Protein Sources

단백질보충제 Proteins help build and repair cells, tissues and muscles and provide energy. They’re also one of the few nutrients listed on food labels with a Daily Value, explains registered dietitian Cara Harbstreet.


Eggs are an easy protein source that offers 6 grams per large egg, as well as other vitamins and minerals including vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and brain-healthy choline. Try them hard-boiled, scrambled or in a spinach omelet.


Meat (including beef, pork and poultry) is a protein source that also provides important nutrients like iodine, zinc and vitamin B12. Eating lean meats in moderation can help reduce saturated fat and sodium intake.

A healthy diet should provide a variety of protein sources to meet individual needs. It is best to choose a combination of animal and plant proteins, which will offer the full range of essential amino acids, allowing individuals to satisfy their dietary preferences and specific nutrient needs.

Protein is found in many foods, including beans, tofu, dairy and eggs. These sources are less expensive than meat and can be a good choice for those limiting the amount of red meat in their diets.

The calorie and fat content of animal protein can add up quickly, so it is important to choose lean cuts 단백질보충제 of meat. Avoid processed meats like bacon and sausage to limit your intake of saturated fat and sodium.

When choosing meat, look for options with the American Heart Association heart-check mark on the label to make sure it is low in saturated fat and sodium. Cooked chicken and turkey breast are both protein sources that are lower in fat than beef. Other sources of lean meat include bison, which offers more protein per ounce than beef and is low in sodium, and venison, which has a high protein to fat ratio.


Milk proteins like whey and casein provide a source of high quality protein and are also rich in calcium and important vitamins and minerals, such as phosphorus, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin D. They are an excellent source of dietary energy and may help to support bone health and a healthy weight.

Dairy foods are also a key part of a healthy diet, providing a number of other nutrients. These include choline, selenium, and folate, as well as healthy fats such as saturated fat-free and polyunsaturated fats, which may lower blood cholesterol levels.

A growing body of evidence shows that dairy products are a good source of protein and a valuable part of a healthy eating pattern. In fact, replacing higher-fat animal proteins like red meat with dairy products can help reduce our risk for heart disease, obesity and a number of other chronic diseases.

A high-protein diet is important for people at every life stage, particularly pregnant and breastfeeding women, athletes, and older adults. However, the amount of protein we need varies from one person to another. To ensure that you get enough protein, be sure to choose lean meats, poultry, fish, low-fat or nonfat dairy and other high-protein plant foods. Remember to read Nutrition Facts labels so that you can select the protein sources that are right for you.


In addition to dairy, meat and legumes, many vegetables are packed with protein. You can incorporate them in a variety of ways in your meals and snacks, steamed, roasted, mixed into soup or served as a side dish. Some of the most protein-packed vegetables include peas, spinach and broccoli.

Vegetables, like beans and whole grains, are plant-based protein sources. They are rich in a wide range of nutrients including potassium, calcium and iron. The term vegetable is sometimes used in a very general sense to refer to any kind of plant matter, but more commonly to the edible portions of herbaceous plants—roots, stems, leaves and flowers that are eaten fresh or cooked for savory dishes. Some of these plant parts, such as tomatoes and seeds like the pea, are also considered fruits, but they are often treated as vegetables in culinary contexts, such as pies.

Although it is a technical distinction that botanists make, most of us use the word “vegetable” in a very broad sense to include all edible portions of herbaceous plants. That way we can easily refer to things like rhubarb, which is not a fruit but is used in savory dessert applications, and corn, which is usually referred to as a vegetable but is technically a grain. The foods we call vegetables can be grouped into eight different categories based on the part of the plant they come from: leaves (spinach, lettuce), stalks (celery), roots (carrots and turnips), tubers (potatoes), bulbs (onions) and flowers (broccoli). Beans and peas are included in this group too.


A nutrient-dense food, lentils contain protein, fibre and iron and are low in fat. These little legumes also contain a variety of health-promoting plant compounds including phytochemicals, antioxidants and antimicrobial properties. Rich in prebiotic fibre, lentils promote healthy gut bacteria and help support regularity. Eating a diet high in fibre helps reduce risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity, which are linked to poor nutrition.

Lentils are a versatile, inexpensive and easy-to-cook pantry staple. They can be found in most supermarkets and are available in a range of colours, shapes and sizes. Brown lentils (pictured here) are the most common and hold their shape well, making them great for salads and side dishes. They can be used in soups, stews and casseroles. Green lentils, which are smaller and rounder than brown lentils, have a mild flavour and keep their shape after cooking making them ideal for tossing in salads or using as the base of a grain bowl.

One cup of cooked lentils provides you with 6.5g of iron, which is nearly half of your RDI for the day! This mineral is important for building and repairing red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body. Together with chickpeas, fava beans and quinoa, lentils are one of the ‘fantastic four’ alternative proteins highlighted in our Smart Protein project as crop options that offer cost effective, sustainable, nutritious and delicious foods.