8 Most Important Sources of Protein

HiDow sources of protein

Protein is essential in your diet, especially if you are watching your weight because they can help you shed unwanted pounds but still keep you feeling full. Plus, it may help reduce your risk of heart disease. Just make sure that you eat the right amount to reap its full health benefits. Find out which sources of protein should you get more often.

Eating More Protein for a Healthier Diet

Protein is not just helping you reach a healthy weight, but also a significant building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. If you don’t have time to sit down for a meal, grab a meal replacement drink, cereal bar, or energy bar. Check the label to be sure the product contains at least six grams of protein and is low in sugar and fat. Here are the eight most important sources of protein.

1. Eggs

One medium egg contains only 70-85 calories and about 6.5 grams of protein. Plus, they are one of the least expensive forms of protein. The American Heart Association says normal healthy adults can safely enjoy an egg a day.

2. Lean Beef

Lean beef has only one more gram of saturated fat than a skinless chicken breast. Although it may cost a little more, the benefits will make sure it’s all worth it. Lean beef is also an excellent source of zinc, iron, and vitamin B12.

3. Seafood

Seafood is an excellent source of protein because it’s usually low in fat and still has about the same amount of protein as meat. Fish such as salmon is a little higher in fat, but it is the heart-healthy kind: it has omega-3 fatty acids.

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4. Skinless White-Meat Poultry

Stick to the white meat of poultry for high-quality, lean protein. Chicken and Turkey are great sources of protein that are low in saturated fat, while dark meat is a little higher in fat. Remove the skin before cooking because it is loaded with saturated fat.

5. Pork Tenderloin

Pork tenderloin is an affordable cut of pork unlike all the other versions of the T-word which you think are high-end gourmet splurges. Plus, it’s one of the leanest and most tender cuts. A three-ounce serving of pork tenderloin contains 3 grams of fat and 22 grams of protein per serving. This cut tastes even better in low-fat preparations like roasting, grilling, or stewing.

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6. Nuts and Legumes

They may be considered the perfect food as they contain more protein than any other plant food and they are also high in complex carbs yet low in fat. A cup of lentils will give you nearly 18 grams of protein– comparable to a serving of T-bone steak.

7. Milk, Cheese, and Yogurt

Not only are dairy foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt are excellent sources of protein. They also contain valuable calcium, and many are fortified with vitamin D. Choose skim or low-fat dairy to keep bones and teeth strong and help prevent osteoporosis.

8. Soy

Fifty grams of soy protein daily can help lower cholesterol by about 3%. Eating soy protein instead of sources of higher-fat protein and maintaining a healthy diet can be good for your heart.

The Bottom Line

Including a source of protein like an egg or Greek yogurt at breakfast along with a high-fiber grain like whole wheat toast can help you feel full longer and eat less throughout the day. So make sure you include protein in your diet and feel the difference!

Related: 5 Ways to Maintain Muscle Health