The popularity of focusing your healthy eating goals on protein intake may be more a function of hype than reality. Consider the tips below before adding more protein to your diet.
Most people get enough protein. This is an easily researched fact so that you don’t have to worry a minute longer that you are protein deprived. Similarly, you understand the importance of eating a balanced diet. Using governmental guidelines or the food plate, you’ve got an idea of the percentages of what you should be eating of different types of foods. Unless you are facing a specific situation such as starvation, chances are you do not need to be concerned about how much protein you’re eating in terms of getting enough.
You should pay attention to the qualities of the protein you consume because specific protein sources include other nutrients or salt content or ingredients that we should pay attention to. Whether you are eating beef or beans or fish as part of your protein-rich foods, there are specific qualities to each food that may be more or less beneficial to your body. Fish is advised for individuals choosing to reduce calories and cholesterol. People with kidney weakness or illness are limited in all kinds of protein they can consume. Using your own health needs it is very important to consider the quality of the protein you consume.
Use your research about protein to choose protein sources with less saturated fat. There are numerous charts, lists and tables to help you choose protein sources that have lower saturated fat contents than other sources. Your healthy eating habits include reducing saturated fats so this information is valuable. For instance a pork roast typically has more saturated fat than a sirloin steak. Dark meat in poultry usually has more saturated fat than white meat. Fish typically has less saturated fat than hamburger.
Vegetarians should pay attention to the fat content in the protein sources they eat. Yogurt has more saturated fat than beans. Peanut butter typically has more saturated fat than peanuts. If you are considering a vegetarian diet as a means of eating healthier, paying attention to the saturated fat in the foods you eat is important.
Pay attention to how much protein you are eating to avoid too much protein. Unless someone is obese and is jump-starting a diet, high-protein diets that exclude carbohydrates are currently not recommended although they can produce more rapid weight loss than eating a balanced diet. These diets have become the subject of serious warnings because the combination of low-carbohydrates and high proteins means that it is likely that weight loss occurs because of ketosis where your body is using stored fat for energy rather than glucose. All these diets when advised include recommendations for short-term usage.
Protein after exercise is frequently recommended to repair and promote healthy muscles and tissues. This does not mean that people who work out need more protein in their diets but it can impact when you eat protein. Eating protein rich food after a workout or even having a glass of milk will supply you with the protein you’re looking for to repair your muscles.
One of the risks of increasing the protein you consume is that you will neglect other vital food groups. This goes back to the idea of a balanced diet. If you find you are eating protein instead of another food, consider nutritional charts and decide whether you are eating protein and omitting another food group.
Try to vary your protein sources to get the benefits of different foods. Peanut butter and salmon both have protein but there are other elements of the foods that vary. Peanut butter is often recommended as a source of niacin and salmon is often touted for its Omega-3. A varied and balanced diet that is nutrient rich and stays within recommended guidelines for daily calorie intakes is usually the best choice you can make for your health.
If you are staying on a food budget, the cost of different food sources for protein can vary significantly. This is common sense and no one believes that the can of beans they buy will exceed the price of a piece of steak. If your budget is highly restricted make sure you include more economical choices for protein such as yogurt, milk, cheese, tuna fish or hamburger meat. Again, you will want to consider your budget in planning your overall balanced diet including your protein sources.
Chances are you are getting enough protein but the types of protein you choose can vary widely. Use the tips above to consider what protein sources will best fit your healthy nutrition goals.