Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sunday is for Relaxing and Reading ..... all about Protein

No, this isn't me, but it does look like a blissful way to spend a Sunday.

And while you're relaxing is the perfect time to get to that reading that you don't have time for during the rest of the week. Sometimes all you feel like is some escapist literature, but often it's also nice to stretch your mind a bit and learn about something new.

Every Sunday I will give you some quick overviews of interesting articles, books, websites and blogposts that I have found which I think you might find interesting in your quest for healthy Paleo living.

At the end of each post I will give you some links in case you feel like exploring the subject further - from your hammock or wherever your particular favourite relaxing place might be.


In case you don't know, there are only three main macronutrients making up the foods we eat - Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrates.

The Paleo diet generally recommends a high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate diet, so, as a Paleo Primal eater, understanding what these three macronutrients do for your body, as well as how you can eat the best sources, should be important to you.

It isn't necessary to delve into all the scientific information (though you can if you wish and I will give you some links later) to be a successful Paleo eater. I think just a general understanding is fine, as long as you know which foods contain these macronutrients, which ones you should eat, and which ones you should stay away from.

Today I am going to concentrate on Protein. If you're not into science, something like this graph probably makes your mind seize up and stop working, but what you really need to know is actually pretty simple. (Image from biotech.about.com)

Protein is what builds your body, therefore you want to always make sure you get an adequate supply. Mark Sisson recommends anywhere from .5 to 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body weight, depending upon your activity level.

That being said, what are the best sources ? Some of the best are wild salmon, tuna, organic chickens, grass-fed beef, organic eggs and almonds.

You don't want to buy farmed salmon because they are often fed things you don't want in your system. Wild Alaskan salmon is the best but there are other options.

You can often buy frozen wild salmon at places like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. And there is also canned wild salmon available at pretty reasonable prices.

Fresh tuna steaks are amazing but tend to be expensive depending where you live. Again there is the canned option. For some reason I haven't seen it frozen but that might just be my neck of the woods.

You always want to choose free-range organic chicken over regular. Free-range chickens get to roam around outside and peck on the ground. Regular chicken, like beef, is fed grain and given hormones, as well as being kept inside in pretty horrible conditions.

If organic is out of the question for your budget then at least try for hormone free which is usually priced somewhere in the middle of the two other options.

The same goes for the eggs that come from those chickens. A lot now are especially high in Omega3 which, for a few pennies more is worth the expense if you are concerned about your intake.

Almonds and almond butter, as well as nuts in general have been used as protein sources by vegetarians for years. Stay away from peanuts though which are really not nuts but legumes. (

And lastly there is whey protein used in protein shakes. As this is a dairy product, it isn't acceptable to all Paleo eaters, therefore can't really be classified as a favourite Paleo protein source. However if you do eat dairy it can be a good supplement to your diet as a snack or occasional meal replacement.

When buying protein shakes make sure they are not full of sugar. There are several available now which use Stevia as a sweetener. Jay Robb makes some and of course there is Mark Sisson's Primal Fuel. (Image from primalblueprint.com)

To learn more about protein and the various protein sources, check out these posts from Mark Sisson : http://www.marksdailyapple.com/protein-kidneys/#axzz1n2DDWczH http://www.marksdailyapple.com/low-carb-diabetes/#axzz1n2DDWczH http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dietary-protein/#axzz1n2F6PHSW http://www.marksdailyapple.com/top-ten-protein-sources/#axzz1n2FYY643

Read this article on why eating protein keeps you from getting hungry http://www.biologynews.net/archives/2006/09/05/eating_protein_boosts_hormone_that_staves_off_hunger.html

 And if you really want to delve into the science

 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw

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... don't have enough information?
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