Protein is a macronutrient found in many types of food. Both animal and plant foods are good sources of protein. However, some protein-rich foods may be better choices when eating regularly.
Protein is needed because it builds and repairs tissues, it helps produce enzymes and hormones, maintains electrolyte and fluid balance, and helps build strong bones, muscles, cartilage, and skin.
Did you know that protein also:
- Helps fight infection
- Carries micronutrients around the body
- Builds and contracts muscles
- Keeps body fluids in balance
- Helps with blood clotting
- Keeps you feeling full and satisfied
Something to keep in mind when choosing your protein is that some protein-rich foods may also be high in saturated fat. Too much saturated fat in your diet may increase the risk of heart disease. It’s okay to eat these foods occasionally, you just don’t want to be eating them every day at every meal. Meats like bacon, chicken fried steak, sausage, fried chicken, hot dogs, lunch meats, and processed meats are high in saturated fat and should be limited. Milk is also a great protein source, but whole fat milk should be limited.
You would want to concentrate on leaner sources of protein. These food items are considered heart-healthy:
- Lean cuts of beef, pork, chicken (without the skin) and turkey
- Seafood including salmon, tuna, cod and shrimp
- Low fat and fat free dairy foods including yogurt, milk, and cheese
- Legumes which includes beans, lentils, soy and peanut butter
- Nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, and chia seeds
You should strive to have a protein at every meal. Why is this so important? Protein helps keep you full longer! I find that when I don’t have protein at breakfast, I get hungry not long after my meal. The same goes for the other meals as well. Choose lean sources of protein for a healthy, stylish plate! To find out how your plate should be styled, contact me today!
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