Proteins need to be part of every person’s diet. How and where those proteins can be found is the tricky part. There are multiple protein sources – some better than others. The protein of these foods is rarely the problem, it’s the additional components that come coupled with the proteins that can be harmful.
One of the tried and true sources of protein is red meat. It is one of the densest sources of protein at about 40 grams per six ounces. Unfortunately, in that same six ounces of steak, there are about 34 grams of fat with 14 of them being saturated (the bad kind). A good substitute for red meat would be fish, beans, vegetables, and lean meats such as poultry.
Fish is a great source of protein, packing about 34 grams of protein per six ounces and only 18 grams of fat, with only four of those grams being saturated. Lean meats such as turkey or chicken are similar, but they have less unsaturated fat. Unsaturated fats such as omega 3s and 6s are good and we want those in our diet (more on fats to come). Beans will yield about 18 grams of protein per six ounces. That is just under half of what you would get from red meat but you also get a healthy portion of micro-nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fibers.
Our bodies are mostly protein and water. Proteins are composed of amino acids and we need these amino acids to make our own proteins that help out with food digestion, cellular activities, brain activity, muscle movement, fat mobilization, etc. Proteins have a huge role in our general health and well-being, so make sure that even if you are vegetarian / vegan that you get plenty of proteins. It is recommended to ingest about 34 to 56 grams per day depending on age and gender. It’s not a huge amount but it is needed.
Five tips for choosing protein sources:
1) Eat a variety of food to get various types of proteins.
2) Reduce saturated fats by avoiding fatty meats and whole milk products.
3) Reduce red meat intake and avoid processed meats.
4) Give soy a chance – it is packed with proteins and helps promote great health.
5) Balance carbs and protein – good carbs mixed with protein will help you feel fuller and curb yourappetite.