Protein is important for the maintenance of lean body tissue (muscle). Many westerners consume too much dietary protein. Unless we are undergoing heavy training, we only require around 0.8g per kilogram body mass to maintain our weight (i.e. if you weight 100kg then you only need to eat around 80g of protein).
Red meat – Beef, mutton, lamb, goat – whatever you choose to eat, select organic, grass fed produce wherever you can. Also, don’t forget there’s no need to buy the leanest cuts any more – they are usually more expensive, too. Sadly, supermarkets tend to sell the worst quality high fat cuts, and the best quality leanest cuts – choose wisely to avoid unnatural substances in your meats.
Pork – chops, loin, fillet, gammon, bacon, pork belly – it’s all good, and full of saturated fat. Again, pork is often intensively farmed, and heavily processed, so try to select organic, outdoor bred pork, and meat that hasn’t been pumped full of water and other additives.
Fish – Salmon, mackerel, cod, plaice, halibut, herring, haddock, tuna, trout – whether salt or fresh water fish are good – again, fish caught wild are preferable over farmed varieties.
Shellfish – Mussels, prawns/shrimp, crab, lobster, and oysters are all excellent forms of protein. Be wary of “fishsticks” (those processed pink sticks of mystery seafood) – they can be laden with up to 15% starchy fillers.
Poultry – Chicken, turkey, duck are all good sources of fat and protein, but again, most supermarket produce is farmed under conditions we know all too well. Look for free range, organic produce.
Here is a table of some of the more popular protein sources and typical nutritional values – due to variations that naturally occur from one animal to the next, and between geographic locations, this is only a rough guide. The rump steak you buy from your high street butcher will not be the same as the one you buy from Tesco etc.
|Source per 100g||Calories (kcal)||Fat (g)||Net Carbs (g)||Protein (g)|
|Bacon, back, grilled||250||18||0||20|
|Beef, sirloin, grilled, with fat||260||16||0||25|
|Beef, minced 15% fat, fried||230||15||0||25|
|Beef, rump, grilled, with fat||200||12||0||30|
|Chicken, breast, roast with skin||175||8||0||26|
|Chicken, thigh, roast with skin||226||15||0.1||23|
|Chicken, drumstick, roast with skin||206||11||0.1||26|
|Egg, large, fried||196||15||0.8||14|
|Tuna, bluefin, fresh, steamed||184||6||0||30|
|Tuna, skipjack, fresh, steamed||132||1.5||0||28|
|Tuna, tinned in brine (John West)||114||0.9||0||26|
|Salmon, pink, tinned (John West)||131||5.4||0||20|
|Salmon, red, tinned (John West)||151||7.8||0||20|
|Salmon, pink, generic steamed||220||12||0||23|
|Turkey, breast, cooked||136||2||0||30|
|Lamb, leg chops, grilled with fat||188||8||0||28|
|Pork, loin chops, grilled with fat||196||9||0||27|
|Prawns/shrimp, king, steamed||80||1||1||17|
|Prawns, regular, steamed||65||1||0.1||14|
|Mussels, scottish, steamed (without shell)||65||1.5||3.4||9|
|Mussels, generic UK, steamed||100||3.2||3.5||14|