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What do I Consider High Protein?

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I get this question fairly often…



“Are ___ high protein?”

“What makes something high protein?”

“How much protein does something need to be in order for it to be high protein?”



Like most topics, my answer is… IT DEPENDS.



There isn’t a standard definition of what makes something high protein. Because it’s good for marketing, food companies will slap it on labels or imply that foods are high in protein when that couldn’t be further from the truth (at least in my humble opinion).



How I define high protein…



Any food where more calories come from protein than from carbs or fat.


This is by no means a perfect answer but it will get you in the ballpark.



Yes, this means you’re going to have to do some math. Here’s what you need to know…

1g of protein = 4 calories

1g of carbs = 4 calories

1g of fat = 9 calories



In other words, for a food to have more calories coming from protein than from carbs or fat, the food needs to have more grams of protein than carbs and at least twice as many grams of protein than grams of fat.



When you start to look at food labels, you’ll see that this isn’t as easy as you would think. That’s why so many people are deficient in protein which is a problem because protein is essential for rebuilding and repairing muscle tissue.


It’s also good because it helps to leave you feeling more full.



And if you still aren’t sold, the body burns more calories when breaking down protein for digestion compared to other macronutrients.


What this means is, regardless of whether you want to build muscle, lose fat, or both, protein is your friend.



How much protein should you aim for?


Once again, that depends…



Look on your inbody assessment and find the Lean Body Mass near the top. We recommend one gram per lb of lean body mass. Take that number and divide it based on the number of meals you eat in a day. This gives you your target.


***Keep in mind this number is based on being at an optimal level, not the bare minimum.




Peanut butter- 190 calories, 7g protein (28 calories). 8g carbs (32 calories), 16g fat (144 calories)

Quest chips- 150 calories, 18g protein (72 calories), 5g carbs (20 calories), 6g fat (54 calories)

RX bars- 210 calories, 12g protein (48 calories), 23g carbs (92 calories), 9g fat (81 calories)

Whey protein- 120 calories, 20g protein (80 calories), 8g carbs (32 calories), 1.5g fat (13 calories)







Beef / pork loin (preferably leaner cuts)

Low-fat cottage cheese

Plain greek yogurt



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