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What is Complete Protein and What It Can Do For Your Body?

It seems lately that there are so many diet options out there. Between Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Low Carb and more, it is hard to figure out a diet that might work for you. It also seems like each one is becoming more and more popular. It is safe to say that these diets are going to hang around with us for a very long time.

There is no doubt a rise in cost with food. As inflation continues, it is easy for us to think about cutting cost in our food budget, considering that this is the easiest budget to cut from and we have the power to either increase it or decrease it. Our household decided a few weeks back to decrease our food budget, and guess what food group was bought less? Protein. Yep, good ol' protein. The food group that has muscle building qualities and not to mention one of the most important macros in the diet.

We decided to cut back on this for more than one reason though, not only is it becoming more expensive with inflation, but also because when we looked at it, we were consuming quite a bit of it. There are ALOT of people out there that practically live off of what they call complete protein and swear that a diet based on protein is important and essential.

I know I've heard countless times that a diet in high protein will help in loosing weight. They are right. A diet that is high in complete protein and vegetable protein will aid in weight loss and is essential for building muscle. But it is also important to be moderate about portion sizes and be aware of how much you are consuming.

You might be asking yourself How do I know how much I can consume? What are the best sources of complete protein and plant based protein? How do I make sure I get enough in my diet? and finally What is Complete Protein? Those are all great questions to explore.

What is Complete Protein?

Protein is one of the three Macros that we need in order for our body to function. We also need protein in our diet in order to build muscles, skin, bones and collagen. It's also no surprise that protein helps break down and digest food, helps repair muscles after a workout (think post-workout supplements) and helps with growth and development.

While it's important to get enough protein in your diet, it's also very important for your body to be able to get the right kind of protein. We are talking about Complete Protein, such as:

  • Meat

  • Poultry

  • Fish

  • Quinoa

  • Dairy Foods

  • Soybeans

Just in case you needed a refresher, Protein is comprised of 20 amino acids; 11 of these amino acids are produced by the human body. Yes, I know, amazing, right?!

In order to optimize our health and fitness, we must get the other nine amino acids (called "essential amino acids") from the foods we eat on a daily basis. A complete protein is a food that contains all nine of these ingredients.

It's easy in today's society to be so focused on one thing, and to be very strict within our diets, but there really isn't a need to go overboard on restricting your diet to only complete proteins. Our body's need a variety of foods that do contain complete protein AND plant based proteins to be able to function well and at optimal health.

What are the BEST Sources of Proteins?

Even though meats contain a good amount of complete protein (especially lean meats such as fish and chicken) vegetables and beans are also great examples of plant based protein. Here we will explore other options so that you can have a variety of essentials to fit your diet.

1. Beans

Yes, beans! Most Vegetarians choose beans for their source of protein because they are so easy to throw in any dish (think tacos, chilis and soups). They are filling, and taste good. Any beans from black beans to lentils will fit into this category. And to think that a cup of black beans is around 15 grams per cup!

2. Eggs

Ah yes, the incredible egg. Eggs can be added in a variety of dishes such as Salads, Rice, and topped on toast or a bagel. Let's not forget there are different ways to make eggs, such as boiled, scrambled and fried. Just one egg has 6 grams of protein!

3. Protein Shakes

Protein shakes are a super easy way to get your protein. I know I can't live without them. I use to drink Native Fuel Whey I liked this because it contains 25g Protein Per Scoop and a clean, minimalist ingredient list. Certified Gluten Free and Informed Choice Certified. Lightly sweetened with stevia leaf extract. It is also designed for Post Workout Recovery. It also supports fitness goals with pure whey that rapidly digests to fuel muscle growth and recovery. Now I drink Shakeology. I like Shakeology because it contains16g of protein for lean muscle support. It also contains 6g of fiber, probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes to help support a healthy gut and digestion. It also helps aid in weight loss, which is great if you're trying to slim down and loose a few pounds.

4. Tofu

Yes...the dreaded Tofu.- Just kidding-. I personally like tofu. You can pretty much substitute it for any kind of meat (think eggs). I've made burrito fillings, 'eggs' and 'sausage' out of tofu and some seasonings. In just 3 oz of tofu, you get around 11 grams of protein.

How much protein should I consume?

The Mayo Clinic recommends anywhere from 10% to 35% of your calories should come from protein. So if your needs are 2,000 calories, that's 200–700 calories from protein, or 50–175 grams. I use MyFitnessPal to do the calculations for me. I don't have to worry about doing the math because it does it for me. Its important to remember not to go overboard on protein intake since your kidney do most of the processing. It can cause damage if you don't drink a lot of fluids and eat too much of it.

What Can Protein Do For My Diet?

1. Protein is an important building muscles, cartilage and skin.

2. Your body uses proteins to build and repair muscle tissue, especially after a hard workout.

3. Our Bodies have red blood cells contain a protein compound that carries oxygen throughout the body that supplies the entire body with the nutrients it needs.

4. Helps with digesting food, and making new cells and body chemicals.

5. Protein promotes hormone regulation

Eating high-protein foods has many fitness benefits, including:

1. Speeds up Recovery after a workout

2. Reducing muscle loss

3. Muscle Building

4. Maintain a healthy weight

5. Curbing hunger

Have any other sources of protein that wasn't mentioned? Share your ideas below!

Cook book Suggestions:

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