Go Old School With Snacks
Remember when youd hop off the school bus and your mom would have some snacks waiting for you? You didnt know it then, but those ants on a log were actually a way to keep you from munching on sweets before dinner time. Snack on two tablespoons of natural peanut butter with a banana or celery sticks. A peanut butter snack can add 8 grams of protein to your day, Lesht explains. If you still love the ants part, add no more than a tablespoon of raisins, as theyre pretty high in sugar. Cant eat peanut butter? Try hummus.
Evaluate Overall Nutrition And Health Benefits
The type of protein you eat also matters and good nutrition is about more than hitting your daily macro goals. Meaning you should also be considering the essential nutrients the food may or may not provide, along with less desirable components like saturated fat, trans fat, and added sugar.
Each type of protein can vary widely in the nutrients and potential health benefits it provides.
Meat and poultry can contain some saturated fat, but they also provide iron, zinc, and B vitamins.
Fish and seafood contain healthy omega-3 fats, and can also increase your intake of zinc, iodine, vitamin D, and magnesium.
And lastly plant based protein can include fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and much more!
Including a variety of protein options is your best bet for getting the most well rounded nutrition.
What Is A Low
Low-carbohydrate diets are popular because they are based on claims that carbohydrates cause weight gain.
Although there are different variations, essentially low-carb diets restrict carbohydrate foods and replace them with foods usually high in protein and fat to lose weight.
There are many unhealthy misconceptions about weight loss and the claims that carbohydrates can make you fat are misleading.
Typical foods eaten on a low-carbohydrate diet include beef, chicken, bacon, fish, eggs, non-starchy vegetables, and fats .
Foods that are restricted include many types of fruit, bread, cereals and other grains, starchy vegetables and some dairy products .
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Relying On Packaged Food
Products that talk about “net carbs” or “impact carbs” need close scrutiny. Be wary of low-carb ice cream, meal replacement bars, and other “treats” labeled low-carb or sugar-free. Foods that claim to have no sugar often contain ingredients such as maltitol, which is a sugar alcohol with a glycemic index ranging from 35 to 52 that affects blood sugar.
It’s also important to note that unless you have Celiac disease, gluten-free foods won’t necessarily be a better option. In fact, packaged foods designed to be gluten-free can have more carbs and calories.
Why Are Plant Proteins Good
A diet rich in plant-based foods helps provide a number of important nutrients that are lacking in the typical American diet, says Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., R.D., a distinguished professor of nutrition at Penn State University in University Park, Pa.
Fibera nutrient many people fall short onis one of them. Fiber does more than just keep you regular. It can help to lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar, lower your risk of colorectal cancer, and prevent weight gain.
Men older than 50 should have at least 30 grams of fiber per day women, at least 21 grams. A 2014 study found that the average vegan diet provides about 41 grams of fiber per day, and even a semi-vegetarian diet supplies about 34 grams. To give you an idea, 1 cup of cooked chickpeas has 13 grams of fiber, ½ cup of almonds has 9 grams, and 1 cup of cooked quinoa has 5 grams.
Plant-based diets are also rich in potassium and antioxidants, such as vitamin C and carotenoids. Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure, something that becomes increasingly important with age.
Antioxidants help prevent the buildup of oxidized compounds in the body, which may be the precursors to chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimers, Kris-Etherton says. They also may help your skin protect itself from sun damage and premature signs of aging.
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Celery And Peanut Butter
Nut butter sprinkled with crushed nuts is a delicious and very flavorful high-protein dip for celery or apple slices. Chef Bailey suggests opting for a natural peanut butter or one of Justin’s almond butters. In fact, almond butter is not only low in carbs, it’s considered a whole food. It’s also a common favorite because it feels more indulgent than it is. That said, calories and fat can add up when consuming nuts or anything nut-based, so watch your serving sizes.
Add Spirulina To Your Smoothies
One simple way for how to get more protein is to make it a topping. Nutritionist Ashvini Mashru, RD, recommends spirulina, the superfood youve never heard of. This natural algae is one of the most potent protein sources available, with nearly 16 grams per ounce. Not to mention its a great source of antioxidants, B vitamins, iron, calcium, and other nutrients. Add it to your fruit smoothies or protein shakes! Dont miss the other ways spirulina benefits your health.
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What Foods Contain Protein
Protein is a macronutrient made up of varying combinations of amino acids and can be found in nearly all types of food.
There are actually hundreds of thousands of different types of protein, which are made up of amino acids. Luckily only those containing the 9 essential amino acids are vital for us to eat!
Proteins are considered high quality when they provide us with the amino acids each of us need to function every day.
When a food item contains all of the essential amino acids we need, its called a complete protein. Complete proteins are found in meat or animal products like eggs and dairy.
When two different foods combined meet all of our essential amino acid needs, theyre called complementary proteins.
While the most common source of protein in the diet is from meat, fish, and animal based products like milk, eggs, and dairy, protein can also be found in plants and grains.
Can You Get Enough Protein
Yes. Although meat is very high in protein , its not the only way to meet your protein goals. Almost all plant foods have some proteineven fruits and vegetables, says Dana Hunnes, Ph.D., R.D., senior dietitian at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. But foods like beans, nuts, and soy are the most concentrated sources.
Protein is essential for keeping your muscles strongsomething that becomes even more important as you get older, because we do tend to lose some muscle mass as we age, Hunnes says. And a 2019 study found that proteinespecially from plantshelps control the low-level inflammation that increases with age and contributes to disease. Older people should aim for at least 0.6 gram of protein per pound of body weight per dayabout 90 grams for someone who weighs 150 pounds.
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Clean Keto Calls For Eating Organic Versions Of Foods
How It Works Swinging in the opposite direction of the dirty keto approach is, naturally, clean keto. But its not a full 180, because you can still focus on convenience, says Raymore, Missouri-based Randy Evans, RD, consultant for Fresh n Lean, a meal delivery service specializing in keto foods. You also will still stick to the same macronutrient distribution as standard keto. The difference is that clean keto is based on sourcing the healthiest versions of foods. That means youll look for terms like organic, grass-fed, pasture raised, and cold-pressed. Youll also lean heavily towards whole plant foods, Evans says.
Who It’s Best For This approach is for those who focus on food quality just as much as they do on macro tracking. Also, clean keto may involve more financial investment, since grass-fed meats and cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil tend to be pricier than lower-quality options, especially those packaged for convenience.
Risks to Note Focusing on the healthiest possible foods and bringing in a fridge-load worth of plants in the process doesnt include many cautionary notes, according to Evans. That said, because plant foods still contain carbs, youll need to keep your macros in mind. If you can, this can be a relatively healthier way to do the fad diet.
Letting Carbs Creep In
You’re eating low-carb. You’re feeling great, and weight is dropping off as if by magic. You’re not hungry between meals. You have energy. You can concentrate better.
Maybe you add a piece of toast or some low-carb ice cream, or a little sugar in your coffee now and then. You might not immediately start gaining weight, but going over your personal carb limit can have other implications. You might have increased cravings, feel hungrier, and eventually, maybe you do start regaining the weight.
“Carb creep” is a common phenomenon and you may not even be aware it’s happening. When you do start to take notice, it may be time to go back to basics for a few days, which can help you break the cycle.
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Add Quinoa And Black Beans To Homemade Veggie Burgers
Move over, beef burgers veggie burgers with quinoa and black beans are packed with fiber and have anti-inflammatory properties. No, you wont get that juicy, beefy taste, but you might be pleasantly surprised by how much better you feel afterward. If youre feeling a little nervous about making your own patties, then start by scoping out our guide to the 32 Best and Worst Veggie Burgers.
Do You Have To Stop Eating Meat
A 2016 study of 131,342 people found that trading just 3 percent of calories from red meat for an equivalent amount of plant protein resulted in a 12 percent lower risk of dying from any cause. If plant protein replaced processed red meatsuch as deli meat or hot dogsit equated to a 34 percent lower risk of death.
A recent review published in the journal Circulation analyzed 36 studies comparing diets high in red meat with diets high in other types of animal and plant protein. The researchers found that eating plant protein in place of red meat resulted in a 10.20 mg/dL decrease in total cholesterol and a 7.65 mg/dL decrease in LDL cholesterol. But even swapping a single serving of red meat with an equivalent amount of nuts or soybeans resulted in improved cholesterol levels. And a 2018 study that compared a low-calorie vegetarian diet with a low-calorie Mediterranean diet, which includes moderate amounts of meat, poultry, and fish, found that the two were equally effective at promoting weight loss.
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Watch Your Energy Intake
Avoiding large portion sizes and limiting intake of saturated fats and added sugars will help to keep your energy intake in check.
Regular exercise is also critical for long-term weight loss success.
If you are not sure where to start or finding it difficult to manage your weight, seek help from a dietitian. Dietitians can guide you to a healthy way of eating that is based on the latest research and tailored to suit your health and lifestyle.
Restricting Certain Foods Can Affect Your Weight
If you are on a low-carb diet, and cutting out large groups of vegetables, fruits and grains, you may not be getting enough vital nutrients to manage your weight effectively. These types of diets can increase your risk of micronutrient deficiencies and constipation because of their low fibre content.
- Missing important antioxidants and phytochemicals.
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Tips For Further Personalization 22
- Adjust the protein portions up or down as needed, but dont be concerned about hitting an exact target. Remember, your ideal protein range is pretty broad, and you should feel completely free to vary the amount you eat by 30 grams or even more from day to day. If you are lower in protein one day, try to add extra the following day.
- If youre an intermittent faster, you may want to increase the protein portions at the two meals you eat somewhat. For instance, in the 70-gram example above, either eat larger portions of fish at lunch and chicken at dinner, or add hard-boiled eggs at lunch and have a piece of cheese after dinner.
- If you eat one meal per day it may be a challenge to get adequate protein intake. Consider eating OMAD a few times per week, with higher protein intake on the other days. Or, if you prefer the consistency of OMAD every day, consider eating within a 2-hour time window. That allows you to eat your meal and still have time to snack on nuts, cheese, or meats to increase your protein.
- Eat nuts and seeds at meals or as snacks. Keep in mind that they provide about 2-6 grams of protein per quarter cup or 30 grams . But beware, they contain some carbs and lots of fat calories, which can add up quickly. Therefore, being cautious with nut intake is a good idea for most people, especially if youre trying to lose weight.
Sprinkle On Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast is the best-kept secret of the vegetarian and vegan community. One-and-a-half tablespoon of this flaky seasoning contains 8 grams of protein, Nutritional yeast has a cheesy flavor and can be used to season anything from scrambled eggs to salad to pesto, says Mashru. Its also an amazing source of B vitamins, doubling as a perfect vegan alternative for cheese. Here are some complete protein foods that dont contain any meat.
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Top Crackers With Nut Butters Or Cheese
You have Wongs permission to eat cheese and crackers to fill you upjust remember to make sure your meals are balanced throughout the day, so you dont overdo it on calorie intake. If cheese upsets your tummy, go for peanut butter and crackers, as a way to make sure youre fulfilled when there are still hours to go until dinner time.
Try Savory Protein Powder
You can add protein powder to more things than just smoothies! health coach Michelle Gindi says. Ive had great success adding protein powder to my morning pancakes and some granola bars, which is a sneaky and delicious way to get in more protein! Ive even stirred some protein powder into vegetable soup for an all-in-one meal.
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Almost Zero Carb Eggs And Dairy
Youll find a high-fat dairy product and eggs in most keto recipes. Heres a quick breakdown of the almost zero carb varieties of these keto foods:
- Heavy Cream
Where possible, try to opt for heavy cream to keep the carb content down and the fat content up. For replacing other dairy, like milk, try to go after nut or coconut based alternatives. These are becoming more common and usually contain only 1g carbs per cup.
- Eggs. Eggs will be the most versatile keto food in your low-carb arsenal. You can have them fried, scrambled, poached, in omelets, in quiche, boiled, deviled, in keto baked goods, and in egg salad. Each type of egg will vary in its net carb content from .2 to 1 g. Be sure to check each carton. If it says it has 0 grams of carbs per egg, then count that as 0.5 grams of net carbs to play it safe.
- Heavy Cream. Most heavy whipping cream brands have a bit less than 1 gram of carbs per tablespoon, even if the packaging declares it has zero carbs. Make sure you check labels carefully each brand of cream is very different. If the label claims it has zero carbs, then count that as 0.5 grams of net carbs to play it safe.
- Half-and-Half. Because it is typically made from equal parts whole milk and cream, half-and-half will always have more net carbs per tablespoon than heavy cream. Each half-and-half product will vary, but in general, they will contain 1-2 grams of net carbs per tablespoon.
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.
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Dirty Keto Is Similar To The Standard Diet But Expands The Menu
How It Works Is this diet as fun as it sounds? Depends on whom you ask. The macronutrient distribution in the dirty keto approach is the same as in the standard keto plan, according to Melissa Nieves, RD, an advisor for HealthyMeals Supreme who is based in Puerto Rico. The big difference is that the source of these macros can come from any kind of food, including highly processed and prepackaged meals. For example, instead of getting healthy fats and low carbs from almonds, you can hit your macro amounts with BBQ pork rinds instead. The main point of dirty keto is that, since the macronutrient amounts it follows support a ketogenic state, it doesnt matter where those macros come from, she says.
Who It’s Best For This variation is for those who need a high level of convenience and lack the time or interest for cooking and meal prep, Nieves says. This may also be the easiest route to follow for those just getting into keto, she adds, since you can stick to keto even when traveling or dealing with a busy schedule you just need to read package labels carefully rather than going deep into meal planning.
Nieves advises those with preexisting health conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease to tread with caution, but even if you dont have those issues, be aware of the health drawbacks. In general, she adds, if you plan on going keto, consider the dirty version only when you need the convenience, and not as a long-term approach.