Bones are primarily made of protein. Sure, we think of them as mostly calcium, but calcium is only a small portion of the total construct. Most of Bone Matrix, the part that is not marrow, is collagen. Collagen is protein.
Protein is essential in our diet. But many are now cutting back on red meat because of the threat of cholesterol and triglycerides in fatty meats. Others elininate meat for perceived ethical considerations. But we still need protein!! And we can get it.
Lean meats such as poultry, fish, and bison can answer the cholesterol and triglyceride issues. So can low fat ricotta and cottage cheeses (28g/cup). Mollusks and crustaceans too. But what of non-animal sources?
Soybeans are the best plant source of protein. A cup of mature soybeans has as much protein (28g) as 3 oz of poultry or fish. Green Soybeans are equal to 3 oz of beef or pork at 22g. Tofu is about half that at 8g/120g portion. A cup of uncooked barley or couscous is very good at 20 g, but cooked that is over 2 cups.
Beans all have 15g or more protein per cup. White, pinto, kidney, black, navy, great northern, and lima beans in that order. Lentils and split peas a little more; garbanzos and black-eyed peas a little less. Trail Mix was a surprize at 21 g/cup.
Firm cheeses are about 25% protein at around 7g/oz. Peanuts and almonds have 6+g/oz. These are all more concentrated than beans but higher calories too.
The above were taken from the USDA Nutrient Databases for Standard Reference, Release 25. Check out other items at www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata.
Take Control Naturally. Get proper nutrition. Eat a diet with enough protein for bone health. And enough Calcium and Vitamin D3.
Jay Ginther, MD
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