The average person should consume 1g of protein per 2.2lbs of body weight. A high protein diet / food plan focuses on more of a 1g of protein to 1lb of body weight ratio. A common misconception is that all proteins are created equal which is not the case and research should be done prior to starting a program high in protein (see “Protein in the Diet”). Overall, a diet that receives most of its calories from protein would be considered a high protein diet / food plan.
Reasons for high protein consumption
There are several groups of people that utilize this kind of protein intake strategy, they include: athletes, bodybuilders, actors/actresses, and recreational weight lifters. As you can see, these groups all have one thing in common; they are looking to substantially increase muscle mass with protein being essential to that process.
Doctors may also prescribe a high protein diet / food plan for individuals looking to lose weight. Consuming less carbs and fats can lead to weight loss because proteins are not stored the same way as carbohydrates and fats.
Foods to stay away from
Aside from the obvious items like carbs and fats, there are certain types of proteins to stay away from as well. Eating any protein that does not have a complete protein chain on its own (with near equal amounts of essential amino acids) or does not pair well with another food to form complete proteins is a near worthless protein. The goal of a high protein diet / food plan is to consume large amounts of high quality proteins that the body can utilize to build muscle. This goal cannot be achieved if the correct kinds of protein are not consumed.
Foods to go after
Forming equal amounts of complete protein chains is of the utmost importance. One can eat protein all day long but if the body cannot use it, it does not matter. Foods that offer near equal amounts of complete protein chains include eggs (whites and yolk contain equal amounts of protein) and quinoa (one of the few pure vegan alternatives that contain a complete chain). Most meats contain complete chains as well but not in equal amounts and often need to be paired with foods to achieve the complete chain.
One of the best examples of this is to pair chicken with brown rice. Aside from being highly cost effective, the white meat is more easily digested than beef and the sheer amount of protein from this combo is very high when compared to trying to get the same results from vegetarian foods.