Skip to content

The truth about protein

The truth about protein

Important for healthy muscles and bones and maintaining a healthy, functioning body, protein is a vital part of our diet.

With so much talk about protein fads, products and trends, it can be easy to get lost in the noise and grow unsure of what advice to follow.

We’ve gathered the most common myths around protein, and exposed the truth on these misconceptions.

MYTH: You need a high protein diet

REALITY: 2 daily servings of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans or nuts is all you need

We hear a lot of chat around needing a “high protein diet” these days. The reality is that most people are consuming more than enough protein as it is – you don’t need to follow a high protein diet.

The recommended consumption for a balanced diet is 2 servings of food containing protein a day. This can include:

  • lean meat or poultry
  • fresh, frozen or tinned fish
  • eggs
  • pulses such as beans, peas and lentils
  • unsalted nuts
  • tofu

MYTH: Protein bars are a healthy protein snack

REALITY: They are often high in sugar, salt or fat

Protein snacks, especially protein bars, are widely advertised and marketed in our local shops, so it can seem as though they are a healthy, quick source of protein to add to your diet.

However, the reality is that these protein bars are often high in sugar, salt or fat – so they should be considered a treat, not a snack. The best healthy (and inexpensive) protein snacks are unsalted nuts, milk or yoghurt.

MYTH: Extra protein is needed for fitness

REALITY: A balanced diet has enough protein

It’s a common belief that if you are working out, you need to “bulk up” on extra protein but this is misleading. While protein is needed for muscle growth and repair, a balanced diet will provide most people with all the protein they need. So remember to eat your two servings of protein a day.

Finally, it’s a MYTH that you need to spend money on expensive cuts of meat, or on pricey protein supplements! You can get all the protein you need from a variety of everyday food sources.

3 economical ways to get your protein in

  • Lean, cheaper cuts of meat or poultry
  • Frozen or tinned meat, poultry or fish
  • Pulses and beans

Read more about including protein in your diet

Safefood Logo

Sign up for our family focused healthy eating and food safety news.

Safefood logo

The site content is redirecting to the NI version.