So here we go again. I caught this article in our local newspaper this morning under the headline, “Health by the Numbers.” As I’m shaking my head in bewilderment, I discover yet another doctor with all the degrees I’d ever hope to achieve, who can’t convey physiological sense to the average health conscious dieter.
How easily could you decipher what she wrote below?
“1 or .5 This is the amount of protein you need daily. To maintain your muscle mass you need protein. About .5 grams per pound of body weight will do it. So a 200 pound man needs 100 grams of protein per day to protect his muscle. If you want to build muscle, shoot for 1 gram per pound of body weight. Every pound of muscle you have burns 50-70 calories per day. “
Got that? My first question is, do you have any idea how much a gram is? What does this article mean to you in dog years? Don’t worry, most people haven’t a clue. Therefore, how could you figure out how much 100 grams would be in the first place? As far as I know, no container of meat is packaged in grams, only pounds and ounces.
Can you imagine trying to enjoy a meal at a restaurant and keeping track of your protein intake? What kind of a look would your server give you if you innocently asked how many grams of protein are in that sirloin steak or potato? Yeah, I thought so too.
And most people believe protein is only found in meat but protein also resides in fruits and vegetables too. So according to the above article, that would need to be factored into the equation as well. How complicated do you want your daily diet plan to be?
Here are some of the top vegetable protein contenders (in grams per cup)
- Soybeans = 29
- Lentils = 18
- Beans and spinach = 13
- Peas, sun dried tomatoes = 9
- Potatoes = 5
Then there is the avocado which is technically a fruit, although most classify it as a vegetable. It contains approximately 8 grams of protein per cup . . . aaahhh, I see avocado in of my salad and I don’t know how much was placed in it!!!
So let me give you the answer to the question before you tune out on me. First, approximately 4 grams equal one teaspoon. (Everyone knows what size a teaspoon is.)
- Divide 100 grams by 4 which is the average grams in a teaspoon.
- This equals 25 teaspoons which should then be divided by 3 (the number of teaspoons in a tablespoon)
- This equals 8 tablespoons which amounts to 1/2 cup.
- 1/2 cup equals 4 ounces or about the size of the palm of a women’s hand
Would you rather carry a calculator around with you or eat as normal people do? How about simply using common sense? Have a garden salad for lunch with 2 ounces of grilled chicken, tuna or salmon and for dinner have a lean pork chop, teriyaki style with oriental vegetables? Bring half home for tomorrow.
A human only needs about 6 oz. of meat per day. Even less complicated is to do as I recommend: consume 5x’s more fruits and vegetables than meat on your plate, Consume a Mediterranean type diet. (DASH, Volumetrics) Use less sugar and less salad dressing than required. Life shouldn’t be this difficult!
“And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)