Getting More Protein Into Your Day Naturally
If youre looking for ways to get more protein into your diet, here are some suggestions:
- Try a peanut butter sandwich. Remember to use natural peanut butter with no added salt, sugar or other fillers.
- Low-fat cottage or ricotta cheese is high in protein and can go in your scrambled eggs, casserole, mashed potato or pasta dish. Or spread it on your toast in the morning.
- Nuts and seeds are fantastic in salads, with vegetables and served on top of curries. Try toasting some pine nuts or flaked almonds and putting them in your green salad.
- Beans are great in soups, casseroles, and pasta sauces. Try tipping a drained can of cannellini beans into your favourite vegetable soup recipe or casserole.
- A plate of hummus and freshly cut vegetable sticks as a snack or hummus spread on your sandwich will give you easy extra protein at lunchtime.
- Greek yoghurt is a protein rich food that you can use throughout the day. Add some on your favourite breakfast cereal, put a spoonful on top of a bowl of pumpkin soup or serve it as dessert with some fresh fruit.
- Eggs are a versatile and easy option that can be enjoyed on their own or mixed in a variety of dishes.
Ground Beef Sliders And Meatballs
Sliders or a couple of meatballs are both snack-friendly ways to eat ground beef. With just 2 ounces , youll get about 10 grams of protein and no carbs at all.
For convenience, try grilling a batch of seasoned sliders and freezing them. Or, try a low-carb recipe from our hearty meatball collection, and freeze them right after cooking them. Now your snack is just a microwave-minute away from eating.
If you want fewer calories, buy a leaner blend. Youll pay a little more but increase the percentage of energy from protein in your snack.
|~ 140 calories|
Veggies And Yogurt Dip
Veggies are great for snacking, but theyre not very high in protein on their own. You can increase your protein intake by pairing them with yogurt dip.
Yogurt dip is typically made by combining yogurt with herbs and flavorings, such as dill and lemon juice, as in this recipe. For more protein, its best to use Greek yogurt, which contains almost twice the amount of protein as regular yogurt .
For convenience, make a batch of yogurt dip ahead of time and portion it out into snack-size containers so you can grab it when you need it.
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How Much Protein Should You Eat
As the main foundation of your body, life without protein would not be possible. It is used to make almost every component of the body from tiny molecules to organs and huge muscles. Several studies have been done to address the ideal amount of protein the average person should eat.
Although these studies have come to many different conclusions, a reasonable estimate is 0.7 1 gram per pound of body weight . However, it should be noted that the daily recommended value for protein is set at about 55grams per day.
Now that quantity has been addressed, what about quality? Here are 12 healthy foods high in protein guaranteed to give you high-quality protein as well as other nutrients.
Beef Pork Veal And Lamb
Its best to limit your intake of red meat which is often higher in saturated fat and processed meats like ham, bacon and hot dogs which are often higher in saturated fat and sodium. If you decide to have these, choose the leanest options, which are:
- Select or Choice grades of beef trimmed of fat including: chuck, rib, rump roast, round, sirloin, cubed, flank, porterhouse, T-bone steak or tenderloin
- Lamb: chop, leg or roast
- Veal: loin chop or roast
- Pork: Canadian bacon, center loin chop, ham or tenderloin
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How Much Do You Need
How much protein you need depends on your age, gender and level of physical activity. Dietary Guidelines recommends that your daily intake should be 10 to 35 percent of your total calories. The suggestion is 46 grams of protein daily for women and 56 grams for men. A 50-gram average has been set for the daily value for protein to help compare foods by percentage of daily ingestion.
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What Foods Are In The Protein Foods Group
All foods made from seafood meat, poultry, and eggs beans, peas, and lentils and nuts, seeds, and soy products are part of the Protein Foods Group. Beans, peas, and lentils are also part of the Vegetable Group. For more information on beans, peas, and lentils see Beans, Peas, and Lentils are Unique Foods.
Select a wide variety of protein foods to get more of the nutrients your body needs and for health benefits. Meat and poultry choices should be lean or low-fat, like 93% lean ground beef, pork loin, and skinless chicken breasts. Choose seafood options that are higher in beneficial fatty acids and lower in methylmercury, such as salmon, anchovies, and trout. The advice to consume lean or low-fat meat and poultry and a variety of seafood does not apply to vegetarians. Vegetarian options in the Protein Foods Group include beans, peas, and lentils, nuts, seeds, and soy products.
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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.
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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List Of Foods Or Fruits That Contain Protein
Protein is a macronutrient that is vital to every cell in your body and is required for building and maintaining your bones, muscles and skin. All food contains protein, with animal based and plant-based sources, like fruit, featuring some differences in quality and quantity. Learning which are the best protein-rich foods may help ensure you meet the recommended daily amount for good health.
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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.
What Foods Are The Best Source Of Protein
Ideally, consuming proteins from a variety of sources is the best strategy. When you vary your protein, you are able to get a wide range of nutrients that assist your body in using the protein.
If you are counting calories however, the proteins with the lowest calories are the foods where there arent other macronutrients, such as carbs or fat. For example, nuts have more calories per gram of protein because it also comes with fats. Milk will have more calories per gram of protein because it has carbohydrates in addition to protein.
Lean meats, where there is virtually little fat or carbs, will have the most protein per calorie.
Below youll find a full list of calories plus grams of protein for each high protein item listed! or bookmark this page.
Research On Protein And Health
Available evidence indicates that its the source of protein , rather than the amount of protein, that likely makes a difference for our health. You can explore the research related to each disease in the tabs below, but heres the evidence-based takeaway: eating healthy protein sources like beans, nuts, fish, or poultry in place of red meat and processed meat can lower the risk of several diseases and premature death.
Research conducted at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health has found that eating even small amounts of red meatespecially processed red meaton a regular basis is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, and the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or any other cause. Conversely, replacing red and processed red meat with healthy protein sources such as beans, soy foods, nuts, fish, or poultry seems to reduce these risks. One of the reasons why plant sources of protein are related to lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to protein from red meat and dairy is because of the different types of fat in these protein packages. Plant-based protein sources are more unsaturated, which lowers LDL cholesterolan established risk factor for heart disease. Also, plant sources contain no cholesterol. Other factors are likely to contribute to the lower risk, but this is a key factor.
When it comes to cancer, once again, the seems to matter more than quantity.
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What Does Protein Do In The Body
There are thousands of different proteins in the body that have a huge variety of roles, in our organs like our brain, heart and liver, the antibodies in our immune system and the haemoglobin that carries oxygen in our blood. Protein is important for childrens muscles and bones as they are growing, and also to keep our muscles and bones healthy throughout life.
Have A Protein Shake For Breakfast
Many smoothies contain a lot of fruit, vegetables, or juice, but very little protein.
However, a shake or smoothie can be a great breakfast option, especially if you choose nutritious ingredients.
Whey protein powder has been studied the most and seems to have an edge over the others when it comes to helping you feel full (
Heres a basic whey shake recipe:
Whey Protein Shake
- 8 ounces of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 scoop of whey powder
- 1 cup of fresh berries
- stevia or another healthy sweetener, if desired
- 1/2 cup of crushed ice
Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
Having a protein shake for breakfast helps you start the day off right. Whey may be the best type to use.
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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.
Leafy Greens Are Secretly Filled With Protein
You probably know that spinach is a superhero when it comes to iron and potassium, but did you know just one cup of the cooked green has more thanfive grams of protein?
Add a side of cooked spinach to your meal or mix in some steamed collard greens to your pasta for a low-calorie way to up your protein intake.
A single ounce of goat cheese will give you nearlynine grams of protein, according to the USDA.
Though you probably don’t need encouragement to incorporate cheese into your diet, crumbling some hard goat cheese over a side salad or spreading the semi-soft variety on a warm piece of toast a scrumptious way to liven up a standard snack.
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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.
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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Tastes Sweeter Than Regular Milk
A notable difference between lactose-free milk and regular milk is the flavor.
Lactase, the enzyme added to lactose-free milk, breaks lactose down into two simple sugars: glucose and galactose .
Because your taste buds perceive these simple sugars as sweeter than complex sugars, the final lactose-free product has a sweeter flavor than regular milk .
Though this doesnt change the nutritional value of the milk and the difference in flavor is mild, it may be worth keeping in mind when using lactose-free milk in place of regular milk for recipes.
In lactose-free milk, lactose is broken down into glucose and galactose, two simple sugars that give lactose-free milk a sweeter flavor than regular milk.