Healthy Protein Foods

Protein Foods

Healthy Protein Foods

Many of the foods you eat have some protein in them, but the foods listed here are a significant source that will make it easier for you to fulfill your daily protein requirements.

Unless you are a vegetarian or vegan, when you talk about protein in your diet, you are mostly talking about meat, eggs and dairy productsAnother way of saying this is, generally, most of the protein in your meals comes from the main course.

Steak… Hamburger… Roast Beef… Pork chops… Lamb chops… Chicken… Turkey… Duck… Capon… Fish… Shrimp… Lobster… Crab… Scallops… Venison… Eggs…

Caveat for Healthy Protein Foods: Most health experts recommend that you limit or avoid processed meats, such as lunch meat and hot dogs, since they have been associated with health risks.

Dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt are also good sources of healthy eating protein.

In addition, there are some plant foods that are significant sources of healthy eating protein. These are the legumes, grains, some vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Lentils… Split peas… Kidney beans… Pinto beans… Black beans… Soybeans… Garbanzo beans… Navy beans… Peanuts… Peanut Butter… Rice… Wheat…. Barley… Oats… Peas… Kale… Okra… Walnuts… Brazil Nuts… Almonds… Pumpkin Seeds… Sesame Seeds….

MY TWO CENTS about Healthy Protein Foods

When you think about how meat should fit into your diet, you may want to think of it more as a side dish than a main course. Rather than eating mostly meat, with a few vegetables on the side, try eating lots of veggies with a bit of meat on the side.

It does not take a large portion of meat to get your protein requirement from a meal, plus you can also get some protein from other parts of your meal--bread, rice, dairy products, eggs or legumes. This is a far more balanced way to look at your diet, and could have a beneficial effect on your health and your budget!

Fun Fact about Healthy Protein Foods: Your body actually reuses the protein from the cells of your gastrointestinal lining when they are sloughed off (about every three days) and replaced with news ones. This allows you to have protein available from another source besides the food you eat. What an amazing creation we are!

What does a serving of protein look like?

The usual guideline for visualizing meat servings is that the portion should be the size of a standard deck of playing cards.

For non-meat protein sources, a serving, which is 1 large egg, ½ cup cooked beans or rice, or 2 Tablespoons of seeds, nuts or peanut butter, is equivalent to only about 1/3 of the protein in a serving of meat. Tofu can also be included in this group with a serving size of about 4oz.

Fat and protein are often related

Most health experts recommend that, whenever possible, choose a leaner or low-fat version of healthy protein foods and remove the visible fat from meats. In addition, be aware of invisible fats, the ones you can't see.

Some easy ways to reduce the invisible fats in your diet.

  • Eat your cooked vegetables without sauces; use lemon juice or herbs instead. 
  • Eat your cooked vegetables without sauces; use lemon juice or herbs instead.
  • Limit fried foods, especially deep-fried, in your diet.
  • Substitute a piece of fresh fruit, or even pretzels, for a snack instead of chips. 
  • Eat raw nuts, such as almonds, instead of oil-roasted versions; remember that nuts are nutrient-dense so limit yourself to a few. 
  • Enjoy your burger without cheese. 
  • Use salad dressing sparingly. 
  • Eat tuna packed in water instead of oil.
  • Use low-fat yogurt instead of sour cream in recipes or as a condiment.
  • Have a bagel instead of a croissant or muffin (Use cream cheese and peanut butter sparingly, a little goes a long way!).
  • Consume more low-fat or fat-free dairy products.

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