Protein Handbook For Beginners: Intro & The History Of Protein.

The word 'protein' is derived from a Greek word 'protas' meaning 'of primary importance.' This online hand book is going to describe what protein is and how important it is to everyone. Learn more right here.
Jump To:

1. Intro & The History Of Protein.

Protein Defined:

    The word 'protein' is defined as any of a group of complex high-molecular-weight organic compounds, consisting essentially of combinations of amino acids in peptide linkages, that contain carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and usually, sulfur.

    Proteins are one of the classes of bio-macromolecules (like polysaccharides, lipids, and nucleic acids), that make up the primary constituents of living things.

The History Of Protein:

    Proteins were discovered by Jöns Jakob Berzelius in 1838 and are among the most actively-studied molecules in biochemistry. The word "Protein" is derived from a Greek word "protas" meaning "of primary importance," because of the fundamental role of proteins in sustaining life.

Protein Uses:

    Protein has many important roles in the body; they are part of every cell: muscles, connective tissue, blood-clotting factors, enzymes, immune bodies, hormones, and bones.

    Protein Is Needed For:

    • Muscle and tissue growth (especially important for children, teens, and pregnant women)
    • Muscle and tissue repair
    • Regulating the pH, or acid-base balance, in the blood
    • Preserving lean muscle mass; especially when on a low carbohydrate diet
    • Controlling many of the important processes in the body related to metabolism
    • Providing energy when carbohydrate is not available
    • Making essential hormones
    • Making and enzymes or subunits of enzymes, catalyzing chemical reactions
    • Immune function via protein antibodies
    • The storage and transport of various ligands
    • Maintain body fluid balance through blood proteins, preventing a condition known as edema (buildup of excess fluid outside body cells)

Protein Food Sources:

    Protein is found in common foods such as:

    • Poultry
    • Fish
    • Meat (e.g., beef, pork, lamb and veal)
    • Meat substitutes (soy)
    • Milk
    • Eggs
    • Cheese
    • Nuts
    • Legumes

    It can also be found, although in much smaller quantities, in some starchy foods and vegetables. Eating a diet rich in these foods is a good way to get protein.

    However some of these items can also be high in cholesterol, fat and calories, so picking the right cuts (for poultry, fish and meets) and the right dairy as well as considering how they are prepared to maintaining a lean physique and to good overall health.

Table 1 - Protein Content Of Common Foods(1)
Food Amount Protein (grams)
Beef, broiled (ground) 6 ounces 42
Beef, loin, bottom sirloin, tri-tip (broiled) 6 ounces 51
Beans, pinto (cooked) 1 cup 15
Beans, kidney (cooked) 1 cup 7.6
Bread, white 2 slices 4.9
Bread, wheat 2 slices 5.4
Broccoli, (cooked) 1 cup 4.2
Cauliflower, (boiled) 1 cup 2.3
Cheese, cottage, low fat, 1% milk fat 1 cup 28
Chicken, roasted 6 ounces 43
Chicken breast, oven-roasted, fat-free, sliced 6 slices 21
Corn, (cooked) 1 ear 2.6
Egg 1 large 6.3
Fish, Salmon (baked) 6 ounces 44
Fish, Halibut (baked) 6 ounces 45
Deer, loin, separable lean only, 1" steak (broiled) 6 ounces 51
Lentils, (cooked) 1/2 cup 9.0
Lentil soup 1/2 cup 3.9
Milk (whole) 1 cup 8.0
Milk (skim) 1 cup 8.4
Milk (Soy) 1 cup 6.7
Pasta, (cooked) 4 ounces 5.9
Potato, white, (baked) 2 ¼-3 ¼" 3.6
Potato, russet, (baked) 2 ¼-3 ¼" 4.6
Rice, brown, long-grain, cooked 1 cup 5.0
Rice, white, long-grain, regular, cooked 1 cup 4.3
Tofu 1 cup 20
Tuna, water packed 6 ounces 40
Turkey breast meat 6 slices 22
Yam, (baked) 1 cup 2.3
Yogurt, low fat 8 ounces 12

Table 2 - Total Protein Content Of Common Foods (2)
Food Total protein (%)
Almonds 21.1
Apples (raw, eating) 0.4
Bananas 1.2
Beans (canned, baked) 5.2
Beef (lean, raw) 20.3
Bean sprouts (raw) 2.9
Bread (white) 8.4
Cabbage (raw) 1.7
Cheese (Cheddar) 25.5
Chicken (lean, raw) 20.5
Chocolate (milk chocolate) 8.4
Chocolate (plain chocolate) 4.7
Cornflakes 7.9
Egg (whole) 12.5
Ice cream 3.6
Lentils (dried) 24.3
Milk (cow's whole) 3.2
Pasta 3.6
Potatoes (new) 1.7
Rice 2.6
Sweet corn (canned) 2.9
Soya milk 2.9
Tofu (steamed) 8.1
Yogurt (plain) 5.7

Gaspari & Jeff
Click Image To Enlarge.
Rich Gaspari & Jeff Behar.

Take Protein Quiz #1!

 Pick The Most Appropriate Answers, Then Click "Calculate".
1. True Or False: Proteins Were Discovered By Jöns Jakob
    Berzelius In 1834.
A. True.
B. False.
2. True Or False: One Cup Of Cauliflower Contains 4 Grams Of
A. True.
B. False.
3. Which Of The Following Is Protein Needed For?
A. Repairing muscle and tissue.
B. Providing energy when carbohydrates are not available.
C. Making essential hormones.
D. Transporting various ligands.
E. All of the above.

Answers Will Display Here After Pressing "Calculate".

[ Home ]
[ Next ]