Choose high protein foods for great health benefits

November 12, 2012

Choose high protein foods for great health benefits

More and more people are discovering the advantages of high protein foods in their diet and are becoming more and more aware that eating healthy proteins is beneficial to weight maintenance as well as overall health and fitness. Choosing a wide variety of high protein foods combined with healthy cooking methods can provide enhanced benefits from many of these foods.

Meat, poultry and fish

It is commonly known that meat, fish and poultry are all good quality high protein foods. However, it is also understood that some red meats, for example, are high in unhealthy saturated fats. The method of cooking may also affect the benefits of these high protein foods.

When shopping for meat it is essential to look for leaner cuts of meat and to remove any visible fat prior to cooking. Choosing skinless chicken or turkey breast will immediately make those meat choices much healthier. Oily fish is not only an excellent source of protein it also provides high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids which are known to be extremely beneficial to heart health.

Choosing healthy cuts of meat or a beautiful piece of fish can easily have all its benefits destroyed simply be choosing the wrong cooking method. Healthy preparation of high protein foods is essential in order to maximise its benefits – grilling, broiling, or steaming are all better choices than frying or saut ing. When using ground meat in any dishes, it is always a good idea to dry fry the meat before adding the rest of the ingredients in order to drain off any fat.

Dairy and eggs

Eggs are a great source of complete protein and often make a great economic choice as well as they are often much cheaper, per serving, than meat or fish. Choosing low fat or fat free dairy products is a great way to include high protein in your diet without the added fat that often comes with it.

One scrambled egg can provide up to 20% of the recommended daily protein intake for a woman – using egg substitute will also lower the levels of fat and cholesterol consumption.

Soy protein

Soy protein is the base for foods such as tofu, tempeh and of course soy protein and dairy products. Soy is something of a wonder food – it is the only plant based source of complete proteins, it provides fiber, essential vitamins and minerals, polyunsaturated fats and is great protein! There are many benefits of including soy protein in a diet – not least its contribution to good cardiac health.

Plant based protein

Not many of us think of proteins when we think about plant based foods. However many plant products such as legumes, nuts, and grains provide some, but not all, of the nutrients we require from proteins. Specifically no plant protein, apart from soy, provides all nine of the amino acids needed for good health. However, combining plant based proteins can overcome that problem.

Legumes and nuts have none of the unhealthy saturated fats found in animal products and it is possible to create delicious combinations of plant based foods which will then provide all of the required nutrients. The key, as with all healthy diets, is to choose a wide variety of foods every day.

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