Good Advice on Choosing Protein Foods

Good Advice on Choosing Protein Foods

A healthy diet generally includes protein-rich foods. When talking about protein food, it does not only refer to meat, but to other foods as well. Fat and cholesterol, which forms part of some meat parts, should be avoided also to remain healthy.

Uses of Protein

Protein does not only taste good, it also does a lot of good things for your body being an essential nutrient. It is necessary for strengthening body cells and tissues. It plays a part in every function including healing and building muscles.

The body needs its share of proteins to be healthy. People need 2 to 3 servings of protein per day; to be specific, women need around 50 grams and men need around 70 grams. Some individuals, such as athletes, pregnant women and seniors may need a bit more. The problem is many people get protein overload. Most eat over 120 grams of protein per day, almost two times the recommended amount.

Choosing the Meat You Eat

Though protein is essential in a healthy diet, you should evaluate a protein source whether it is good or bad for your body before eating it. When the protein contains saturated fat and cholesterol, that protein is not as healthy as can be. Some meats have very high amounts of saturated fat that eating just little amount gives you more fat than your daily recommended amount.

Be careful with the sources of protein you choose. A good source of lean protein is skinless chicken breast. Red meat also provides a good source of protein, however, it is high in saturated fat and cholesterol, so eat it with moderation.

Ask the butcher to give you lean cuts of beef and pork. Avoid marbled meats, such as steak, because the white marbling you see is really fat. As much as possible, avoid cold cuts, hot dogs and other processed meats, because of the excess fat and salt they contain.

Choosing Healthy Protein

Choose healthy, low-fat protein to include in your diet. Some options include fish, nuts, beans and low-fat dairy, which gives the added benefit of calcium.

Egg is considered the best source of protein. If you would like to avoid the fat and cholesterol, just avoid the yolk and eat the egg whites only.

Alternative sources of Healthy Protein

Fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as cheese, milk and yogurt
Quinoa and other whole grains
Peas, lentils, kidney bean, black beans and other beans
Miso, tempeh and other fermented soy products
Pastas fortified with protein
Protein meal replacement bars
Nuts and butter made from nuts, such as peanut butter

A healthy diet includes food rich in protein. Just don’t go for the type of protein that is high in saturated fat or cholesterol, which is unhealthy for you.

Photo credits: By Smastronardo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Categories: Diet, Nutrition
Tags: protein

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