How Much Protein You Really Need In Your Diet

Getting enough protein is important, regardless of whether you want healthy skin and nails, to lose weight, or get bulging biceps. But “enough” could be the difference between eating a few extra eggs and washing down your steak with protein shakes. Here’s how to find out.

Source: How Much Protein You Really Need In Your Diet

It’s important to note:

If you’re obese and calculate your needs based on total body weight, you’re overdoing it on the protein. Go by your ideal body weight, not your current body weight. So if you’re 250 pounds and want to be 180 pounds, you’d multiply your intake by 180, not 250. (81-122 grams of protein per day for a sedentary person, for example.)

Are Meal Replacement Shakes Actually Useful?

Let’s first clarify that meal replacement shakes are not to be confused with protein shakes, though the differences are nit-picky: a meal replacement shake typically has between 200-500 calories and tick off a bunch of nutritional checkmarks with added vitamins, minerals, fiber, and some protein.

Source: Are Meal Replacement Shakes Actually Useful?

Please be careful with shakes, powders, and the like. The regulation on the supplement industry is pretty much nonexistent. The best case scenario is that the company does not include the ingredient listed in its advertising, but there are numerous instances of customers sending out their powders for testing and finding harmful ingredients.

These Fast Food Options Can Fit Even a Healthy Eating Plan

It’s great that fast food chains have detailed nutritional information for all to reference, but the issue is that these charts are often deliberately buried on websites and can be cumbersome to read. One blogger has compiled a master list of the “best” fast food options from major chains, with their macronutrient values, for our convenience.

Source: These Fast Food Options Can Fit Even a Healthy Eating Plan

It happens – you get stuck somewhere, can’t get what you need.  It’s OK to have a cheat meal, or “fail” on your diet occasionally – there can be benefits.

Magnetic Protein May Provide Animals With Navigation Information

What do monarch butterflies, salmon, lobsters, bats, mole rats, and marine nudibranch mollusks have in common? As I’m sure you already knew, all of these species (among others) can sense and use magnetic fields.

Source: Magnetic protein may provide animals with navigation information

Garmin and TomTom declined to comment 😉

Do humans that have an uncanny ability to navigate have a higher concentration of that protein?  And if you choose to refer to the protein as “midichlorians” – know that no jury will convict me.

How Would This Have Been Selected via Evolution?

A real answer would presumably require chasing the protein back to the genes that code for it; and then doing phylogenetic work on them; but off the cuff I’d imagine that a likely scenario would be the protein spending most of its developmental history being selected for because of its role in iron binding/transport/manipulation/storage (since, with the exception of horseshoe crabs with their freaky copper-based blood, and various anaerobic goo, iron-related chemistry is life critical for most multi-cellular organisms); with evolutionary optimization for suitability as a magnetic sensor coming fairly late in the game, after most of the original development remained adaptive enough to survive for other reasons.

My [layman’s] understanding is that it is fairly common for novel mutations to be based on re-purposed chunks of other systems (both because it’s highly unlikely to get enough mutations in the same time and place to just conjure up something novel); and because some of the mechanisms behind mutation allow for the accumulation of multiple copies, some more accurate than others, of genes to accumulate, which leaves room for a mutation that allows for a new function without killing the organism by denying it whatever the prior function was.

Given the importance of iron-based and iron-manipulating proteins for metabolic purposes, I’d assume that the ferromagnetism wasn’t even on the table until much later.

Soak Pasta Instead of Boiling It for Easier Baked Pasta Dishes

Here’s something I’ve always wondered: when baking pasta, as in, say, lasagna or baked ziti, why do you always cook the pasta first? Aren’t you inviting trouble by cooking it once, then proceeding to put it in a casserole and cooking it again? Well, there’s the obvious first part of the answer to this question: pasta needs to absorb water as it cooks—a lot of water, around 80 percent of its own weight when perfectly al dente. So, add raw pasta directly to a baked pasta dish, and it will soften all right—it’ll also suck up all of the moisture from the sauce, leaving it dry or broken.

Source: The Food Lab: For Easier Baked Ziti, Soak, Don’t Boil Your Pasta

I thought the pasta drew moisture from the sauce.  It does… resulting in dry sauce. I’ve always wondered about those pastas marketed as not needing to be boiled first—how are they different from regular pasta or is this just some marketing ploy? Anyway, traditionally recipes recommend boiling the pasta first.

The 20 Best Full-Fat Foods for Weight Loss

…now I can get fat 😀

It’s time to get fat.

Not around your waist, but on your plate: A new report from the Credit Suisse Research Institute found that more and more of us are choosing whole-fat foods over skim, lite, fat-free or other modern monikers of leanness. And while many health organizations like the American Heart Association still want us to cut down on fat—particularly saturated fat—this full-fat trend may be a healthy rebellion against those decades-old credos, according to recent studies.

Source: The 20 Best Full-Fat Foods for Weight Loss

The article fails to mention why fat is good in our diet: fat soluble vitamin uptake is greatly improved when consumed with fat.  So I don’t know why they listed protein as something that is improved by eating fat…

Be mindful of how much vitamin K there is in the suggested foods:

6 Healthy Ways to Get More Protein

The required daily amount of protein varies by age, gender, and level of physical activity. In general, adult women who fit in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise (such as jogging or biking) five times weekly should consume 5 to 5.5 ounces of protein per day. Women who work out more should increase their protein intake accordingly. Each of the following options offers a meatless alternative for one ounce of protein.

Source: 6 Healthy Ways to Get More Protein

If you’re interested in protein consumption information, this article is a good read.

Almonds can be costly; sunflower seeds are marginally cheaper.  The primary ingredient of hummus is chickpeas/garbanzo beans (how much vitamin k?)…  Don’t get me wrong – I like hummus.  Hummus, like avocado, is very nutritious but high in calories.  Peanut butter isn’t an option if you’re allergic, but no mention about other nut butters

Scientists Discover That Proteins in Your Body Can Make Plutonium Glow

There’s bad news and there’s good news in this post. The bad news is proteins from your own body accidentally smuggle radioactive metals into you. The good news is that those proteins can make those materials glow.

Source: Scientists Discover That Proteins in Your Body Can Make Plutonium Glow

Kids, don’t try this at home…

A High-Protein Diet May Help Lower Blood Pressure

A new study has found that eating high-levels of certain proteins found in meat and plant-based foods can lower blood pressure and arterial stiffness leading to better heart health. According to researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA), eating foods rich in amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, could be good for your heart.

Source: Load Up! A High-Protein Diet May Help Lower Blood Pressure

The nice part is the next paragraph details that protein can be sourced from various places, not just meat.  There’s a very good reason to not source protein from red meat: Study: Large Red Meat Consumption Triggers Immune Response, Leading to Cancer.  Also, a good article on the 1 lb to 1 gram of protein myth with relation to exercise.