Posted: Jun 20, 2012 4:44 PM by Erin Schermele - MTN
GREAT FALLS - According to the Cascade County Extension Office, most people eat much more protein than recommended daily, and out-of-control portions can lead to problems like high cholesterol or heart disease.
The average person who gets less that 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day only needs about five to seven ounces of protein, or about a small fistful.
But county extension agent Jona McNamee said people often exceed their requirement. "You will see, when you go into the grocery store, a chicken breast and we think that's one serving, but it's seven to nine ounces, maybe even 11 ounces, and that could be three or four servings for a family."
Mcnamee encourages people to be more mindful of the amount of food they put on their plate.
If you're eating meat, you only need about two or three ounces in a meal, about the size of a deck of cards. The county extension office also encourages people to choose lean meats, such as chicken, turkey and fish, rather than bacon, burger and sausage.
And for low-cost vegetarian options, look to beans and eggs.
"Fat is flavor, but you don't need all that flavor all the time," said Sandee Cardinal, extension nutrition educator. "You can add a lot of flavors and seasonings...back into the lean meats."
When it comes to protein, sometimes the healthier options are more expensive, but Mcnamee says looking for sales, buying in bulk and freezing is a cost effective solution.
"Cook it correctly, store it correctly, and thaw it correctly," she said.