best sources of protein and iron other than steak!

Hi, was surprised by what cronometer recommended for my protein intake, it is almost double what I am eating and I eat equal to my weight in gm of protein a day! How can I increase my protein easily without having to cook all day, I eat 2 meals a day and this works for me but surprised ( not really) that fish is so low in protein unless I open my own butchers shop how else can I reach my protein target easily? Any suggestions? Eggs are good but I have to eat a lot, lamb is good but very fatty. What about cheese? Is the protein in it as bioavailable a smeat?


  • How much protein do you need? Don't rely on a computer program to tell you.

    I get my protein from vegetables....

  • @hillhiker

    It sounds like you have your macronutrients set to a custom target, which is influencing your requirements. The RDA for protein is 0.8 g per kg of healthy body weight (i.e. weight that is in the "normal BMI range"). However, protein needs may be slightly higher if you are an athlete, following a vegan diet, or an older adult. That said, few of us (non-athletes) need more than 1.2 g per kg of healthy body weight.

    Lean meat like tuna and chicken are good sources of protein, as are plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese. Eggs don't have that much protein per egg (6-7 g), so you do have to eat a fair number to reach higher targets. Tofu, seeds, pulses, and seitan are really good plant-based sources, as are protein powders and some protein bars, which can be used in a pinch.

    Let us know if you have any follow-up questions.

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • Thanks for sharing this.

  • Protein is an important nutrient for our body. Good sources of protein include meat, fish, chicken, eggs, dairy, beans, soy foods, nuts, and seeds. White beans are the only true vegetarian source of iron that can match high iron concentration, packing 44 percent of your daily needs per cup. Beans are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and plenty of important vitamins and minerals. Recently my friend was suggested by a doctor that to take enough protein supplement but she was confused about some other supplements then she consulted a health care expert who offered her a plan called Cigna plan G who has fulfilled all his requirements at a very minimum budget.

  • Canned baby boiled clams are really high in iron and all protein. Canned salmon is a great convenient source of protein too.

    I eat chicken, salmon, clams, egg, beef, for my animal proteins everyday. Broccoli and nuts and other vegetables add some too to my total. I never have a problem reaching mine and mine is set just under 1 gram for each lb

  • Have you guys checked out Cronometer's Nutrient Oracle? This feature is found on the foods tab (Gold users only) and can show you foods high in a certain nutrient. Learn more in the user manual:

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  • edited January 2020

    I float between 80-82kg, and I'm active but not athletic (during school terms I walk walk 90-120' 3pw, walk 30' 3pw, lift weights 3pw, in no case pushing to PRs as I'm 48 and been there done that; outside school terms I'm mostly just lifting) so I set my protein intake goal as 100g normally, which is the 1.2g/kg suggested above.

    My overall caloric goal is 2,000kCal, as I find this maintains my weight in the school holidays, and keeps me leaner during school terms - this varies a lot between individuals, I found this by experiment.

    I don't eat a lot of meat and don't find it difficult to achieve this. I aim at 4 meals a day of about 400kCal each, allowing me 200-400kCal to choose things filling out any missing nutrients each day as a late-night snack, or a small amount of junk food. Once you've done this for a month or two, you realise there are small amounts of everything in everything, and it all adds up.

    Here's an example day for me, with the protein from each in g.

    Breakfast (414kCal)

    • Water 250ml
    • Oats dry 60g / 7.9g
    • Milk whole 200ml / 6.3g
    • Honey 1 tbspn / 0.1g

    Morning tea (323kCal)

    • Water 250ml
    • Chobani yoghurt (this is a low-fat yoghurt) 200g / 21.1g
    • apple 100g / 0.3g
    • banana 100g / 1.1g
    • strawberries 100g / 0.7g

    Lunch (481kCal)

    • Water 250ml
    • Four seed loaf wholegrain bread 2 slices (86g) / 12.6g
    • Lettuce 50g / 0.6g
    • tomato 100g / 0.9g
    • edam cheese 40g / 10g
    • hummus 40g / 2.9

    Dinner (420kCal)

    • Water 250ml
    • Pasta cooked unenriched 160g / 9.3g
    • Vegie pasta sauce 300g / 3.6g (this sauce is my recipe made up of 200g each of carrots, celery, onion, zucchini, capsicum, plus an 800g tin of diced tomatoes)
    • parmesan cheese 1 tbsp / 1.8g

    This comes to some 1,640kCal with 79g protein, and so I might have a late supper of,

    • salmon smoked 100g / 18.3g
    • alomonds raw 28g / 5.9g

    and then it comes to a total of 1,916kCal and 103g protein.

    I note that this all follows the Australian Dietary Guidelines, except that I have had 1 serve from the "meat" group (which includes fish and legumes) rather than 3. But another 2 serves of meat would blow my calories past 2,000, making me have to be pickier with other stuff which I can't be bothered with, and anyway I hit most of the micronutrient goals, too.

    Having a lot of meat makes it easier to get protein, but assuming relatively modest goals it's not necessary. If you didn't have dairy either it'd be hard but can be done.

    Obviously not every day is like this but you get the idea. As you fiddle with this, you find that if you want to hit 100% in the micronutrients you end up eating quite a large variety of foods, having a handful of this, a spoonful of that. It starts to make sense that most countries' dietary guidelines say, "have a VARIETY of..." If you only eat a few different things it's trickier.

  • edited September 2020

    White beans are the only true vegetarian source of iron that can match high iron concentration, packing 44 percent of your daily needs per cup. Beans are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and plenty of important vitamins and minerals.

  • edited September 2020

    Salmon and Steak are the most nutritious meats by far. I don't think you should shy away from them unless you are a vegan or vegetarian. If you just care about the protein you could just use a protein powder.

    Supplements usually are not ideal but in the case of whey protein, it is more similar to a food than it is a capsule supplement.

  • edited October 2020

    The only source of protein that is better than steak is a bigger steak.

    (See my thread about Harvard for sources)

  • You can always check different types of protein, to figure out what exact do you need, and how your body reacts on this or that food additives. I prefer to consume this BioTrust protein powder with awesome milk chocolate taste. It's also nice when I know for sure what ingredients they use for producing it, and that they're absolutely safe.

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