Protein is often referred to as the building blocks of life, as it’s made up of amino acids, which are required for the body to function at optimal levels. When it comes to protein, bodybuilders are devout to it and aspiring weight-losers are starting to comprehend how beneficial it can be.
Unfortunately, getting more protein in the diet is only healthy if it comes from a good source. In other words, eating triple stacked burgers is going to do more harm than good, regardless of the protein content. Here are some healthy ways to get more of it in your diet.
Plan to build your meals with protein as the guest of honor. Many people make the mistake of thinking that meal planning has to be glamorous, featuring the best, elaborate recipes from Pinterest. In reality, meal planning can be really simple: choose a protein source, fill half your plate with vegetables, and add a small serving of complex carbs.
Look for Plant-based Sources
Usually, when someone hears about plant-based diets, they imagine vegetarians and vegans. However, plant-based eating without further distinction often refers to those who prefer to prioritize plant sources of food. The reasoning behind this varies based on the people: some are simply looking for healthier food sources while others focus on sustainability.
The other benefit of eating plant-based diets is affordability. Chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, and other plant-based protein sources are often significantly more affordable, so your dollar keeps you fuller longer. While eggs and Greek yogurt don’t fall under plant-based foods, they are other meat-free options that have numerous benefits.
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Clean Protein Supplements
Supplements are a great way to increase protein levels, especially in active individuals. However, it can be challenging to separate the healthy supplements from those targeted toward bodybuilders who prefer extra assistance in reaching their goals. Generally speaking, there isn’t much to worry about with protein supplements as long as you know which red flag ingredients to look for.
Most protein supplements are derived from cow’s milk, using either whey or casein as the main source. There are also vegan protein powders for those who opt for something animal-free.
Adding nuts to your diet not only adds a plant-based protein, but also a nice dose of healthy fats. Nuts are a main component of the highly renowned Mediterranean diet, which focuses on healthy sources of fat, protein, and carbs while keeping food as real as possible.
Nuts are versatile and can be incorporated into any meal. Sprinkling coconut on your yogurt in the morning or almond slivers on your salad are simple ways to boost an already delicious treat. Snacking on a handful of nuts in between meals can keep you feeling satiated. Be sure to pay attention to serving sizes when snacking on nuts as they are high in calories in relation to the healthy fats within. Additionally, avoid overly processed nuts that have added oil and seasoning.
Eat Protein All Day
The best way to boost your protein intake is to ensure you’re getting a serving at every meal. Eggs and Greek yogurt make for a delicious breakfast option. Tuna or minimally-processed lunch meat are great for versatile lunches. Chicken and salad with a side of lentils make for a great supper. You will feel fuller longer and fuel your training and recovery if you’re sweating it out at the gym.