This is without a doubt one of the most frequent questions I am asked! Friends are genuinely curious. Family members may show concern. Clients are concerned for themselves, uncertain if it's "enough" or where the protein is on their plate.
It make sense, doesn't it? In our "standard American diet," we often refer to meat as protein. Meals are centered around that piece of protein (really, piece of meat) and it's often viewed as the feature. We've someone how given protein a place of priority or importance that it doesn't really deserve.
Let me explain...
Protein is a macronutrient. That means our body needs it in pretty substantial amounts for proper growth and functioning. The other macronutrients are carbohydrates and fats. We also need both of those in pretty substantial amounts. We need these nutrients for energy, organ function, healthy blood, cell growth and repair, muscle and bone health, brain health... we need them for EVERYTHING.
So yes, protein is super important to a healthy diet, as are carbohydrates and fats. For all of the macronutrients, thought, the source of the nutrients is what's most important.
By getting protein from whole plant sources, it comes "packaged" with fiber and a plethora of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant chemicals. It is also free of saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, excess sodium, etc. (If you'd like me to talk more about the health reasons I prefer to get my protein from plants over animals, please let me know - that might be another post or podcast episode!)
In a recent episode of Be Well with Steph, The Podcast, I answered these questions:
How much protein do I need? (2:48)
Why would I get it from plants? (5:27)
What are good plant sources of protein? (7:48)
How can I make balanced meals? (9:38)
Give this episode a listen!
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Eating habits and struggles are unique to each individual. These are just general thoughts! Working with a Nutrition Coach can offer personalized support and strategies that work for YOU. If you'd like to chat about nutrition coaching, you can book a free Discover Call any time by visiting www.bewellwithsteph.com/workwithme