High protein diets are trending as of late, but are they healthy or just a passing fad?
In order to follow this type of diet, you need to choose your protein wisely. We recommend getting your protein from whole foods. A complete protein (or whole protein) is a source of protein that contains an adequate proportion of all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for dietary needs. Another complete protein is quinoa. However, quinoa is high in carbs and those who are aiming for a high protein diet often tend to be on a low carb diet. Combine whole grains with beans to give you a protein boost with the benefit of added fiber.
Animal protein is most readily utilized by the body and is a complete protein. When choosing animal sources, be sure to use low fat cuts of meat, grass fed is best. Who doesn’t enjoy a nice piece of bacon? Unfortunately, it is very high in fat and calories so try a slice of Canadian bacon, which really isn’t bacon at all as it’s made from the pork loin, one of leanest cuts of pork. Eggs are another a good source of protein. Fish is also an excellent protein choice, we love shrimp and wild salmon. Here is an easy and tasty recipe using tuna: lemony garbanzo salad with tuna. It’s packed with protein and will keep in the fridge for a few days.
Keep in mind a serving of protein is approx. 4 ounces or the size of the palm of your hand. You can also use vegetarian sources of protein, however these are not complete proteins by themselves and they must be combined properly to make a complete source of protein. Try to get some protein at every meal to help keep you full and boost metabolism.
Here are some ideas for getting protein in without going overboard.
• Breakfast – 1-2 eggs any style, plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and nuts, cottage cheese with fresh fruit, or ricotta cheese on whole wheat toast
• Lunch – Choose tuna, chicken, shrimp or salmon to add protein to a salad, skip the creamy dressings, use oil and vinegar
• Dinner – Turkey chili with beans and cheese and a side salad, bison burger or lean grass fed beef with veggies of your choice
• Snack – Chia seed pudding
High protein diets help with weight loss as they may make you feel fuller longer. However, with high protein diets come restrictions on carbs which leave dieters at risk for becoming deficient in fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants and more. It’s important to monitor nutrition levels while going through any sort of dietary change. This diet can also increase risks of heart disease due to higher intakes of red meat and full-fat dairy. Before starting any diet or weight-loss plan, be sure to visit with your doctor. Too much or the wrong kind of protein may be harmful to your kidneys especially those who have pre-existing kidney problems.