You need 56 grams of protein each day — here's how to get it
When your day might take you from spin class, to the office and to meet friends for dinner, it can be tricky to make sure you're eating enough nutrients.
Fortunately, when it comes to protein, you can easily plan to incorporate it into meals and snacks throughout the day. Protein is important because it helps build muscle, ward off hunger, maintain bone density and much more.
Here are some of my favorite protein-packed options to make sure I'm getting roughly 56 grams per day.
On busy mornings, my go-to breakfast at my desk is an apple or banana with 2 tablespoons of peanut or almond butter (7-8 grams per serving). When I have more time, I'll combine a 6-ounce container of Greek yogurt (15-20 grams) with chia seeds (6 grams) and chopped fruit.
It's easy to incorporate protein as part of your main dish during lunch. For example, add hard-boiled egg whites (6 grams) or one cup sunflower seeds (29 grams) to your salad. If you need a quick fix, you can also heat a Jimmy Dean Beyond Breakfast entree for 15-24 grams. Some options include pork, steak and ham.
If you skimped on protein throughout the day, you can crush it with a hearty main course at dinner. Choose 3 ounces of salmon (22 grams) or half a turkey breast (92 grams). For a non-meat option, choose one cup quinoa (8 grams) or rice and beans (7 grams).
These smaller protein fixes can be eaten any time. Pack string cheese (9 grams) or one cup of almonds (20 grams) in your purse. You can also add one scoop of protein powder (25-30 grams) to any smoothie recipe to refuel at the juice bar or at home post-workout.
Once you start to learn roughly how much protein is in specific types of food, especially those you're already eating, it's easy to build toward your goal throughout the day. This is especially important for those who are regularly active or even training for an endurance event, like a marathon. You may be surprised to find that you're already consuming the protein your body needs. If not, these options can help you make a change starting tomorrow.
Disclosure: This post is part of a collaboration with Jimmy Dean and SheKnows.