Protein – what is it and why should I care?

This week is British Egg Week and the theme this year is Protein Power.  There’s a lot of talk in the media about the need to eat enough of this essential nutrient, and lots of new products being launched and advertised as being high in protein.  But why is it important, how much do we need and where can we get it from?

Why is it good for us?

Our bodies need protein to build and repair tissue.  It’s a fundamental nutrient for our bones, muscles, skin and blood.  It’s used to make hormones, enzyme and other chemicals.  In short, we need it in order to maintain good health.

What else does protein do?

Foods that are rich in protein keep us feeling fuller for longer.  So if you’re looking to manage your weight, a meal that includes lean protein will reduce the chances of you reaching for the biscuit tin quite so soon.  But don’t load up the plate with it at the cost of other food groups – it’s all about balance.

How much protein should we eat

How much do we need?

The Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) is set at 0.75g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day for adults.  So for a man who weighs 75 kilos that equates to 56 grams and for the average UK woman who weighs 60 kilos that’s 45 grams of protein per day.

According to www.nutrition.org.uk the British population currently exceeds the average daily intake of protein.  37% of our intake currently comes from meat, 23% from cereals, 14% from milk and other sources are vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, fish and eggs.

However with the growing trend towards veganism, and others looking to reduce their consumption of meat and dairy for environmental reasons we could be storing up problems for the future if we don’t find alternative sources for our protein needs.

Yolk Folk poached egg on top of beans on toast
Alexandria French Photography

What does that look like? And where else can I get it from?

Well, one large egg contains 7.9g of protein so three eggs scrambled at breakfast or made into an omelette for dinner can contribute 23.7g nearly half of your daily needs.

A 200ml glass of semi-skimmed milk contains 6.8g.  Add that to a bowl of Shreddies and you’re starting your day with nearly 11g.

Yoghurt can vary – Greek yoghurt tends to contain more protein than regular, but a popular brand of natural yoghurt comes in at 5.1g per 100g – that’s the size of a small yoghurt pot.

Four fish fingers contain 13g – if you put them between two slices of bread (and who doesn’t like a fish finger sandwich?) you’ll have another 6-8g of protein to add. 

And you’ll get 9.7g from half a tin of baked beans.

100g of rump steak brings in a massive 19g of protein, and a 130g salmon fillet contains 24.6g.

While a snack of 30g almonds contains 6.3g.

So you can see, it quickly adds up if you’re eating a balanced diet. Take a look at the recipes on our blog to see different ways of incorporating Yolk Folk eggs into your diet.

4 thoughts on “Protein – what is it and why should I care?”

  1. Beans on toast with a poached egg are a favourite on Saturdays after a morning exercise (and almonds as a snack). I still need to try the Turkish eggs recipe ?.

    1. Beans on toast with an egg is such easy comfort food – ideal after exercise! Let us know what you think of the Turkish Eggs when you try them? We can’t get enough of them!

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