality of protein and less good quality of protein.

Excellent quality of protein is in meat, milk, and eggs. That’s the so-called complete protein. Every amino acid is there so protein can be produced easily. But it does not mean that`s necessary to eat meat all day long.

Other sources of protein come from bread and grain products. Vegetables too contain protein. All the amino acids aren’t always present. But it does not have to be as bad as it sounds.

Most people like pork.  The problem is that`s way too fat. If you want to lose weight, it’s necessary to choose meat with a much less amount of fat. It can be chicken, fish, and beef meat. It just needs a low percentage of fat. Eggs are perfect too. That will be the best source of protein for weight loss.

Let’s see the amount of protein in different types of food per 100 grams.

Chicken: 26 gram

Sardines: 25 gram

Turkey: 22 gram

Prawns: 24 gram

Egg: 13 gram

Peanut butter: 21 gram

Peanuts: 25 gram

Broccoli: 5 gram

Corncob: 4 gram

Spinach: 3 gram

Daily need

The daily need for protein isn’t a huge problem. Most of us will have plenty in our everyday diet. Recommendations from the WHO is 0.83 gram per kilo of body weight. If you do hard work, exercise, or are seriously sick, you can need more.

If we set the daily need to 1 gram of protein for every kilo of body weight, it means a person with a weight of 75 kilos will need 75 grams of protein every day. It’s that simple. In reality, most of us eat more than that.

I have calculated my own need for protein. It’s no more than 96 grams per day. If I’m doing exercise that`s 135-180 grams and that’s even high.

Many people doing heavy exercise take extra amounts of protein powder. But there’s no need for that for a well-balanced diet. So don’t waste your money. Of course, there’s more than one opinion about that. But when I look around, I can see high prices for something. You don’t need maybe if You participate in triathlon or 10 times iron man.

Usually, you will need 10-20 % of your diet from protein. Problem is if you are low on calories when some protein converts to energy. So a well-balanced diet is essential.

There’s a simple way to know how much meat you should eat in a day. Use your fist for measurement. You usually will not need more meat than that.

The energy in protein.

The body doesn’t have an internal protein supply. So if you don’t get enough, it will have to take it from the muscles. So eat a little more if you are in training. But not huge amounts. It’s possible to eat yourself to bigger muscles, so to speak if you can create the right diet.

If there’s too much protein, it will be converted to energy instead. One gram of protein contains 4 cal. Then that’s said I had seen advice from experts everywhere to include more protein in the diet if you want to lose weight. Because it takes more energy to digestion and it makes your stomach feel full, so you don’t become hungry so fast.

But protein by itself will not make you lose weight. You will only lose weight if you in a period has eaten less than you burned.


One giant myth that has existed for years: Vegetarians and vegans have a hard time to get enough protein. That is not true. Vegetarians eat a lot less protein. But that`s still enough for their daily need. You could instead say conventional food have a too high amount of protein.

Some vegetables have too little amount of some amino acids. It does not contain complete proteins. So it takes some effort to combine the correct amounts of different food. But it does not mean vegetarians have problems to get enough of protein.

But that`s not necessary as the myth says to eat the correct types of vegetables at the right times. Luckily our body isn’t that ineffective.

To kill the myth once for all. Vegetables with complete proteins exist. The best-known example is soybeans.

To lose weight, maybe even consider becoming a vegetarian. It maybe sounds radical. But it should be a very effective way to lose weight.

Good sources of vegetable protein are peas, beans, nuts, and grain products.

But if you are interested, you shouldn’t just read this site. Look for information. Seek advice. If you have medical problems, talk with your doctor before you make radical changes to your diet.

Protein in the morning.

Good advice is to get enough protein already in the morning. You should have at least 20 grams. It’s possible to achieve that with two eggs and a glass of milk, or it could be oatmeal with milk. For dinner, it can be tuna, mackerel, or ham. It looks like an English breakfast is an excellent idea.

It’s especially crucial for older people because its harder to get enough protein if you are over 40 years old. But that`s very important to keep enough of muscle mass. Because the amount of muscle mass will drop when you become older, it’s not a problem for children and young people.

It has another benefit. It gives an excellent full feeling and prevents you from becoming hungry again too soon. To lose weight, you want the fewest calories as possible to do their job.

How to get 20 grams of protein.

That’s the way to get 20 grams of protein:

75 grams of tuna. It’s about half of a can.

Three eggs

75 grams of ham

6 deciliters of milk

100 grams of feta

150 grams of oatmeal

400 grams of broccoli

One hundred grams of chicken, turkey, or fish.

Specify it like that and its a lot more straightforward.  So learn to control the protein to get a healthy diet. It doesn’t have to be boring.

2 thoughts on “What is protein?”

  1. I think the common misconception for most people is that all proteins come from meat. I like how you outlined a few foods with corresponding grams of protein to the right-hand side displaying a variety of foods from the different food groups. It goes to show we can get protein from more than just meat and there is protein-rich food out there for everyone to enjoy.

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