All About Dietary Protein
Protein is a macronutrient that helps to build and maintain muscle and tissue (other macronutrients are fat and carbohydrates). Protein is made up of amino acids and is required in every cellular function. Some protein exists naturally within our bodies, and some is required through food. This protein, known as dietary protein, is essential to life.
In the SHAPE Program, Phase I: FasTrac Cleanse, you are required to you eat a minimum of 8 oz. of dietary protein daily, with increases based on your practitioner’s recommendation. Always measure dietary protein sources in ounces (oz.), not number of grams per serving. You can use a food scale to measure by weight or a measuring cup to measure by volume.
Because not all sources of dietary protein are purely protein, we classify proteins into dense, mid-dense and non-dense:
· Dense protein includes beef, poultry, fish, and goat and sheep cheese. While these foods contain mostly dietary protein, they also contain some fat. When cooking with dense proteins, be sure to cut off visible fat before cooking. Measuring after cooking is usually best, but not required.
· Mid-dense protein includes eggs and tofu. They contain protein, but also some fat and a small amount of carbohydrates.
· Non-dense protein includes yogurt and cottage cheese. These foods contain protein, some fat and carbohydrates in the form of lactose, a naturally-occurring sugar. Non-dense protein is optional for Phase I.
Serving Size (4 oz)CaloriesFatCarbProteinDense
Beef, 90% lean20011 g0 g23 gChicken Breast1201 g0 g26 gHalibut1242.6 g0 g23 gGoat/Sheep Cheese (3 oz)15017 g0 g15 gMid-DenseEggs1439.6 g0.8 g12.6 gTofu724 g4 g8 gNon-DenseGreek Yogurt, low-fat652.2 g4.5 g11.5 gCottage Cheese, 2%902.5 g4 g13 g
If you’re a vegetarian, you won’t be eating any dense proteins, so in order to meet your daily requirements, you’ll need to consume more than the minimum 8 oz. of mid- and non-dense dietary proteins. Your practitioner will help you determine what is necessary for your success or you may decide that you feel better adding a few dense protein options.
If you’re not a vegetarian, your practitioner will help you determine how much dense protein is necessary based on your urinalysis results. Non-dense protein can be added, up to 14 oz. per day above the minimum dietary protein requirements determined by your practitioner.
What about protein days?
Protein days should only be done in Phase II or as recommended by your practitioner. Your Program Guidebook explains how to do a protein day or you can read article, “Why, When and How Should I Do a Protein Day?” If your practitioner recommends that you do a protein day, be sure to choose only dense protein sources. If you’re a vegetarian, talk with your practitioner about the best way to do a protein day.
Remember: the SHAPE Program is not one-size-fits-all. We know that each of you are different. It’s up to you and your SHAPE practitioner to determine what is best for your unique journey.
SHAPE Central will continue to study the health effects of various foods, products and ingredients. Please know that we are intentional with our program, and all decisions are made with your health and success in mind.