Straight talk about good sources of protein can be found here at Eagle Wood Farms.

We are here to discuss good sources of protein. We are not here to promote a specific nutrition regimen. We leave that to you, the reader, to become educated and to decide the best nutrition plan for you and your family.

On this page we will discuss:

  1. What is protein
  2. Why humans need protein
  3. Essential and non-essential amino acids
  4. Sources of protein from food

1. Good Sources of Protein - What is Protein?
Etymologists generally believe the word is of Greek origin, "proteious", meaning "of first quality". Coined by scientists during the 1800's, it was considered a theoretical substance responsible for life. Built from smaller molecules called amino acids proteins are responsible for the majority of chemical reactions in our bodies, including the building, maintenance and repair of body tissue, hormones and our immune systems. Amino acids, which contain carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen and sulfur, perform different bodily functions as proteins. A protein's amino acid structure and sequence determines its function.

2. Good Sources of Protein - Why humans need protein
In a brief, though not complete summary, proteins are responsible for:

Chemical Reactions
Proteins control our metabolism (energy consumption) in the form of enzymes or catalysts. Catalysts accelerate chemical reactions. The sum of all chemical reactions in our body can be loosely called our metabolism. Enzymes are involved in accelerating about 4,000 chemical reactions in our bodies. Some increase the rate of reaction over 1,000 times as compared to the same reaction without an enzyme. The names of enzymes usually have the suffix -ase.

Chemical Communication
Hormones, such as insulin, are chemical messengers. They allow cells in one area of the body to communicate with distant cells in another area of the body through the blood stream. Hormones affect:
  1. Growth duration and rate
  2. Puberty and Menopause
  3. Cell birth and death (some cancers)
  4. The activation/inhibition of the immune system
  5. Metabolism (energy consumption)
  6. The flight or fight response
  7. The reproductive cycle

Chemical Transportation
Hemoglobin in the blood and myoglobin in muscle carry oxygen from the lungs to cells throughout the body. Oxygen is needed to convert our food energy (glucose) into an energy form cells need to perform their specific functions. Lipoproteins participate in the transportation of fat and cholesterol. All chemical reactions require energy.

Structural Components
Proteins such as collagen and keratin are components of connective tissue like cartilage, ligaments, tendons, hair and nails.

Immune System
Proteins like antibodies attach to viruses, bacteria, or other foreign bodies, inactivating them and making them more visible to the body's immune system. This is vital so the body will not attack itself but only the invader. This process is called acquired immunity.

Physical Movement
Motor proteins convert chemical energy into mechanical energy. Actin and myosin are responsible for muscular motion.

Receptors / Transmitters
These proteins are responsible for signal detection and translation into other types of signals. A very well known protein is called id rhodopsin - the light detecting protein.

Fluid / Ph balance
Proteins participate in the maintenance of osmotic pressure, which controls the amount of water that is found inside of cells. With their ability to combine with both acidic and basic substances, proteins help to maintain the normal acid-base balance in the body.

3. Good Sources of Protein - Essential and Non-essential Amino Acids
In general, essential amino acids are those that the human body cannot synthesize and therefore must be consumed from good sources of protein. The eight essential amino acids are isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

Nonessential amino acids are those that the body can manufacture on its own from a proper diet of fats, carbohydrates and good food sources of protein. The nonessential amino acids include glutamate, alanine, aspartate, glutamine, arginine, proline, serine, tyrosine, cysteine, taurine, and glycine.

With histidine it appears the body can and cannot produce it during certain periods of development. Typically infants must be fed good sources of protein to obtain histidine.

4. Good Sources of Protein - Food and Supplements
It is important to understand how values for Nutrients have been determined by the US Food and Drug Administration. The unit of measure is called Daily Reference Value (DRV).

DRVs for the energy-producing nutrients (fat, carbohydrate, protein, and fiber) are based on the number of calories consumed per day. For labeling purposes, 2,000 calories has been established as the reference for calculating percent Daily Values with:
  1. fat based on 30 percent of calories
  2. saturated fat based on 10 percent of calories
  3. carbohydrate based on 60 percent of calories
  4. protein based on 10 percent of calories.
The DRV for protein applies to adults and children over the age of four. Fiber is based on 11.5 g of fiber per 1,000 calories.

Food Component DRV
fat 65 grams (g)
saturated fatty acids 20 g
cholesterol 300 milligrams (mg)
total carbohydrate 300 g
fiber 25 g
sodium 2,400 mg
potassium 3,500 mg
protein** 50 g

**DRV for protein does not apply to certain populations; Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for protein has been established for these groups: children 1 to 4 years: 16 g; infants under 1 year: 14 g; pregnant women: 60 g; nursing mothers: 65 g.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration's
Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling
Good sources of protein include, but are not limited to, the following:

Food Serving Size Calories Amount (grams) % Daily Value
Venison 4 oz. 179.2 34.25 68.5
Tuna, yellowfin, baked/broiled 4 oz. 157.6 33.99 68.0
Chicken breast, roasted 4 oz. 223.4 33.79 67.6
Turkey breast, roasted 4 oz. 214.3 32.56 65.1
Beef tenderloin, lean, broiled 4 oz. 240.4 32.04 64.1
Halibut, baked/broiled 4 oz. 158.8 30.27 60.5
Lamb loin, roasted 4 oz. 229.1 30.15 60.3
Snapper, baked/broiled 4 oz. 145.2 29.82 59.6
Salmon, chinook, baked/broiled 4 oz. 261.9 29.14 58.3
Soybeans, cooked 1 cup 297.6 28.62 57.2
Cod, baked/broiled 4 oz. 119.1 26.03 52.1
Calf's liver, braised 4 oz. 187.1 24.53 49.1
Shrimp, steamed/boiled 4 oz. 112.3 23.71 47.4
Scallops, baked/broiled 4 oz. 151.7 23.11 46.2
Tempeh, cooked 4 oz. 223.4 20.63 41.3
Lentils, cooked 1 cup 229.7 17.86 35.7
Split peas, cooked 1 cup 231.3 16.35 32.7
Navy beans, cooked 1 cup 258.4 15.83 31.7
Kidney beans, cooked 1 cup 224.8 15.35 30.7
Black beans, cooked 1 cup 227.0 15.24 30.5
Lima beans, cooked 1 cup 216.2 14.66 29.3
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas), cooked 1 cup 269.0 14.53 29.1
Pinto beans, cooked 1 cup 234.3 14.04 28.1
Yogurt, low-fat 1 cup 155.1 12.86 25.7
Peanuts, raw 1/4 cup 207.0 9.42 18.8
Tofu, raw 4 oz. 86.2 9.16 18.3
Goat's milk 1 cup 167.9 8.69 17.4
Green peas, boiled 1 cup 134.4 8.58 17.2
Pumpkin seeds, raw 1/4 cup 186.7 8.47 16.9
Rye, whole grain, uncooked 1/3 cup 188.7 8.31 16.6
Cow's milk, 2% 1 cup 121.2 8.13 16.3
Mozzarella cheese, part-skim, shredded 1 oz. 72.1 6.88 13.8
Spelt grains, cooked 4 oz. 144.0 6.24 12.5
Oats, whole grain, cooked 1 cup 145.1 6.08 12.2
Egg, whole, boiled 1 each 68.2 5.54 11.1

Consuming good sources of protein, both pure and natural, is vital to your health.

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