Fruit And Vegetables: Are You Getting Your 5 A Day
Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals and fibre, and should make up just over a third of the food you eat each day.
It’s recommended that you eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. They can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced.
There’s evidence that people who eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.
Eating 5 portions is not as hard as it sounds.
A portion is:
- 80g of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables
- 30g of dried fruit which should be kept to mealtimes
- 150ml glass of fruit juice or smoothie but do not have more than 1 portion a day as these drinks are sugary and can damage teeth
Just 1 apple, banana, pear or similar-sized fruit is 1 portion each.
A slice of pineapple or melon is also 1 portion, and 3 heaped tablespoons of vegetables is another portion.
Adding a tablespoon of dried fruit, such as raisins, to your morning cereal is an easy way to get 1 portion.
You could also swap your mid-morning biscuit for a banana, and add a side salad to your lunch.
In the evening, have a portion of vegetables with dinner and fresh fruit with plain, lower fat yoghurt for dessert to reach your 5 A Day.
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.
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 dont run the risk of overeating.
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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.
Nuts Seeds Legumes And Grains
Protein content: 30g
Ever wondered why pumpkins look so swole? Its because theyre full of pumpkin seeds and you should be too, because along with their impressive protein content, pumpkin seeds offer other nutritional riches in the shape of magnificent magnesium and zincy zinc.
Protein content: 25-28g
The underground legume is a fabulous source of protein, and if you steer clear of the roasted and salted varieties, its a fairly healthy snack. In peanut butter form youll get around 4g of protein per tablespoon.
Protein content: 21g
Along with their high protein content, almonds are also high in fibre and a great source of vitamin E, which is needed to maintain healthy skin and eyes.
Protein content: 20g
Find a friend because this is a prime fist-bump opportunity. Perhaps the tastiest nuts of all are plump with protein. Sure, theyre also pretty fatty and if you opt for the roasted and salted versions, salty as heck, but still, pistachios are on the list.
Protein content: 18g
Any open packet of mixed nuts is quickly picked clean of all the cashews. Is that because they are the tastiest of nuts or because theyre high in protein? Its probably the taste thing, but theyre protein-rich too.
Protein content: 17g
The most in-vogue seed around is chock-full of fibre and protein, and most of the fat it contains is of the good unsaturated variety.
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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.
Eating A Balanced Diet
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best.
This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
This page covers healthy eating advice for the general population.
People with special dietary needs or a medical condition should ask their doctor or a registered dietitian for advice.
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Get Your Protein From Tofu
Packed with selenium, manganese, calcium and omega-3s, tofu can be a healthy addition to your daily meals. One cup provides 176.4 calories, 20.6 grams of protein, 4.2 grams of carbs, 10.6 grams of fat and 2.2 grams of fiber. This popular food is made from soybeans, which boast large doses of isoflavones and antioxidants. Its nutritional value depends on the preparation method used.
As Todays Dietitian notes, the isoflavones in soy may protect against breast cancer and relieve menopause symptoms. Their health benefits are similar to those of estrogen. Furthermore, regular consumption of soy protein may reduce bad cholesterol levels by as much as 4.3 percent.
Soy products, including tofu, have been subject to debate over the past decades. In 2017, the journal Nutrients published a review that explores isoflavones and their effects on human health. Scientists point out that most concerns surrounding these compounds are based on animal studies. Soy and its derivatives appear to be safe for all individuals except those who are allergic to it.
Does Protein Make You Fat
If you eat a lot of protein and excess protein gets converted to fat, does protein make you fat then?
Calories can go over the roof when you increase your protein intake. This can lead to weight gain over time, specifically for women because their metabolism is slightly lower compared to men.
In this case, the best protein for women are lean proteins and plant-based proteins.
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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.
Tips For Eating Protein Foods
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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%
Add Quinoa To Your Diet
Next time youre wondering what to eat, try quinoa salad, porridge or soup. This pseudo-grain goes well in most dishes, from stews and pilaf to casseroles. One cup boasts 222 calories, 8.1 grams of protein, 39.4 grams of carbs, 3.6 grams of fat and 5.2 grams of fiber. Its full of magnesium, copper, zinc, manganese, iron and phosphorus.
Compared to other grains, quinoa has a lower glycemic index , so its unlikely to cause blood sugar spikes. Its considered one of the best plant-based high-protein foods for vegans as it contains all nine essential amino acids. It also contains potent antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids that promote optimal health.
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A 2017 clinical trial published in the journal Current Developments in Nutrition has found that eating as little as 50 grams of quinoa per day may lower triglyceride levels in people with overweight and obesity. Furthermore, this pseudo-grain is gluten-free, so it can be safely consumed by those with celiac disease.
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Best Casein Protein Powder
Casein is digested and absorbed slowly, which can help you feel full longer. As such, it may help reduce your appetite. The slower digestion and absorption rate may also help support muscle growth and recovery over longer periods (
Its also produced in a facility thats certified by NSF International. According to the companys website, BulkSupplements products also undergo third-party testing, but the name of the third-party lab isnt disclosed.
The powder is particularly a good choice for adding to smoothies or batters because it doesnt clump.
However, its not ideal if you prefer a flavored or sweetened protein powder.
Why Is Protein Important
First things first. Why is protein essential for your health?
A diet thats high in protein can help lower blood pressure, decrease your risk of developing diabetes, help you lose weight and build muscle, says Hopsecger.
Here are some other reasons why protein is important. Protein:
- Oxygenates red blood cells, helping to supply your body with nutrients.
- Regulates hormones.
- Speeds up exercise recovery and injury.
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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.
How Much Protein Can Your Body Absorb
The percentage of protein the body can use depends on the protein source.
For example, your body can use 100% of the protein in an egg, whereas for plant-based foods, you end up absorbing less than 50% of the protein.
Your physical activity, muscle mass, body composition also determines your bodys protein absorption rate.
Meaning, our body uses around 30g of protein for muscle growth, and any excess protein will be used for other functions or converted to fats.
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Proteins Are Made Of Amino Acids
Proteins are made up of building blocks called amino acids. There are about 20 different amino acids that link together in different combinations. Your body uses them to make new proteins, such as muscle and bone, and other compounds such as enzymes and hormones. It can also use them as an energy source.
Some amino acids can be made by your body there are 11 of these and theyre known as non-essential amino acids. There are nine amino acids that your body cannot make, and they are known as essential amino acids. You need to include enough of these in your diet so that your body can function.
The Best Nontraditional Sources Of Protein
1. Beans and legumes
Beans and legumes meaning all types of dried beans, split peas and lentils are fair game for increasing your protein intake.
Beans and legumes are fiber-rich nutrient powerhouses and an excellent source of protein, says Hopsecger. One serving of beans provides about 7 grams of protein, the same as 1 ounce of meat.
Beans and legumes also keep you fuller, longer because they are so rich in fiber. Animal sources of protein, in contrast, have no fiber at all. Beans and legumes are also much higher in antioxidants.
Research suggests that:
- Four servings a week can decrease the risk of recurrence for colon polyps that can turn cancerous.
Eating enough plant protein in general including beans, peas, nuts, seeds, soy and 100% whole grains helps protect against chronic degenerative diseases, notes Hopsecger.
Plant proteins are loaded with nutrients and fiber, and are naturally low in cholesterol and sodium, she says. Plant-based diets promote weight loss and maintenance and are cost-effective when youre eating on a budget. And many plant proteins are gluten-free.
When relying only on plant-based proteins, she adds that some researchers recommend getting 0.9 grams, versus the recommended dietary allowance of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
2. Wild salmon
Wild salmon is the perfect source of lean protein and provides incredible benefits because of its anti-inflammatory fats.
4. Greek yogurt
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Proteins High In Healthy Fats
Even though they aren’t as protein dense, or often as low in calories, nutritionally speaking, higher-fat proteins can be just as good for you as low-fat protein options. It all depends on your personal nutrition needs and dietary goals.
Because fat is more calorically dense – providing twice as many calories per gram as other macronutrients – you can get more calories in a smaller portion size. Which is why a little healthy fat, like plant based fat from nuts and seeds, can be a great addition to help add calories when trying to gain muscle.
But this also doesn’t mean eating high fat foods will make you fat! Some fatty foods can be satiating – keeping your appetite in check when trying to cut calories. Fat can also slow the absorption of protein and carbs. This may be beneficial if you are looking for long-lasting energy.
Additionally, fatty proteins from fish and plant based sources are associated with heart health benefits and support good nutrition overall .
Quality proteins that are higher in fat and lower in carbs include nuts, seeds, nut butters, fatty fish, full fat dairy, and some meat alternatives.
High fat proteins work especially great for keto dieters or those looking to gain muscle.
Here are eight options to try:
While many nuts and seeds may seem like they have a higher carbohydrate content at first glance, their net carbs are actually low when consider their high fiber content.