Proteins are the building blocks of our body and are the major components in our cells, nails and hair. Your body needs protein to make enzymes, hormones and other chemicals. Protein fills you up, curbs your appetite and changes your metabolism.
Your body doesn’t make or store a single ounce of protein. You have to eat or drink your daily protein requirements. Your protein intake requirement is based on your gender, your height and weight. On an average, you should consume 2-4 ounces of protein per day divided into 2 or 3 servings. Lean Protein Foods
Lean protein refers to pure protein devoid of fat and cholesterol. High fat foods means extra calories and more weight gain. Protein rich foods include chicken, meat, eggs, dairy products, bean, peas and lentils. For lean protein you can eat.
- Egg Whites. Eggs are the most economical of protein sources. Boil the eggs and throw out the yolks for 7 grams of protein.
- Non-fat cottage cheese. Use low fat or non fat dairy products for your protein and calcium requirements.
- Beans (black beans, kidney beans, chick peas or lentils). A staple Indian lunch and dinner consist of a dish of dal (lentils or beans). Nutritionists recommend that you should have at least one meal with beans and lentils as they are rich in fibre and protein with low calories. Frozen green soybeans can be steamed for a great snack. Beware of flatulence, though!
- Skinless Chicken or Turkey breast. Skinless chicken breasts and tenderloins make the best lean protein meals and snacks.
- Fish Fillet (flounder, sole, scrod, cod etc.).
- Shellfish (clams, lobster, scallop, shrimp).
- Lean Beef (top round). Not more than two servings of red meat in a week is good for you. A couple of slices of lean or roast beef is the best of choice. A 3-ounce serving of ground beef gives you lean protein,196 calories and 10 grams of fat. But say no to bacon and hot dogs. Alternatively, enjoy a slice of pork loin for an economical lean meat.
- Tuna. Go for tinned tuna, salmon or frozen fish fillets not only for protein but also for omega 3 fatty acids. Sushis are a great way of enjoying fish with low calories and fats.
- Munch on low sugar but high protein energy bars for a quick boost.
You have to keep in mind that a high protein diet at the expense of greens is not a great idea. You will get a lot of protein but less of nutrients. Protein diets have the curse of being high in saturated fats and low in fibre. And they can increase your risk of heart disease, cholesterol and osteoporosis. So, balance your meals well for optimum health.
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