Consuming more proteins, in the form of lean meats, eggs, poultry, fish, low fat dairy, nuts, and legumes can be beneficial to your health in many different ways. Lean, heart-healthy proteins can reduce your risk of heart disease and promote weight loss. A diet rich in protein may leave you feeling fuller longer than one that is made up of many different carbohydrates, leading you to consume less food in general.
Best Sources Of Protein
Fish – Most fish boasts the same protein content as meat, but also provide iron and vitamin B-12 which are both energy essentials. Most fish is also incredibly low in saturated fats, making it an even better alternative to fattier meats.
Eggs – Eggs are incredibly protein rich and can keep you feeling full for a long time. Eggs are a great choice when selecting a protein. Opt for egg whites instead of whole eggs if you can. Egg whites won’t raise your cholesterol. Egg yolks, though a great protein source, must be eaten in moderation.
Lean Meats – If you enjoy red meats, make sure that you are choosing the leanest cuts available. Many cuts have fat marbled throughout them which add risk to your heart health, your cholesterol and your weight. Lean cuts of these meats will help to reduce the amount of fats you are consuming.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “The USDA defines a lean cut of beef as a 3.5-ounce serving (about 100 grams) that contains less than:
- 10 grams total fat
- 4.5 grams saturated fat
- 95 milligrams cholesterol
Extra-lean cuts of beef
The USDA defines an extra-lean cut of beef as a 3.5-ounce serving (about 100 grams) that contains less than:
- 5 grams total fat
- 2 grams saturated fat
- 95 milligrams cholesterol
Twenty-nine cuts of beef now meet the USDA’s regulations to qualify as lean or extra lean. Of those 29 cuts of beef, these are considered extra lean:
Sirloin tip side steak, top round roast and steak, bottom round roast and steak, and top sirloin steak.”
Nuts and Legumes – Nuts are a phenomenal protein source and contain good fats such as poly and monounsaturated. Nuts are also very slow burning so they help to keep you feeling full. It has been shown that nuts can help you lose weight. Legumes are also considered perfect food due to the amount of protein they contain. Legumes are high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat making them a fantastic choice as a protein source.
Poultry – Chicken and turkey are not only low in saturated fats and high in protein, but they also contain Zinc and B Vitamins which make them a great choice when seeking food high in protein.
Low Fat Dairy – The protein in low fat dairy can help to maintain blood pressure and the calcium helps with bone development and maintenance. Make sure to pick choices that are low in fat such as skim milk and mozzarella cheese which is made with skim milk.
Need Help Buying Protein Supplements?
There are many options to buying protein supplements. Whether you are looking for a lean healthy supplement or an anabolic body builder quality there are a few things to watch:
1. Check out the sugar contents! The MAX sugar levels you should see are just a few grams. When you start hitting the 10-20 gram mark, you have a high sugar content drink that will slow down your metabolism. Most consumers who are using these high sugar supplements choose them because they want the sweet taste, or they want a spike in insulin while training.
2. Check Fiber content – A good protein supplement will contain fiber. You want to include fiber in your protein intake to help metabolize the protein and maintain a healthy digestive system.
3. Check protein source – Egg whites are an excellent source of protein. Jay Robb is a great brand for egg white protein. If you don’t want to try the egg white proteins, try a whey protein which is another good option. For juicers, vegans, vegetarians who want to steer clear of animal products, you can use a supplement with brown rice and veggie protein.
No matter which one you pick, make sure it it low in calories, sugar, and has a large increase of fiber! Those are the rules of thumb for purchasing!
There are many fantastic ways to increase your protein intake as well as many different sources of protein to consume. Protein is important to your health, building muscle, and increasing energy. Ensure you are ingesting protein in the best way possible for a healthy body and mind!