As I have been focusing on healthy eating (and losing a little weight) I have also been focusing on making sure I get protein into my diet, thanks to my friend Gail.
Gail has asked me, where’s your protein when I post something on Facebook that I am eating. So this got me thinking more about protein and adjusting my diet to make sure I am eating it daily.
So, of course, I had do some research and share what I find with my readers.
Protein, which contains important nutrients, keeps you feeling fuller. This is definitely something important when you are trying to lose weight or maintain your weight.
I recently started back on Weight Watchers. The way the points are calculated have changed. Protein is now a factor in calculating Points Plus. (Calories are out and carbohydrates are in. Fiber and Fat are still factors.)
This WebMD article states: A study, reported in the Journal of Nutrition, showed that a high-protein diet combined with exercise enhanced weight and fat loss and improved blood fat levels.
Protein is a macronutrient that is essential for maintaining the healthy function of all of your organ systems, and ensuring that your diet includes adequate protein intake is critical to your overall health, according to this Livestrong article, which discusses bananas and protein.
I have read various articles on much protein a person needs daily. They vary a little. But the consensus seems to be half your body weight should be how many grams of protein you should consume a day. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you should eat 75 grams of protein a day. If you are active like me, you should increase your daily intake.
Foods that are high in protein include cheese, poultry, fish, lean meat, beans and lentils, according to Health-alicous-ness.com.
Green leafy vegetables are good for you and provide some protein. Check out this Livestrong article for more information.
Protein I regularly eat: cheese, chicken, beans, lentils, eggs, Greek yogurt, egg whites … (I seriously love cheese so I have to be careful not to have too much as it is high in fat.)
My friend Gail doesn’t eat meat. I asked her how she got her protein. This is what she eats to get her protein in: protein bars that have been dietitian approved, cottage cheese, cheese, egg whites, Greek yogurt, protein shakes, quinoa, fake meat, beans.
One of my favorite things to order at a restaurant is Caesar salad with dressing on the side, no croutons and grilled chicken added. Low calorie, high protein, delicious and filling.
According to this Harvard School of Public Health article, when choosing protein-rich foods, pay attention to what comes along with the protein. Vegetable sources of protein, such as beans, nuts, and whole grains, are excellent choices, and they offer healthy fiber, vitamins and minerals. The best animal protein choices are fish and poultry. If you are partial to red meat, stick with the leanest cuts, choose moderate portion sizes, and make it only an occasional part of your diet.
Now check out your pantry and fridge and see what kind of protein you have already have in your kitchen. (I bet you have beans or a can of tuna in that pantry.) And the next time you are at the grocery store, pick up some protein to add to your favorite foods or think about making some replacements.
And let me know how it goes.