There is no fad diet that will do for your body what healthy eating can. Healthy eating consists of a balance of the right amount of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Of course, over the past two decades, diet trends have swung in favor of one of the three food types at different times.
For a while, there was a low-fat craze. Then, there was a low-carb phase. As you can see, the common factor in both of the above scenarios is that they both include protein.
Recently, the diet trend has veered in a completely different direction and are leaning toward counting calories. While this is an effective weight loss tool, it does not always prioritize protein. That’s because many people think that foods rich in protein are high in calories and, therefore, fattening. This is definitely not the case because although proteins have more calories than fruits and vegetables, their satiety value is high and they help control hunger.
The problem with proteins is that they are not as portable as other foods. The best sources of protein—meat, fish, beans, dairy—aren’t as “transportable” as many carbs, fruits, and veggies are. One cannot just “grab-and-go” a healthy source of protein.
This could be the reason why many people do not get their RDA (required daily allowance of protein).
A study conducted at Johns Hopkins University found that diets, in which a quarter of the calories came from lean protein sources, reduce blood pressure, bad cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels. Other studies also show that protein-rich diets can help prevent obesity, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
Getting your daily protein in
Considering that many nutritionists believe that current dietary guidelines for this mighty macronutrient are lower than normal, it’s time to do something about it. So, let’s take a look at some foods other than eggs, fish, and meat that have a high protein value.
While eggs have gained a reputation (a single hard-boiled egg packs six grams of protein, all in a convenient, portable package) for being protein superstars, they don’t have to monopolize your protein consumption. There are other equally delicious foods that are rich in this muscle-building nutrient. In fact, the following five foods all have more protein than an egg:
Dried seaweed can give traditional seafood a run for their money when it comes to protein content. In fact, just two tablespoons of this amazing protein source delivers eight grams of protein without pushing the calorie count (just 40 calories). If you don’t like the idea of eating it plain, try sprinkling spirulina over a salad or use it to season roasted vegetables.
A quarter cup of this snack houses 15 grams of protein, along with a sizable dose of fiber and potassium. It’s the perfect ingredient to include in a homemade trail mix. Or just keep them in a dry container on your desk and snack on them regularly.
While every plastic cup of Greek yogurt contains 17 grams of protein for only 100 calories, one need to be careful to choose plain, non-fat, Greek yogurt, and not the sweetened, creamier versions.
Every ounce of this rich and delicious Swiss cheese is packed with more than eight grams of protein. But be warned. Though the one-ounce serving contains only 117 calories, it is very easy to succumb to the delicious goodness and consume several portions.
Dried pumpkin seeds
These easily available sources of nutrition deliver 10 grams of protein for every quarter cup.
Your body works harder to digest, metabolize, and use proteins, so it burns more calories processing them. They also take longer to leave the stomach, so you feel full sooner, and for longer. So, as you can see, it’s important to adequate protein every day.