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lean muscle mass
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protein intake
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What Foods Are High In Protein?
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What Foods Are High In Protein?

For people looking to improve their health there is a lot of confusing information available about what to eat. There are many diets, health tips, and commercial supplements. Sometimes even finding the basics of food nutrition can be a difficult task. While I can’t address all these issues here I will explain what the benefits of protein are, how much protein is enough, and some tips on how to easily work protein into your daily routine. I will also provide some information on what foods are high in protein.

Protein is a necessary macro nutrient along with fat and carbohydrates – and it is important to include healthy sources of all three of these in a balanced diet. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissue, grow hair and nails, and make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. When you consume enough protein you ensure these processes are carried out optimally. Consuming the proper amount of protein also helps you to feel satisfied after a meal and can reduce overeating, food cravings, and between-meal snacking. This can lead to increased energy and weight loss.

A generally accepted guideline for determining minimum protein intake is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram for an average healthy adult. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs (68 kg) you will need about 2 ounces or 54 grams or protein. If you weigh 180 lbs (82 kg) you will need about 2.3 ounces or 65 grams of protein. If you are physically active or pregnant your protein needs may be more.

When you are getting enough protein in your diet you help support your body’s ability to create lean muscle mass which can improve your overall metabolism. Not consuming enough protein can lead to headaches, lethargy, and even sugar cravings. Furthermore, if you are replacing protein with carbohydrates you can experience fluctuations in blood sugar levels which can lead to drops in energy levels and mood.

There are many diets that promote consuming much more than the recommended amount of protein while avoiding the consumption of carbohydrates. These diets can be effective in the short term but they raise many health concerns in the long run. If you are following such a diet make sure you research it properly and include enough fiber in your diet. You may also need to take a multivitamin to ensure you are getting all necessary nutrients.

There are many ways to include protein in your diet. The following sections show you what foods are high in protein.

Animal Sources

Chicken and fish are the best choices of animal protein as they are typically lower in fat and fish contains healthy oils.

Beef is also a good source of protein but is high in saturated fat. If eating beef, try and choose organic grain fed beef when possible.

Eggs and Dairy

Eggs are an excellent source of protein – specifically egg whites (which can be purchased by the carton)

While all dairy products contain protein some of the best choices are cottage cheese and low fat Greek yogurt as they contain the most protein per serving while limiting unhealthy fats.

Protein shakes and meal replacement shakes are a convenient way to get protein.

Vegetarian Sources of Protein

Vegetarian protein sources are typically high in fiber and healthy fats. The following are the main sources of vegetarian protein:

  • Tofu and tempeh (available in major grocery stores and health food stores)
  • Beans and lentils
  • Nuts and seeds (these make convenient snacks as well)

As you can see there are many ways to incorporate protein into your diet. Personally, I have a few key meals that I make on a regular basis that simplifies the process and I know provide me with a good serving of protein. For convenience, I also regularly drink protein shakes which are fast, easy, and convenient.

Eating healthy doesn't have to be complicated or hard to implement. By incorporating healthy sources of protein into your daily meals you can improve your health, normalize your weight, and feel great.

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