Every diet plan suggested by experts include healthy amount of proteins. Even though fats and carbs have some debates surrounding which is good for you and how much, everyone agrees that proteins are the best.
The thing with proteins is that most of us consume it just enough to avoid protein deficiency in your body, but by making it the hero of your diet, you stand to gain lot more. How?
- Protein-rich foods keep you full for longer duration, thus reducing the urge to eat frequently. Thus, it helps lose weight.
- Proteins improve metabolism and facilitate fat burning.
- Proteins increase your muscle mass and strength, while building leaner muscles. They also limit muscle loss during weight loss.
- They keep your bones stronger, helping you avoid problems such as osteoporosis and fractures, as you grow old.
- Proteins keep your blood pressure regulated, reducing the chances of heart attacks, strokes and other diseases attributed to high blood pressure.
- Proteins are a great way to reduce the effects of aging on your body, such as shrinking of muscles, frail bones etc.
- A person who consistently consumes protein-rich diet recovers faster after an injury.
But, while we are talking about the benefits of including healthy amounts of protein in your diet, we should also warn you about the effects that excessively high amount of proteins can have:
- Liver problems
- Weight gain
Having said that, generally it has been found that 15% of the total calorie we consume comes from proteins. However, increasing the protein intake up to 25-30% of the total calories consumed would help you stay fit, have strong and lean muscles and deal better with the effects of aging.
Protein-rich diet doesn’t have to be boring. There are tons of delicious and easy ingredients and recipes that can make a protein-heavy diet fun. Here are some common foods that have high protein content.
Beans, Legumes and Lentils
Meat – Chicken Breast, Lean Beef, Pork
Fish – Salmon, Tuna, Shrimp and almost all of them
Dairy – Milk, Greek Yogurt, Cottage Cheese
Fruits – Avocado, Guava, Peas, Chickpeas
Cereals – Oats, Quinoa
Dry fruits – Almonds, Pistachios
Vegetables – Broccoli, Cauliflower, Artichokes, Asparagus, Brussel Sprouts,
Seeds – Pumpkin seeds, Hemp seeds,
Now, that’s a long list of delicious protein-rich foods that you can cook with to create healthy but also delicious dishes.
Avoid packaged foods that are rich in proteins such as yogurt, protein bars or protein shakes, as they also contain a high amount of sugar and preservatives. Also, processed cheese is not recommended, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
And when in doubt or if you have an existing medical condition, it’s always better to take expert advice. Consult your dietician to evaluate how much protein you are currently taking and how to add protein in moderation in your diet.