02
October
2013

The Importance of a High Protein Diet

Protein is important to incorporate into your diet for many reasons. It’s a key contributor to our body’s growth and development, and it also helps to build a strong immune system to help fight off infections. Not only that, but a high protein diet has been proven to help people lose weight.

Protein is a nutrient that can be used as fuel for our body’s critical functions. Protein is a part of every cell in our body; so maintaining a balanced diet with sufficient protein is crucial. It’s a huge contributor to maintaining one’s body weight as well. Protein has been shown to sustain the feeling of “fullness” for longer, and can overall decrease hunger. After 6 months, people that incorporated lots of protein into their diet, lost on average approximately 4.5 pounds more than those who used other dieting methods. While a high protein diet can be beneficial at first, after about 6 months, many people seem to hit a plateau in weight loss. Anyone who is looking to start a high protein diet, it’s advised to only do it up to 6 months.

Not all proteins are lean and healthy, and just because you’re on a “high protein” diet, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read food labels. Processed meats such as hot dogs, sausage, and even deli meats have minimal health benefits, and are actually linked to developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and colorectal cancer. These foods should be avoided as much as possible. There are 5 critical proteins to incorporate into any variation of a high-protein diet. Fish offers protein and heart-healthy fatty acids, and isn’t as fatty as other meats. Poultry can be very lean and healthy depending on its preparation. Removing the skin on chicken or turkey decreases the amount of fat. Baking or grilling are two healthy preparations that reduce the amount of fat in the meat. Beans have more protein than any other vegetable, so even those who are vegetarian have options for their own high-protein diet. Beans are also loaded with fiber, which also leaves you full much longer. Nuts are the protein “super-food”. In 6 ounces of almonds, you are receiving as much protein as you would in 1 ounce of steak, without the extra fats. Lastly are whole grains. One slice of whole grain bread gives you 3 grams of protein and tons of fiber as well. All of these foods are great sources of lean protein and fiber, which will leave you fuller longer. Diary and eggs can also provide protein as well as other vitamins and nutrients.

With these key foods in mind, it’s easy to incorporate them into your daily diet. For breakfast, you can eat a slice of whole grain toast with peanut or almond butter with a side of fruit, or make an omelet with fresh vegetables and cheese. This will leave you full due the protein and fiber. For lunch you could have a grilled chicken salad with lots of fresh fruits and veggies. You could even incorporate nuts into the mix. For snacks, nuts or yogurt are a great option. For dinner, you could grill or bake your choice of fish or poultry. Add a side of whole grain rice or pasta or beans to complete the meal. Add fresh vegetables and fruit for fiber as well! Top off with a glass of milk and your high protein diet is in full swing. The options are endless, and you can be creative as you want!

Categories: Food and Health

4.0/5 rating (1 votes)

Nutrition Facts

02
October
2013

The Importance of a High Protein Diet

Protein is important to incorporate into your diet for many reasons. It’s a key contributor to our body’s growth and development, and it also helps to build a strong immune system to help fight off infections. Not only that, but a high protein diet has been proven to help people lose weight.

Protein is a nutrient that can be used as fuel for our body’s critical functions. Protein is a part of every cell in our body; so maintaining a balanced diet with sufficient protein is crucial. It’s a huge contributor to maintaining one’s body weight as well. Protein has been shown to sustain the feeling of “fullness” for longer, and can overall decrease hunger. After 6 months, people that incorporated lots of protein into their diet, lost on average approximately 4.5 pounds more than those who used other dieting methods. While a high protein diet can be beneficial at first, after about 6 months, many people seem to hit a plateau in weight loss. Anyone who is looking to start a high protein diet, it’s advised to only do it up to 6 months.

Not all proteins are lean and healthy, and just because you’re on a “high protein” diet, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read food labels. Processed meats such as hot dogs, sausage, and even deli meats have minimal health benefits, and are actually linked to developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and colorectal cancer. These foods should be avoided as much as possible. There are 5 critical proteins to incorporate into any variation of a high-protein diet. Fish offers protein and heart-healthy fatty acids, and isn’t as fatty as other meats. Poultry can be very lean and healthy depending on its preparation. Removing the skin on chicken or turkey decreases the amount of fat. Baking or grilling are two healthy preparations that reduce the amount of fat in the meat. Beans have more protein than any other vegetable, so even those who are vegetarian have options for their own high-protein diet. Beans are also loaded with fiber, which also leaves you full much longer. Nuts are the protein “super-food”. In 6 ounces of almonds, you are receiving as much protein as you would in 1 ounce of steak, without the extra fats. Lastly are whole grains. One slice of whole grain bread gives you 3 grams of protein and tons of fiber as well. All of these foods are great sources of lean protein and fiber, which will leave you fuller longer. Diary and eggs can also provide protein as well as other vitamins and nutrients.

With these key foods in mind, it’s easy to incorporate them into your daily diet. For breakfast, you can eat a slice of whole grain toast with peanut or almond butter with a side of fruit, or make an omelet with fresh vegetables and cheese. This will leave you full due the protein and fiber. For lunch you could have a grilled chicken salad with lots of fresh fruits and veggies. You could even incorporate nuts into the mix. For snacks, nuts or yogurt are a great option. For dinner, you could grill or bake your choice of fish or poultry. Add a side of whole grain rice or pasta or beans to complete the meal. Add fresh vegetables and fruit for fiber as well! Top off with a glass of milk and your high protein diet is in full swing. The options are endless, and you can be creative as you want!

Categories: Food and Health

4.0/5 rating (1 votes)

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