What are proteins?

Proteins are a large and diverse food group, commonly found in animal products but also in some plant-based sources. Protein-rich animal foods include meats (beef, lamb, pork), poultry (chicken, duck, turkey), seafood, and eggs. Plant-based proteins consist of peas, beans, lentils, soy products, nuts, and seeds. These foods are essential in building strong muscles, fueling your body, and helping metabolism.  

How much protein should you eat?

Like other foods, the amount of protein you eat depends on your age and level of physical activity. People who are more physically active may need to eat more. On average, the daily recommendation for kids between the ages of 9 to 18 is around 5 ounces. The daily recommendation for adults 18 and older is around 6 ounces. 

One ounce of protein is equal to one egg or an ounce of meat, poultry, or seafood. A serving is also one tablespoon of peanut butter, two tablespoons of hummus, or ¼ cup of cooked lentils or beans.

Try to eat leaner proteins, like chicken breast, turkey, and fish. Cut down on red meats like lamb and beef it possible.

Types of Protein to Eat

What kind of proteins do you prefer to cook with? Are you a vegetarian who includes eggs? Or maybe a vegan who adds tofu and beans for protein? Some people are pescatarian, eating only seafood as their primary protein. What traditional protein sources do you and your family prefer? Take a look at this chart below and tell us what you like to eat!

Information Source: Oldwayspt.org and MyPlate.gov.

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