T Nation

How much protein?

Can anyone tell me how to figure out how much protein is in say a steak, or ground beef or how many carbs are in something. I just read the hot-rox diet and they suggest 1gram protien per pound of body weight and the same for carbs. How do you figure how much is in fresh foods?

You have a few options. The most precise way is to use a Nutritional Desk Reference (available at amazon and most bookstores) and that will tell you the nutritional content of anything you could imagine. The other way is to rely on some of the many online nutritional aids. I use fitday.com because it is soooo damn convenient, but there are also university-sponsored and government-sponsored sites that can provide the info. Just do a yahoo search.

Basically with fresh meats you need to just look at the values on the sticker. Most often I eat ground sirloin and it has about 43 grams of protein in a cup (8oz’s). Ground sirloin is the leanest ground red meat I have found. It can be found at any grocery store or butcher shop. You could make burgers out of it, or just make about 6 pounds of chili on a Sunday night to last you through the work week like I tend to do.
Good luck, and remember… If the right food choices are readily available to you. You will be more likely to eat them.
Now go make a big batch of chili.

Check out http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/cgi-bin/nut_search.pl. It will give you most everything you need. What it doesn’t have can be found at www.foodcount.com.

Hey Thanks guys if I can get my diet in order I think I’m on my way.

For the most part you can estimate protein intake just from meat, dairy (excluding butter of course), and protein products. If you can add in amounts listed on nutritional labels
or other products, it would add to your accuracy a little, but protein from fruits and vegetables is really low, and tends not to be very high from grains either.

Incidentally, if you’d like the more-extended version of the advice, it’s that one gram per pound is a good amount when on minimum calories, i.e. 12 calories per lb per day. If consuming more than this, then a protein intake of 35-40% of your calories would be better.

So for example if you are on a 3000 calories per day plan, 1050-1200 calories from protein would be good. Divide by 4 to convert this go grams: so, roughly 260-300 grams protein per day.

That’s not to say that if you weigh 180 you couldn’t still get by with 180, but the larger amount seems a little better when training seriously.

Exceeding the 40% figure though seems counterproductive. The reason presumably is that for the same calories, carbs and fats have their own benefits and decreasing them below 60% (inevitable with increasing protein above 40%) is not as good.