There are many benefits associated with a protein-rich diet. In addition to helping build and repair tissue, protein plays an important role in the production of enzymes, hormones and various other body chemicals. Furthermore, fitness buffs are sure to appreciate protein’s ability to increase muscle mass and reduce hunger levels. However, despite the plethora of perks it offers, many of us don’t get enough protein in our diets. Anyone looking for simple ways to increase their protein intake will be well-served by the following pointers.
Eat Protein-Rich Snacks
In order to keep ourselves sharp and tide ourselves over between meals, many of us consistently snack throughout the day. While this can be a great way to keep hunger at bay, it’s important to note that many traditional snacks contain very little protein. For example, you’re unlikely to find much protein in candy, chips and crackers. With this in mind, anyone interested in getting more protein should consider swapping out some of their regular snacks for protein-rich alternatives.
Popular protein-heavy snacks include almonds, jerky, cheese, hummus, peanut butter, hard-boiled eggs and celery. These snacks can fill you up, provide you with plenty of energy and sate even the largest protein craving.
Drink a Protein Shake for Breakfast
It’s not hard to understand the rationale behind the adage “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” A good breakfast has the power to improve your outlook, increase your energy and leave you primed to tackle the day ahead. However, despite all the benefits a good breakfast offers, it’s the meal many of us are most likely to neglect. Some people lack sufficient time to eat a balanced breakfast, while others don’t have much of an appetite in the morning.
If either of these describe your approach of breakfast, you’ll be pleased to learn that neither an abundance of free time in the morning nor a large appetite are needed to start the day off right. A protein shake is a fast, healthy and delicious alternative to traditional breakfasts, particularly when made with the right protein powder.
Include One Protein-Rich Food in Every Meal
Including one protein-rich food in every meal is a great way to up your protein intake. In some cases, the food in question can be the main course. Other times, it can be a side dish. As long as one high-protein item is on your plate, you’re on the right track. Salmon, poultry and beef are all popular examples of protein-rich entrees, but if you’re not much of a meat eater, you’ll still find a bevy of tasty options at your disposal. Beans, tofu, veggies and certain pasta contains ample protein, making them ideal dining options for protein lovers who aren’t big on meat.
Substitute Turkey for Beef on Occasion
Although beef and turkey are both rich in protein, the former generally has a high saturated fat content. This isn’t to say that you should forsake beef entirely, but in the interest of staying healthy, it may be a good idea to use turkey in its place on occasion. For example, the next time you’re grilling burgers, cooking up a meatloaf or making tacos, consider using ground turkey instead of ground beef. More often than not, it will provide you with the same great taste, and cost-conscious health enthusiasts are sure to appreciate how much cheaper it is than ground beef.
Switch to Greek Yogurt
It’s easy to see why yogurt is such a popular snack. After all, it’s tasty, portable and affordable on even the most stringent budget. Yogurt enthusiasts interested in getting more protein should make the jump to Greek yogurt. On average, Greek yogurt contains about twice as much protein as traditional yogurts. Additionally, Greek yogurt is distinguished from more commonplace yogurts by the absence of whey and various other liquids.
Although a protein-rich diet is associated with a large number of health benefits, many of us fail to properly incorporate it into our eating habits. While finding ways to eat more protein may seem like an uphill battle, it’s well within the abilities of anyone who’s willing to commit. If an increased protein intake is what you’re after, the measures discussed above are sure to come in handy.