Pregnancy: How much protein does a pregnant woman need? (Sponsored by Wholesome Cravings)
Wholesome Cravings Protein Bars
Now that I’m in my second trimester I’m finding it to be so difficult to take in enough protein each day. While it has been easier to eat things like cheese and poultry than it was in my first trimester, I just know I’m not taking in enough protein. I’ve turned to places like Pinterest and BabyCenter.com for some easy protein ideas but the tastiest solution has come from Wholesome Cravings.
Disclosure: I received free product samples to facilitate my review. Any opinion expressed in this article is based on my experience with the products and is never influenced by compensation. Image credit goes to Wholesome Cravings.
Wholesome Cravings offers Gluten free, wholesome baking mixes free of artificial sweeteners, fillers or preservatives. My favorite of their four flavors is the Pumpkin Spice protein baking mix. Approximately one brownie size gives you eight grams of protein. The best part is that you don’t even realize you’re eating something healthy. One tip I have is to use real sugar where they tell you to use the sweeter of your choice. I was trying to be “healthy” and used apple sauce instead of sugar, as I do in other recipes, and they were lacking a little bit of sweetness.
The Wholesome Cravings bars/muffins are super moist, convenient and packed with protein. Swap a Wholesome Cravings dessert for your traditional dessert for an extra boost of protein. Plus, the whole family will love them.
Why you need protein during pregnancy (from BabyCenter.com)
The amino acids that make up protein are the building blocks of your body’s cells – and of your baby’s body as well. It’s important to get enough protein throughout your pregnancy, but especially during the second and third trimesters, when your baby is growing the fastest and your breasts and organs are getting bigger to accommodate the needs of your growing baby.
How much protein you need (from BabyCenter.com)
Pregnant women: about 70 grams (g) of protein per day
Non-pregnant women: about 45 g
You don’t have to get the recommended amount of protein every day. Instead, aim for that amount as an average over the course of a few days or a week.
Most women in the United States regularly eat more protein in a day than they need, so you probably won’t have any trouble meeting your body’s needs during pregnancy. If you don’t eat meat, you can meet your protein requirements through other sources, including dairy, beans, or soy products.
Food sources of protein
Beans are a great source of protein, as are lean meat, poultry, fish and shellfish, eggs, milk, cheese, tofu, and yogurt. While animal products contain complete proteins (all nine amino acid components) and other plant sources generally don’t, eating a variety of foods throughout the course of the day will help ensure that you get all of the amino acids you need.
Eat three or four servings of protein daily and you’ll be well on your way to eating right for a healthy pregnancy and baby. (Your prenatal daily requirement of 70 grams is the equivalent of two glasses of milk, a 5-ounce chicken breast, and two cups of yogurt, for example.)
Here are some good protein sources:
1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese: 14 g
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese: 14 g
8 ounce container low-fat yogurt: 9 to 12 g
1 ounce Parmesan cheese: 11 g
1 ounce Swiss cheese: 8 g
1 cup skim milk: 8 g
1 ounce part-skim mozzarella cheese: 7 g
1 ounce cheddar cheese: 7 g
1 large fresh egg: 6 g
Beans, nuts, legumes
1/2 cup raw tofu (firm): 20 g
1 cup cooked lentils: 18 g
1 cup canned black beans: 15 g
1 cup canned kidney beans: 13 g
1 cup canned garbanzos: 12 g
1 cup canned pinto beans: 12 g
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter: 8 g
1 ounce dry roasted peanuts: 7 g
1 cup light plain soymilk: 6 g
Meat, poultry and fish
Note that 3 ounces of meat or fish is about the size of a pack of cards.
1/2 roasted chicken breast (no skin): 27 g
3 ounces sockeye salmon: 23 g
3 ounces trout: 23 g
3 ounce lean beef hamburger patty, broiled: 21g
The signs of a protein deficiency
Weight loss, muscle fatigue, frequent infections, and severe fluid retention can be signs that you’re not getting enough protein in your diet.
Shop Wholesome Craving today. Each protein baking powder is only $5.99 so don’t forget to stock up!