Choose Quinoa Over Rice Or Pasta
Quinoa is considered a complete protein because it contains all the essential amino acids we need. The seed is packed with about 8 grams of protein per cup. Swap quinoa for rice or pasta, or, add it to soups, salads, or even muffins and pancakes for extra nutritional value, Lesht recommends. Considering how many meals are better with a base, swapping your usual brown-rice habit for protein-packed quinoa will add a good chunk of protein to your diet.
The Best Sources Of Protein
Ready for a quick hit of science? Proteins are made up of long chains of amino acids. There are 20 different amino acids in total however, nine of these we can only get through our diet. These are known as essential amino acids .
Animal based sources of protein are an easy way to get these essential amino acids they contain all nine of these essential amino acids, making them complete proteins. Think meat, fish, eggs and dairy products .
For perspective, a small chicken breast contains around 30g of protein, and one egg contains around 6g.
Whilst it may be easier to incorporate protein into lunch and dinner, breakfast can be a trickier one to navigate.
Try eggs on toast or even protein-rich greek yoghurt with fruit and oats. Eat Natural Protein Granola is another way to ensure you get some protein first thing each serving contains 9.2g of protein. Or try combining granola and Greek yoghurt for even more protein power!
Protein Maintaining Muscle Mass As You Age
From around 50 years of age, humans begin to gradually lose skeletal muscle. This is known as sarcopenia and is common in older people. Loss of muscle mass is worsened by chronic illness, poor diet and inactivity.
Meeting the daily recommended protein intake may help you maintain muscle mass and strength. This is important for maintaining your ability to walk and reducing your risk of injury from falls.
To maintain muscle mass, its important for older people to eat protein effectively. This means consuming high-quality protein foods, such as lean meats.
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Easy Ways To Increase Your Protein Intake
Getting enough protein is important for your health.
For this reason, the Daily Value for protein is 50 grams per day.
However, some researchers believe that many people should be eating significantly more than this amount .
A high protein intake offers several potential health benefits and could help increase weight loss, enhance muscle growth, and improve your overall health.
Here are 14 easy ways to eat more protein.
Choose Eggs Over Cereal
Cereal servings are often much smaller than a traditional bowl’s size, leading to overeating with very little protein. Swap your cereal for eggshard-boiled, soft scrambled, or however you like themfor a fat-burning and delicious meal. If you’re craving something earthy and sweet, add sweet peppers and root vegetables and double down on toppings like herbs and hot sauce that will only cost you a few calories. Wondering which eggs to buy? Cage-free, farm-fresh, organic? We decipher what’s what in our report on 26 Things You Need To Know Before Buying A Carton of Eggs !
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Protein Shakes Powders And Supplements
Protein shakes, powders and supplements are unnecessary for most Australians health needs. According to the most recent national nutrition survey, 99% of Australians get enough protein through the food they eat.
Any protein you eat on top of what your body needs will either be excreted from your body as waste, or stored as weight gain.
The best way for you to get the protein you need is to eat a wide variety of protein-rich foods as outlined in the Australian Dietary Guidelines, as part of a balanced diet. But if you are still interested in using protein shakes, powders and supplements, talk to your doctor.
Get Yourself To The Greek
The gym bro’s secret nutritional weapon, Greek yoghurt packs a huge protein punch for minimal calories. What’s more, it curbs your hunger and, when mixed with cinnamon, blueberries and a little honey, makes for a formidable post-dinner top-up.
However, not all greek yoghurt is created equal. At least, when it comes to your macros. 100g of Tesco’s Fat-Free Greek Yoghurt contains 55kcals and 7.3g of protein, and Asda’s opposite number contains 7.4g of protein with 55kcals. The clear winner is Fage contains a hefty 10.3g per 100g.
Protein content : 10.3g per 100g
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Replace Cereal With Eggs
Many breakfast foods are low in protein, including toast, bagels, and cereals.
Although oatmeal contains more protein than most cereals, it still only provides about 5 grams in a typical 1-cup serving .
On the other hand, 3 large eggs provide 19 grams of high quality protein, along with important nutrients like selenium and choline .
Whats more, several studies have shown that eating eggs for breakfast reduces appetite and keeps you full for several hours, so you end up eating fewer calories later in the day .
According to one older study, eating whole eggs can also modify the size and shape of your LDL cholesterol particles in a way that may even decrease your heart disease risk .
Replacing cereal with eggs boosts protein consumption, makes you feel more full, and helps you eat fewer calories.
Ways To Increase Your Protein Intake
If there’s one thing that can help you eat less and increase the chance you’ll lose weight, it’s getting more protein. Protein has been shown to help keep you fuller longer, speed up your metabolism, and even help build muscle more efficiently. You know that protein is the answer to your better body questions, but just how to get more protein is a different problem.
But we know that it can feel like a challenge to increase your protein intake seamlessly into your diet there are only so many turkey sandwiches one can eat!
The following 25 ideas and food swaps will show you how to get more protein without totally disrupting your routine.
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Choose Brown Rice Over White
Putting protein in your diet is much easier during dinner when eaters typically prepare the main meat course, such as chicken, fish, or steak. You can also increase your protein power by making smart choices with your side dishes. If youre planning to add rice to your menu, avoid using white rice and choose brown varieties instead. You get more fiber and at least five grams of protein per serving.
Start The Day With Protein: The Incredible Egg
Protein comes from the Greek word proteus, meaning first place. Give protein the priority it deserves by serving some delicious eggs for breakfast. The best way to serve em is your childs favorite way to eat em.
You can scramble em, fry em, mix em with sautéed veggies like bell peppers, greens or broccoli. You can even prepare a bunch in advance to pull out in a jiffy.
Recipe for Make-Ahead Egg Muffins:
Directions: In a bowl, combine eggs and chopped veggies of your choice with ¼-½ tsp of salt. Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes.
Add two diced avocados and ham or bacon in your egg mixture for an extra good morning.
Eggs and DNA Methylation
Eggs provide both B12 and choline-two nutrients you dont want to miss out on and that help those with MTHFR or PEMT polymorphisms.
Sadly, recent studies have shown that many people are deficient in this brain-building nutrition. While its true that in this study, kids were more likely to be the age group that actually met their choline rda, as they age and daily needs increase, it could be advantageous to already have them used to eat a variety of choline rich-foods like meat and eggs. Just one egg contains 147 mg of choline. If your child is under 3, that one egg nearly takes care of the 200 mg/day recommendation. Choline Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin NCBI NIH. Accessed 29 Oct. 2018. Of course, as children age, recommended choline consumption increases.
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Eat Your Protein First
When eating a meal, eat the protein source first, especially before you get to the starches.
Protein increases the production of peptide YY , a gut hormone that makes you feel full and satisfied .
In addition, a high protein intake decreases levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and increases your metabolic rate after eating and during sleep .
Whats more, eating protein first can help keep your blood sugar and insulin levels from rising too high after a meal.
In one small study, people with type 2 diabetes were served identical meals on different days. Blood sugar and insulin rose significantly less when they consumed protein and vegetables before eating high carb foods, compared with when the order was reversed .
Eating protein first at meals can help you feel full and keep your blood sugar and insulin levels from rising too high.
Nutritional Value Of Protein
The nutritional value of a protein is measured by the quantity of essential amino acids it contains.
Different foods contain different amounts of essential amino acids. Generally:
- Animal products have all of the essential amino acids and are known as ‘complete’ protein .
- Soy products, quinoa and the seed of a leafy green called amaranth also have all of the essential amino acids.
- Plant proteins usually lack at least one of the essential amino acids and are considered ‘incomplete’ proteins.
People following a strict vegetarian or vegan diet need to choose a variety of protein sources from a combination of plant foods every day to make sure they get an adequate mix of essential amino acids.
If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, as long as you eat a wide variety of foods, you can usually get the protein you need. For example, a meal containing cereals and legumes, such as baked beans on toast, provides all the essential amino acids found in a typical meat dish.
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Make Sweet Treats Better For You
When you have a moment of healthy-eating weakness, are you more likely to give in to the temptation of a salty, buttery bowl of mashed potatoes or a hunky slice of chocolate pie? If its the latter, Berndt relates. If youre wondering how to get more protein and fiber into your favorite baked goods like banana bread, muffins, and breakfast cookies is to add pureed or mashed black or white beans or chickpeas. Try adding silken tofu to smoothies and puddings. No one will know your secret! Heres how to eat more healthy protein without even trying.
Find Your Protein Target
When setting your daily protein intake targets, Rodriguez suggests following the acceptable macronutrient distribution range , which recommends that up to 35 percent of your daily total calories come from protein. If youre older or an athlete, aim to consume 1.2 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily.
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Pick The Right Protein Powder
There are different types of protein powder, each with a different nutritional profile. Additionally, some are plant-based while others are acquired from animal products, such as casein and whey protein powder.
Research all these types before adding them to your diet, with specific attention to your fitness goals. For example, if you want to lose weight by following a high protein diet, consider the calorie count of the same serving of each protein powder.
Similarly, if you are following a non-dairy high-protein powder, consider powders like pea protein powder. It would be best to talk to your dietitian before making any major changes to your diet.
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Adding Powder To Other Meals
Consider this icing on the cake, once youve mastered the other strategies.
You can add powder to homemade oatmeal, pancakes, baked goods, coffee, and more. In none of these cases should the portions be massive, or you might ruin the taste or texture. As little as 10-15 grams worth is adequate alongside your main sources.
Homemade protein oatmeal with fruit is a go-to breakfast of mine
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Eat Proteins Before Carbs
Findings of a small 2015 study suggest that eating protein before carbohydrates could help with maintaining a healthy blood sugar level.
In this study, participants ate two identical meals on two separate days but changed the order in which they ate the proteins and carbs.
The researchers found that the participants glucose and post-meal insulin levels were lower when they had eaten the proteins first.
Research shows that protein has a satiating effect on appetite, helping people to feel fuller for longer. This is, in part, because protein decreases levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin.
A found that consuming 2530 g of protein at every meal can help regulate the appetite and facilitate weight management.
This, in turn, may help protect against cardiometabolic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Top Your Food With Chopped Almonds
Almonds are incredibly healthy.
Theyre high in magnesium, fiber, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, yet low in digestible carbs.
Almonds also contain 6 grams of protein in a 1-ounce serving, which makes them a better source of protein than most nuts .
And although a serving of almonds contains around 170 calories, studies have shown that your body absorbs only about 133 of those calories because some of the fat isnt digested .
So sprinkle a few tablespoons of chopped almonds over yogurt, cottage cheese, salads, or oatmeal to increase your protein intake and add a bit of flavor and crunch.
Almonds are high in several nutrients and can boost the protein content of a meal or snack.
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It Keeps You Fuller Longer
Protein curbs hunger because when its consumed, your body releases certain hormones and enzymes, which create a sensation of fullness, Glover says. So eating mediocre amounts of protein means youre more likely to be hungry soon after your meal or snack and have cravings and less energy.
The benefits of adding more lean sources of protein to your diet are plentiful. First, protein has a satiety factor, meaning that anchoring your plate with protein can help you feel fuller until your next meal, Rodriguez says.
Add Nuts And Seeds To Salads Grains And Smoothies
Nuts and seeds are loaded with healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, calories, and yes, protein. Not a ton of protein, which is why I dont usually count on them to boost my protein intake, but enough that they are a great addition to your other meals. Chia seeds, flaxmeal, hemp hearts, and walnuts are daily essentials for vegans anyway because they provide ALA , which your body will convert to omega-3 fatty acids.
Add walnuts to salads, hemp hearts to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, flaxmeal to oatmeal, or whip up a delicious chia seed pudding for dessert .
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Use Chia Seeds In Puddings And Baking
If you’re going vegan, did you know that you can swap out eggs for chia seeds and water in your baking? They have about five grams of protein per ounce and will make your baked goods and puddings creamy and delicious. For more smart swaps, these 25 Healthy Ingredient Swaps for Baking will blow your mind!
Have Snack Bars For Travel
On the go, running late, running early or just um, runningand you find yourself hungry ? To solve the dilemma of drive-through or bust, Berndt says to keep protein-packed bars in your glove compartment. I keep a box of protein-packed bars in my car to refuel right! Try these 10 great recipes for homemade protein bars.
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Keep Red Lentils Handy
Grace Wong, RD, has a favorite protein player: red lentils! I always keep some red lentils in my pantry to throw into soups, stews, and curries for extra protein and fiber, she says. It takes 15 to 25 minutes to cook them, and they go well with almost every soup recipe I have. Speaking of fiber, here are 30 ways to sneak in fiber without even trying.
Is Protein Bad For Your Kidneys
You might have heard somewhere along your journey that a high protein intake harms the kidneys. Its important to note that this is a myth. In generally healthy people, normal protein intake poses little to no health risk at all.
In fact, its been shown in studies that even a fairly high protein intake doesnt appear to impair kidney status and renal function in people with healthy, functioning kidneys. In addition to animal protein sources, its also noted that plant proteins are also especially safe for the kidneys.
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