The World's Healthiest Foods

Do you have diet suggestions for me and also what amount of protein that I get from various foods so that I can make sure I am getting enough protein.

Getting enough protein is a question that is on the minds of many people, even very healthy people who follow the basic principles of the World's Healthiest Foods. So you are by no means alone out there! You mentioned a number of factors in your question that we will try to address briefly before moving on to your fundamental question about protein.

First, with respect to your hematocrit reading of 33: this blood test is usually part of a broader group of laboratory measurements called a complete blood count (CBC, which evaluate your blood and blood cells. (Hematocrit is also called packed cell volume (PCV), and it is defined as the percent of your total blood volume that consists of blood cells). Most healthcare practitioners would not want to make a decision about your hematocrit reading without considering other values in your complete blood count, and we recommend that you ask your healthcare practitioner about these other values in your overall blood work. Finally, while a laboratory will commonly state a health range for hematocrit values, this range differs somewhat from laboratory to laboratory, and is also adjusted for age and gender. A good healthcare provider will take all of these factors into account, and will also try to interpret your hematocrit in a way that applies specifically to you.

Now for your basic question about protein. First, it's common for fatigue to be associated with insufficient protein intake, and with insufficient intake of nutrients in general. Even if your fatigue is coming primarily from sources other than your food, improving your nutrient quality and your protein quality should help. To begin with, try starting with our Recipe Assistant. Just tell it to avoid recipes with beef (or chicken and fish as well, if you so desire) and tell it to focus on protein. Then click on the Submit Request button. You'll get back literally dozens of recipes that are high in protein but do not include beef. Second, consider including a protein source every time you eat - including snacks! In practice, this decision means no fruit snacks by themselves and no processed pastries or sweets by themselves. Add protein sources to your salads, like garbanzo beans or sunflower seeds, and always stick with whole grains when you are having grain products.

We also encourage you to put fish in a unique category, separate from beef and chicken. While all three are high in protein - about 7 grams per ounce - cold water fish are unique as a resource for omega 3 fatty acids, a kind of fat that can help keep your cells and your immune system working properly. Healthy cells and a healthy immune system are important for avoiding fatigue! You might want to start reading labels for protein more carefully as well. In an entire day, it would not be unusual if you needed 50-75 grams of protein. You'll get there fairly easily by including an 8-ounce serving of salmon in your day. Good luck with your next steps, and let us know how the World's Healthiest Foods and Recipes work out for you.