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National Protein Day: Does This Vegetable Contain More Protein Than Steak?

National Protein Day, on February 27, focuses on the health benefits of one of the body’s most basic building blocks! Protein helps develop bones, skin, cartilage, and blood - while promoting weight loss and increased muscle mass. It can also help us stay fit throughout all stages of life.

High-protein foods include everything from salmon to pumpkin seeds. Typically, people associate meat as a high protein food source, but did you know that there has been talk of a vegetable that possibly contains more protein than steak?

The vegetable in question is broccoli. Broccoli does, of course, contain protein, but can it really be a better source of protein than steak? The short answer is no. Broccoli is not the only vegetable food to be featured in these types of claims. It only takes a few minutes of research to uncover the truth!

The usual claim is that ‘calorie for calorie’ broccoli contains more protein. It is often possible to ‘cook’ protein or other macronutrient amounts by using odd bases of comparison. We don’t usually compare the nutrient content of foods based on calories, but based on a typical serving, or the approximate amount of the food we usually eat. For example, you should not compare broccoli and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream on a calorie per calorie basis as the amount of broccoli you would be comparing to any reasonable amount of ice cream would be quite large.

Taken from the average of many samples, the amount of protein in 100 grams of raw broccoli is 2.57 grams (steamed = 4 g). The amount of protein in 100 grams of T-bone steak is 27 grams. The protein amount in 100 grams of porterhouse steak is around 23 grams. Clearly, when equal amounts are compared, broccoli has barely any protein compared to steak. On average, we could say that 100 grams of lean steak has 30 grams of protein while 100 grams of steamed broccoli has 4 grams of protein. - via Culinary Lore

So where did these claims come from? If you were to search and search, you may be able to find a sample of broccoli that contained much more protein than a sample of beef that contained less. The internet claims never specify what kind of steak - the amount of fat in the sample will make a difference.


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