Protein Rich Foods for Health and Weight Loss
Proteins are hugely important to humans. Most people consider protein among the 3 macro-nutrients that are part of your regular meals (the additional a couple of being carbohydrates/glucose as well as fat), but don’t realize that proteins are also present in each and every cell in your body’s composition. Protein molecules are generally categorized as amino acids, of which you will find 20 types - eight are considered vital or essential amino acids and the remaining twelve are classified as being non-essential amino acids. These proteins are collectively in charge of the development as well as fix many of the body’s functional parts, such as the muscle tissue, bone tissues, tendons as well as ligaments. Amino acids also help carry vital nutrients in the bloodstream, sustain your body’s immune processes as well as help to balance the chemical reactions that take place in your body. Without protein, your body would just not function.
However, while many people understand that protein is an absolute necessary element in their eating regimen, the biggest issue that occurs is finding a good variety of types and tastes for protein, and most people only use a narrow selection and a limited type of protein rich foods every week (ie: chicken or steak).
This report is designed to give you a whole list of new protein options to consider for your meals that will enable you to increase and maintain a high protein diet, while experiencing new tastes and types all within a reasonable budget that won’t hit your wallet (or pocketbook) too hard. We will start with the least common and less used types of proteins and move our way to the more mainstream types of food that is packed with protein.
Vegetarians as well as vegans can buy this very difficult to find an ample amount of protein whenever in their diet due to avoiding animal products. However, there are various plant based foods that have a high protein content, such as lentils. On a per weight basis, you will find approximately 9g of protein within 100g of lentils, which also happen to be pretty low in calories and fat.
Beans are also a very well known choice of protein for anybody, and particularly for vegetarians and vegans. There are many types of beans and they can be prepared in numerous ways which makes them easy to cater to people’s different tastes. Beans such as chickpeas (garbanzo beans) kidney, pinto, black, haricot, adzuki, and cannellini are just a few of the types that are used and all have approximately 5g – 8g of protein within 100g of beans.
Nuts are another common plant protein that can be used in your diet to diversify your variety as well as incorporate different types of vitamins and nutrients into your meals and snacks. Similar to beans, or cheese for that matter, depending upon the type of nut, you can usually find between 15g – 20g of protein per 100grams of nuts. Nuts are also a great source of monounsaturated fats, which help improve your cholesterol levels, lower the potential risk for heart disease and is another non-animal source of protein.
Since plant based proteins do not include all eight of the essential amino acids, you will want to use a wide mix of plant proteins to get the best benefit instead of just relying on one or two sources.
Dairy products such as milk and cheese are the black sheep in the world of nutrition and dietary community. On one occasion – the various nutritional boards and experts will be claiming that we should be consuming multiple servings per day of dairy products, and that the extra calcium helps in bone growth and promotes healthy fat loss, then on the other hand, another camp will be saying that we should eliminate dairy from our diets as much as possible. Regardless of what these groups says and the real truth of the matter – dairy is still a great protein rich food.
On a per weight basis, the best form of protein in dairy products comes from cottage cheese and quark cheese. And, depending upon the type of milk used to make them, they both contain approximately 9g – 12g of protein per 100g of product. While this is only half of what you will find in meat or fish as a source of protein, it’s still easy to get 20g – 25g protein in a serving of either of these products.
Milk is another source of dairy protein and is in a league all by itself. While milk normally contains a mere 3. 3 to 3. 5g of protein for every 100ml, variances in the amount, as well as the fat and cholesterol levels can range quite widely between skim milk, partially skimmed or whole milk. Having a glass with a meal or a mid-day snack can give you the extra boost of protein in your day without getting too full. Milk is also relatively inexpensive and readily available at any grocery store or general store.
Cheese, probably one of my most favorite foods of them all, is a great source of protein and comes in literally hundreds of types of varieties, such as mozzarella, cheddar, gouda, swiss, American, goat, brie, blue and many more. Depending upon the variety and who is making it, cheeses generally have protein content that ranges between 15g and 25g per 100grams of product. Even though cheese is wonderfully yummy, due to its density, is packed with calories. So, with that being said, you have to watch and limit your cheese intake, especially if you don’t want it to hit your waistline, thighs, or butt.
Fish in most people’s diets typically come with the same set of circumstances – lack of variety and limited taste. The two most popular fish people eat are tuna, and salmon, both of which are great sources of protein and easily available at your local grocery store. They also are sources of protein that are not too expensive, and relatively easy to prepare. Tuna is the chicken of the sea and rightfully so as its can be prepared a number of ways, is cost effective and many people eat it. However, as you may already know – there’s only so much tuna you can eat in a month and it gets kind of boring after awhile.
As mentioned – salmon is another great choice and actually one of my personal favorite types of fish. It also comes packed with highly important omega 3 fatty acids, which are essentially in helping to maintain our central nervous system, heart health, and the overall health of our bones and joints. So with that being said – there are still many other healthy types of fish out there that provide omega 3’s, are a great source of protein, and are also really tasty. Trout, mackerel, herring, anchovies, sardines, and fresh (uncanned) tuna all are packed with the same goodness as salmon.
If you’re not too keen on these types of fish, and perhaps prefer not to have the oily type of fish, there are some great choices in “white meat” fish such as sole, cod, halibut, monk fish, and others that can be prepared in a number of ways and still contain approximately 20g – 25g of protein per 100g of meat as well. If you have no specific preference and have to choose one type or the other, we suggest going for the oily type of fish due to the additional omega 3 and nutritional benefits they offer.
Besides vegetarians, the majority of people get virtually all their protein from meats such as beef or chicken. And for several individuals, chicken is the primary source of protein as it’s relatively cost effective, can be prepared in a number of ways and be blended with different spices, sauces and flavors, and is easy to find in just about every grocery store or deli. While chicken is a solid protein rich food source, there are many other meats and food types that provide a similar or more protein, as well as tastes better and has other additional nutritional and health benefits.
Turkey is a great alternative to chicken and we’re all familiar with this form of poultry, especially around big holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. The great thing about turkey as it tends to be both lower in calories and fat as compared to chicken, and still includes approximately and equal amount of protein as chicken. The only thing we recommend with you eat turkey or chicken is that you not slather a whole bunch of gravy on it, which typically is high in fat. Turkey, by the pound, is usually less expensive than chicken too, so it can not only add to your tastes for protein rich foods, it can help you save some money.
The next big source of protein that people use in their meals is red meat. Most people typically go with one main kind of red meat, beef, while other tasty alternatives such as pork or lamb are less used for meals. Beef, pork, and lamb are all great sources of protein, and still carry around the same amount as chicken (25 grams per 100 grams), which sometimes depends on the specific cut (thigh, wing, breast, etc.) – however, there are still many other types of red meat to choose from that many people overlook.
Buffalo and venison (deer) are two more excellent choices to consider. Buffalo meat actually has better numbers than beef does in terms of higher protein levels, and lower fat and cholesterol levels. In addition, a huge benefit in consuming buffalo meat is that they are much more disease resistant and grow faster and are typically not given antibiotics or growth hormones that farmed animals are often subjected to. In a sense, buffalo meat is more organic, has less chemicals, has more protein, and tastes just as good, if not better than beef.
Venison is another wonderful alternative. It can be a little easier to find than buffalo, and has additional benefits that come along with it, similar to buffalo. First – the amount of protein you get in venison meat is essentially the same as buffalo, and also contains lower amounts of fat and cholesterol as compared to beef. In addition, it contact a variety of B vitamins with is great for increasing energy, balancing your body’s chemistry, and overall heart health.
We know this is a long article, however we wanted to cover the importance of a high protein diet and give you enough examples of the types of protein and the various options out there so you never come up short with ideas. Incorporating a high protein diet helps to keep your weight in check, helps promote the growth of lean muscle mass, and helps to reduce the amount of fat in your diet. Of course, don’t over do it and just eat proteins – a well balanced diet is always the best route to take. If you have special requirements or limitations, seek the counsel of your doctor or a certified nutritionist for guidance and advice.
Now that you have this great list of the various types of protein rich foods and the different options for each kind – change up your meals at home and give them a try.
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