Friday, April 10, 2015

Not All Protein Created Equal

We’re not a normal family for many reasons, but one that I often have to remind myself is that we eat beef at almost every meal. I have a freezer full of meat that we raise ourselves.  It is the same beef that we raise for thousand’s of families to serve at their tables. But, I have to always stop and think that not every family eats beef like my family does. 

I strive like most moms to make sure my kids get a balanced diet. I am always thinking, did they eat enough fruit and vegetables today; how about milk, did they get enough calcium today; am I instilling these important eating habits that they will carry with them throughout their life? But one thing I don’t worry about is their protein intake because I know that feeding them beef means I am getting a big bang for my buck. Beef is packed with the good stuff that their bodies need.

Tumbleweed captured in fence on our farm
Not all protein is created equal.  Sure, I’ve found myself packing peanut butter sandwiches in lunches, thinking well that’s good enough for protein. But is it? When I look at this list, sure it is. All of these foods have 25 grams of protein. But, it’s not realistic for me to get my kids to eat 1 ¾ cups of black beans. I also have to admit that I’ve never even served Quinoa in my house. After all it’s related to the tumbleweed and where we come from that’s not food.

In a world that is concerned with kids and obesity this chart also explains the calories involved with getting 25 grams of protein. That is where not all proteins are created equal. The dietary guidelines have proposed to cut lean red meat out of our diets. Looking at this comparison of foods and calories, it takes twice the calories to get the same 25 grams of protein from beans and grains compared to lean beef.  

So what can you do? Take the time to comment on the proposed guidelines. This link takes you to the comment section, you can read what others have commented and the full proposal. Remember that you can make difference.  Comment period closes May 8th. 

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