Eat Protein for Good Health

FoodServing SizeProtein (grams)
Steak/Fish/Chicken 3 oz.21
Eggs1 large6
Milk1 cup8
Cheese1.5 oz.7
Yogurt1 cup11
Almonds1 oz.6
Beans1/2 cup8

Protein is essential to building our skin, hair, blood, bones, and so much more.

How much do you need? MyPlate, www.myplate.gov/, recommends eating about 5 to 6.5 ounces (~66 to 80 grams) of protein foods daily for adults ages 18 years and older.

Where do you get protein? Protein is found in meat, poultry, pork, fish/seafood, dairy products, nuts, beans, legumes, and some fortified grains. These foods provide B vitamins (immunity, eyesight), iron (blood health), zinc (immunity), and magnesium (muscle and bone health).

Do you need a protein supplement? Most healthy adults do not need a protein supplement. Those who may need a protein supplement are those with health conditions (e.g., cancer or major wounds [bed sores, broken bones, surgery]), that prevent their bodies from using the proteins they eat. When choosing a supplement, consider its purpose. If wanted for muscle development, try whey protein after exercising. If needed to prevent muscle loss, use casein protein before bedtime.

Before increasing your protein intake, be sure to talk with your health care provider.

To learn more, visit Stay Independent: A healthy aging series, www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/stay-independent.

Sources: The Scoop on Protein Powder, bit.ly/3EMmGvz.
Protein Supplements…Are They for You?, bit.ly/3bDUwGt.

Craving Comfort Foods

Casserole with meat and potatoes

In the fall, we crave warm, hearty foods like cheesy casseroles and hearty soups. Often, though, these “comfort foods” are high in fat, sodium, and calories.

The next time you make your favorite “comfort foods,” try these tips to make them healthier and even more enjoyable:

  • Add extra vegetables of all types—dark green; red and orange; beans, peas, and lentils; starchy; and other vegetables—without added sauces, fats, or salt. Double the vegetables in a soup or casserole recipe to add extra vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • Switch up your grains, making at least half of your grains whole grain. Like rice? Try replacing white rice with brown rice in your recipe. This month’s recipe uses brown rice.
  • Choose reduced-fat dairy foods, including fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese, in casseroles and cream soups. Reduced-fat cheeses, for example, have less fat but just as much favor and melt just like full-fat cheese.
  • Use lean protein foods, including lean meats, poultry, and eggs; seafood; beans, peas, and lentils; and nuts, seeds, and soy products. Cooking on a budget? Canned meats are just as nutritious, cheaper, and easier to use in casseroles.

Source: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025, bit.ly/3kf72S4.

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