Weeknight Dinner Meal Plan: This week’s healthy high-protein dinners are not only easy, but will keep you feeling satisfied all night.
We’re focusing on protein in this week’s dinner menu. Protein is essential to keeping hunger at bay and building lean, strong muscles.
The USDA also says, “Proteins function as building blocks for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. They are also building blocks for enzymes, hormones, and vitamins.”
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact amount of protein each person requires. It varies based on age, sex, and activity level. At different times in our life, we may need more protein than at other times.
A registered dietician I’ve seen for years recommends higher protein to her clients preparing for and following surgery. She also advises increased protein for any kind of recovery.
How Much Protein is Recommended Daily?
The USDA recommends between 2 and 6 1/2 ounces of protein daily, depending on age and activity level.
For men and women ages 19 years and up, a minimum of 5 1/2 ounces of protein for women is recommended. For men, a minimum of 6 1/2 ounces daily is recommended.
USDA Equivalents to 1-Ounce of Protein
“In general, 1 ounce of meat, poultry or fish, ¼ cup cooked beans, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, or ½ ounce of nuts or seeds can be considered as 1 ounce-equivalent from the Protein Foods Group,” says MyPlate.
Here is a link to more protein equivalents.
RD Formula to Determine How Much Protein You Need Daily
Nutritionist Kelly Jones, RD, CSSD, says, “Since protein moves more slowly through the stomach than carbohydrates and fat, it can contribute to feelings of fullness after a meal.”
She also says that upping daily protein levels is especially important for anyone who works out strenuously.
Here’s how Jones says to determine how much protein your need for each meal: multiply your weight in pounds by 0.13. For a 130-pound person, that’s about 17 grams per meal; for a 200-pound person, that’s about 26 grams. (If you don’t feel like doing the math, just shoot for somewhere between 15 and 30 grams.)
Have a wonderful week!
For Valentine’s Day recipe ideas next weekend, we have a ton of recipes you’ll love to make for your sweetheart.
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Healthy High Protein Dinners: What to Cook (Feb 8)
Monday: Linguine with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
Tuesday: Lentil and Kielbasa Stew
Wednesday: Chicken Quinoa Burritos
Thursday: Crispy Fish Taco Bowls
Friday: Chicken and Veggie Enchiladas
Treat: Fudgy Skillet Brownie
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