It is important to eat protein, and this is due to a number of reasons. 20% of the human body is made up of protein, which, plays a crucial role in almost all of the biological process that take place inside our bodies.
It is amino acids that are the building blocks of protein, and they help to build protein in the body, they facilitate its growth and development and they build lean muscle mass.
They are the building blocks of life.
The body does not make amino acids on its own, they can only be obtained from food and specifically those foods that are high in protein.
You must ensure that you do not eat proteins containing high proportions of fat. Unfortunately, many excellent sources of proteins are very high in fat, especially that which comes from animals, like beef. Consuming too much animal proteins that are high in fat can lead to high cholesterol levels, heart disease and even stroke.
Therefore, it is wise to opt for lean meats and other protein sources that are low in fats that will provide you with the amino acids that your body requires, less the added fat and calories that are to be found in other protein sources.
The best low fat proteins are beans, grains, lean meats and seafood, and here is why.
Beans are rich in protein and contain very little fat. In fact, the majority of beans contain between 14 and 17 grams of protein and less than one gram of fat per cup, which is very little indeed.
The Best Beans:
- Black beans
- Garbanzo beans
- Pinto beans
- Kidney beans
- Tofu (soybean product)
Beans do not only provide protein: they also provide indispensable dietary fiber. It is simple to incorporate beans in your daily diet. They can be used as a replacement for beef, and incorporated in chili, soups, stews, burritos and even curries. You can even use them as a healthy, tasty salad topping.
Finally, beans are extremely cheap and can be easily found all over the world, either fresh, dry or canned.
When choosing canned products, check the label and make sure that there are no added ingredients, like sugar or salt. In any case, it is always best to get your beans dry and in their whole state and prepare them at home.
Whole-grain foods also provide protein without fat. Teff and quinoa contain significant amounts of protein, and very little fat.
Quinoa can be used to substitute brown rice, which, is high in calories, contains less fiber than quinoa and has only one quarter of the amount of iron that quinoa contains. Therefore, quinoa is a healthier option than brown rice, and can easily be used to substitute brown rice.
Teff is usually ground and turned into a healthy type of flour, which can be used in baking, as a substitute for white flour.
Steel oats are best and can be enjoyed as a hot breakfast, or added to muffins, made into cookies and home-made energy bars.
Avoid sugar added instant oatmeals.
3. Lean Meats
As indicated above, you must be careful to choose the right meat, and the right cuts of that meat, if you want to use it as a way of incorporating healthy protein in your diet.
As a rule of thumb, cuts of meat with little fat, skin or bone tend to be the healthiest. Because of this, boneless, skinless chicken breasts make for a very healthy choice. A 3 ounce portion contains 27 grams of protein and only 3 grams of fat.
Turkey is another great option, and can be purchased whole, ground, in patty and in fillet form.
Red meat does hold significant nutrients as well, such as, iron, and can be enjoyed in moderation.
Choose lean cuts:
- Top round roast and steak
- Bottom round roast and steak
- Top sirloin
- Eye of round roast or steak
- Hamburger that is 95% lean.
Cuts graded “Choice” or “Select” are lower in fat than those graded as “Prime.”
Removing the white marble from red meat prior to cooking will cut the fat content significantly. Also the cooking method matters here, and grilling or broiling over a rack where the fat drips away from the meat will yield the best results.
There are lots of fish and seafood varieties that contain high amounts of protein and low amounts of fat.
White fish, such as cod, halibut, flounder, carp or sea bass provide between 15 and 20 grams of protein, and merely 1 to 4 grams of fat.
Shellfish, such as clams, mussels or scallops also provide good amounts of protein and are low in fat.
In order to ensure that seafood remains low in fat, stick to steaming, baking or grilling them. Unfortunately, this means avoiding the classic fish and chips.
Enjoy Lean Protein!
Make protein a part of every meal you consume as it is crucial for the body and provides energy and keeps you satisfied, which, is always useful for the waistline!