Choose Leaner Slightly Larger Cuts Of Meat
Selecting leaner cuts of meat and increasing portion sizes slightly can significantly boost the protein content of your meal.
Whats more, your meal may even end up being lower in calories.
For example, compare the nutritional value of a 3-ounce serving of these two steaks (
Peanut butter can also boost the flavor and nutritional value of firm fruits like apples and pears, which are rich in fiber and antioxidants yet low in protein.
In fact, spreading 2 tablespoons of peanut butter on sliced fruit can boost the total protein content by 7 grams .
Peanut butter also works well with a wide range of other ingredients, including oatmeal, celery, whole wheat toast, or yogurt.
Adding peanut butter to your diet can boost your protein intake. It may also help decrease appetite, improve heart health, and lower blood sugar.
Eggplant Has More Fiber Than Protein
“While high in fiber, eggplant is pretty low in calories and protein,” said registered dietitian Maya Bach, MPH, RDN.
“One cup of sliced eggplant has less than one gram of protein,” she added. But just because eggplant contains little protein doesn’t mean we should discount this purple food altogether, Bach suggested, as the rich skin color indicates it is full of anthocyanins, a type of phytochemical with antioxidant properties.
Include A High Protein Food With Every Meal
When it comes to protein, its not just the total amount you take in every day that matters. Getting enough at each meal is also important.
Several researchers recommend consuming a minimum of 2030 grams of protein at each meal.
Studies show that this amount promotes fullness and preserves muscle mass better than smaller amounts eaten throughout the day .
Examples of foods high in protein include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes, and soy products like tofu or tempeh.
You can also select foods from this list of delicious high protein foods to make sure you meet your needs at every meal.
Include a high protein food at each meal to get what you need to feel full and maintain muscle mass.
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How Much Protein Do I Need
The National Academy of Medicine recommends that adults get a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day, or just over 7 grams for every 20 pounds of body weight.
- For a 140-pound person, that means about 50 grams of protein each day.
- For a 200-pound person, that means about 70 grams of protein each day.
The National Academy of Medicine also sets a wide range for acceptable protein intakeanywhere from 10% to 35% of calories each day. Beyond that, theres relatively little solid information on the ideal amount of protein in the diet or the healthiest target for calories contributed by protein. In an analysis conducted at Harvard among more than 130,000 men and women who were followed for up to 32 years, the percentage of calories from total protein intake was not related to overall mortality or to specific causes of death. However, the source of protein was important.
Its important to note that millions of people worldwide, especially young children, dont get enough protein due to food insecurity. The effects of protein deficiency and malnutrition range in severity from growth failure and loss of muscle mass to decreased immunity, weakening of the heart and respiratory system, and death.
Top 10 Foods Highest In Protein
Protein is a macronutrient that forms the building blocks of the human body. It is necessary for the growth and repair of all tissues, along with many other functions including forming hormones and enzymes. A deficiency in protein leads to muscle atrophy and impaired functioning of the body in general.
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Why You Need Protein
Protein is vital for three major functions. It helps you grow and repair muscles and other soft tissues. It is also a building block of enzymes and hormones, which help regulate processes in your body. Thirdly, protein is a fuel that your body burns for energy.
Your bodys protein requirement depends on your weight. The average adult needs about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day . So, a 140-pound person needs around 50 grams of protein every day. The National Academy of Medicine recommends that protein make up between 10% to 35% of your daily calories.
Protein is the building block of numerous body parts, including:
Fish is also high in protein. Three ounces of Atlantic salmon contain 22 grams of protein, while the same amount of cod contains 19 grams.
Any kind of bird raised primarily for meat and eggs is considered poultry.
Chicken is one of the most common poultry sources of protein. A 3-ounce serving of chicken breast contains an impressive 26 grams of protein. Turkey has slightly less protein, with 25 grams in 3 ounces.
One serving of beans provides the same amount of protein as 1 ounce of meat about 7 grams. Beans also keep you full for longer because, unlike animal sources of protein, they are rich in fiber.
5. Dairy Products
Greek yogurt is another protein-rich dairy product. It contains two to three times the amount of protein in regular yogurt.
Hummus Has A Small Amount Of Protein
“Hummus is the perfect dip for veggies and crackers, but it is not a good protein source,” explained registered dietitian Cheryl Mussatto MS, RD, LD. There are only about two grams of protein in a serving which is considered two tablespoons, she said. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to what the average person needs daily of protein, she added.
Protein Helps You Maintain A Healthy Appetite
Several studies have shown that protein plays an important role in keeping hunger at a healthy level. One 2004 study by the American College of Nutrition showed that of the three macronutrients — protein, fat, and carbohydrates – protein is the most filling, leaving you feeling more satisfied.
Another 2006 study by the American Society for Clinical Nutrition found that protein reduced levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, while simultaneously increasinging levels of peptide YY, which makes the body feel full.
In other words, eating more protein can help you feel more full after a meal, so that you don’t run the risk of overeating.
Frozen Vs Fresh Vegetables Comparison
We often have clients asking us whether its better to have frozen or fresh vegetables, and heres the honest answer: there are pros and cons to each one, but the key thing to remember is just to eat plenty of vegetables in the first place whether theyre fresh or frozen!
When it comes to frozen vegetables, theyre usually picked or harvested at their ripest and then snap frozen within hours. Because of this, they tend to maintain maximum nutrient levels. In fact, there has been research that shows that frozen vegetables can sometimes contain more nutrition compared to fresh fruits stored in the fridge for three days.
That being said, its still better to not boil or overcook frozen vegetables, as this will cause nutrients to leach out. To maximise the nutrition of your cooked vegetables, steam or bake your vegetables instead.
Frozen vegetables are also a lot easier to get, especially if you live somewhere rural. There are a lot of folks that dont have access to farmers markets or green grocers, so frozen vegetables from a supermarket might just be more accessible.
Frozen vegetables are also less likely to go to waste, because you can keep them in the freezer for months if you need to. Theres no risk of them spoiling before you need to use them!
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Eating Plenty Of Protein Is A Good Thing
There are many benefits associated with a high protein intake.
- Muscle mass: Adequate amounts of protein have a positive effect on muscle mass and are crucial to prevent muscle loss on a calorie-restricted diet (
Overall, a higher protein intake is beneficial for your health, especially for maintaining muscle mass and losing weight.
There are many benefits to a high protein intake, such as weight loss, increased lean mass and a lower risk of obesity.
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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Protein Increases Your Metabolism
A slow metabolism means that your body isn’t very efficient at breaking down the food you eat. If you want to improve your body’s digestion rate, protein can help.
One 2010 study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that a high protein diet resulted in a higher rate of fat oxidation, meaning that the diet helped people to burn more fat than other types of diets.
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.
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Foods And Beverages To Consume In Limited Quantities
The foods on this list can be included, but they shouldnt be the main focus if you want to lose weight. Although many of them are nutritious, their protein percentages arent high. Depending on what you like and the way you eat, you can enjoy them in small quantities on a frequent or even daily basis.
- Cheese: Cheese is delicious, low in carbs, and a great source of calcium. However, it doesnt provide a lot of protein per calorie. Additionally, some people find that eating cheese causes cravings for more.22If you follow a keto or low-carb diet, feel free to have a small portion daily, if you like.
Protein percentage range: 39% to 20%
- Nuts: They provide crunch, flavor, and enjoyment at meals and when snacking. Unfortunately, they dont provide much nutrition per calorie.Also, once you start eating nuts, it can be difficult to stop. Eating too many nuts can increase your caloric intake, making weight loss more difficult.23Aim for no more than a small handful no matter what type of nut you choose. Also, portion them out and eat them in a small bowl rather than from the container.
Protein percentage range: 18% to 4%
- Low-protein processed meats: Yes, theyre flavorful and convenient. But foods like bacon, sausage, and salami contain far less protein than other meats. Can you still lose weight if you include them in your diet? Absolutely. But try to choose the processed meats listed in the foods to eat section most of the time.
Protein percentage range: 23% to 14%
What Is A High Protein Diet
A high protein diet includes foods where more than 25% of total calories come from protein. Many of these protein rich foods include a large number of proteins, saturated fats, and a low amount of carbohydrates. Some examples of protein rich foods include eggs, chicken, seafood, soy, black beans, lentils, and low-fat dairy foods.
High protein diets are those that encourage you to include more protein and less carbs and fats in your diet. Such a diet helps boost your energy and athletic performance, and aids in weight loss. Research also suggests that a high protein diet may help overweight or obese women lose weight while retaining their lean muscle mass .
Usually, a high protein diet will have 30% calories from proteins, 40% from carbohydrates, and 30% from fat. But you can add or change this ratio according to your bodys needs. Some diets commonly considered as high protein diets include:
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How Much Protein Is Too Much
The body is in a constant state of flux, constantly breaking down and rebuilding its own tissues.
Under certain circumstances, our need for protein can increase. This includes periods of sickness or increased physical activity.
We need to consume enough protein for these processes to occur.
However, if we eat more than we need, the excess protein will be broken down and used for energy.
Even though a relatively high protein intake is healthy and safe, eating massive amounts of protein is unnatural and may cause harm. Traditional populations got most of their calories from fat or carbs, not protein.
Exactly how much protein is harmful is unclear and likely varies between people.
One study in healthy, strength-training men showed that eating around 1.4 grams per pound of body weight every day for a year didnt have any adverse health effects .
Even eating 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight for 2 months did not appear to cause any side effects .
But keep in mind that physically active people, especially strength athletes or bodybuilders, need more protein than less active individuals.
Extremely high protein intake is unhealthy. It is unclear at what intake level protein becomes harmful. It likely depends on the individual.
Protein Intake And Kidney Damage
The kidneys are remarkable organs that filter waste compounds, excess nutrients and liquids out of the bloodstream, producing urine.
Some say that your kidneys need to work hard to clear the metabolites of protein from your body, leading to increased strain on the kidneys.
Adding some more protein to your diet may increase their workload a little, but this increase is quite insignificant compared to the immense amount of work your kidneys already do.
About 20% of the blood your heart pumps through your body goes to the kidneys. In an adult, the kidneys may filter around 48 gallons of blood every single day.
High protein intake may cause harm in people with diagnosed kidney disease, but the same doesnt apply to people with healthy kidneys (
In conclusion, there is no evidence that a high protein intake harms kidney function in people who dont have kidney disease.
On the contrary, it has plenty of health benefits and may even help you lose weight .
A high protein intake has been shown to accelerate kidney damage in people who have kidney disease. However, higher protein diets dont adversely affect kidney function in healthy people.
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What Are High Protein Foods
Protein is a vital part of any healthy diet, so what are high protein foods that you can add to your lifestyle?
We all know that a daily dose of protein is vital, and high protein foods are essential for building and maintaining muscle mass, keeping up your energy levels, and improving your metabolism. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, build more muscle at the gym, or simply feel your best, getting enough protein is crucial for a balanced, healthy lifestyle. But what are high protein foods that you can add to your diet to make sure you’re getting enough every day?
We’ve done some research to bring you the ultimate guide to high protein foods. We’ll discuss the importance of protein, some of the best high protein foods, and how to determine how much protein you actually need. If you’re still struggling to get enough protein into your diet through foods, you can always try our guide to the best protein powder , and enjoy a drink in the best protein shaker. The best protein bars can also be handy for a protein boost on-the-go.
If you want to learn more about which foods contain high levels of protein, let’s get into it.
Need A Little Extra Protein In Your Diet These High Protein Foods Pack In Essential Nutrients But Aren’t Meat
Meat is high in protein, but there are actually so many more ways to get protein into your diet. These protein-rich alternatives can be cooked and consumed in a multitude of ways and are perfect whether you eat only vegan recipes are just looking to be more aware of what nutrients youre eating!
Not vegetarian, but still want to eat healthy? Try these protein-packed salads.
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