Benefits of Protein


I love Men’s Health magazine. And no, it is not because there are pictures of gorgeous men in various levels of dress and undress.

1 abc men suitIt is simply because they have some of the best heath information out there.

OK! So maybe the hunks in bathing suits and work out gear are a part of it too.

Nevertheless, I am a believer in a high protein diet as opposed to the United State government’s recommendation of a high carb diet.

I will only mention in passing that since the government came out with their recommended diet in the seventies obesity in America has been going up, up, and away. That is why the government also says there is an epidemic of obesity in the country today. Americans have been following the government’s recommendations.

Back to Men’s Health. I was looking for some research on the best way to lose belly fat, and I found a great article in Men’s Health that reported on a study done by the Danes.


If you want to shrink your gut, get enough protein in your diet. In this case, about 25 percent of calories. Why? For starters, protein makes you feel full and helps you build muscle (which increases metabolism, thereby making it easier to lose weight). Just as important, high-protein diets have been shown to be the best way of attacking belly fat. Consider a 1999 study published in the International Journal of Obesity. Danish researchers put 65 people on either a 12 percent protein diet or a 25 percent protein diet. The low-protein dieters lost an average of 11 pounds, which isn’t bad. But the high-protein subjects lost an average of 20 pounds–including twice as much abdominal fat as the low-protein group. [Emphasis mine.]


If interested, you can read the entire article by clicking the following link: Loose Belly Fat.

There are definite benefits from eating protein. But like with any and everything there are pros and cons.

PROS: A protein diet can help you lose weight without having to feel hungry most of the day.

CONS: A high protein diet we are told by the Food Police and the American Heart Association causes us to eat a high fat diet. Any fat is a big NO-NO to these folks.

1 a steakYes. You can or could eat more fatty foods on a high protein diet. However, as I wrote about here, Foods That Are Healthier, fatty foods make you feel full longer so the tendency is you eat less food during the day.

Since Americans generally eat 12% to 18% of their daily food as fats, you could easily increase that to 25% and still not cut out too many carbs.

And take note that high protein foods are often good for you: chicken, turkey, tuna fish, salmon, eggs, lean beef, pork, soy, nuts, peanut butter, and yogurt to name but  a few.

I stick with my basic diet expressed here many times in many posts. I eat what I want. I eat less of it – portion control – add a veggie or a fruit and eat a colorful diet.

And I eat a nice juicy steak when ever I get a hankering for it.

Featured Recipe        Steak with Shallots and Mushrooms


Keeping with today’s topic, today’s recipe is high protein.

Today’s recipe and meal is as quick and easy as can be. It is a meal that is both high in protein yet includes plenty of veggies. If you eat this with a whole grain roll even the Food Police might think it was healthy.

Many people think they cannot afford to eat steak during this recession. Au contraire!  A rib eye or a sirloin runs about $19.99 a pound in the Columbus area. The skirt steak I used in today’s recipe was half that – $9.99 a pound

You can use your favorite expensive steak for this recipe or you can make this meal a budget friendly one simply by using an inexpensive cut of beef with out sacrificing taste.

Those cuts of beef would include: hanger steak, skirt steak, or tri-tip steak. Or you can wait for a sale of your favorite steak.

The recipe can be doubled tripled.

This is what you will need for 2 people:

2 steaks of your choice or 1 pound skirt or hanger steak cut in half – I used skirt steak

2 tablespoon olive oil – divided

2 tablespoons unsalted butter – divided

2 large shallots or 4 small

8 mushrooms of your choice – I am using cremini

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley

Salt and pepper to taste


Here is what you do:

Salt and pepper both sides of the steak. Let sit at least 15 minutes.


Prep the veggies: Peel the shallots and slice. Clean and slice the mushrooms. Chop the parsley.


Heat 1 tablespoon each of the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallots and the mushrooms and cook for about 6 minutes.




Remove the mixture from the heat and add the butter and red wine vinegar. Mix well and transfer to a plate or small pot.



Keep the mixture warm in a toaster oven.



Now heat the skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Add the remaining oil. Place the steaks in the pan and cook 2-3 minutes per side for rare or longer as you like.

I cooked side one for 3 minutes, and side two for 2 minutes.



Let the steak sit for a couple of minutes to let the juices redistribute.


Plate the steak and top with some of the shallot mushroom mix. Sprinkle a bit of parsley on top.


Serve with a medley of roasted vegetables and/or a salad and a whole grain roll.


Perfectly cooked medium rare.


For the roasted veggies

I just use salad bar veggies to save time. But you can get more or other veggies according to personal preference and time constraints. To that I add 1 or 2 small potatoes. The broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and tomatoes are high in protein. As are the mushrooms cooked with the steak.


I just add some olive oil and salt and pepper and roast them on a large baking pan – if the veggies are too close together they will only steam not roast so give them some room – for about 10-15 minutes……maybe 20. Check often. You want them brown around the edges.


Bon appétit!!!


2 steaks                               $10.09                                               

2 tbspn olive oil                     $0.46

2 tbspn  butter                      $0.16

2 large shallots                     $0.63

8 mushrooms                        $1.22

4 tbspn red wine vin              $0.32

1 tbspn parsley                     $0.11

S & P to taste

Total cost =$13.89
Cost  per person = $6.96

NOTE: The vegetables and roll added another $3.68 to the cost of this meal.

Quote of the Day

The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.

Julia Child


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4 comments to Benefits of Protein

  • Great recipe! Love that cut of beef. I marinate it and grill it then toss it over arugula. Protein is why we have big brains. If we want to be un-obese we need more protein, less low-fat shit and fewer processed foods. I know… not PC.
    Read Richard Wrangham – Catching Fire, How Cooking Made Us Human. Amazing book.

    • Roberta

      Indeed, Julia, protein is why we have big brains. I agree with all you said. I am not PC in any way, shape, or form. Never will be.

      Have read excerpts and reviews of Catching Fire. Have not had time to read full book yet, but it is on my list. Did blog post on it to.
      Thanks for weighing in. Nice to know another ‘not PCer.’ 🙂

  • Hi, Roberta! I’m getting my Feedly in order and am happy to add your blog 🙂 With 3 growing sons who all play baseball, it’s all about protein! I, too, feel so much better when my protein (and iron) intake are rather high. What is your take on protein combinations, such as rice and beans? Thanks and see you on twitter 🙂

    • Roberta

      Great to see you here, Angie. 🙂 3 growing sons. Quite a challenge. And yes, they need lots of proteins as athletes.

      I think protein combos are great. And rice and beans are two of the best!