Hi there and welcome to another “How-To Tuesday”!! 🙂
This one is particularly close to my heart, because I am realizing now more than ever how important protein is when it comes to a live-it. Protein is an essential building block in your body and contributes to your hair, skin, muscle, bones and tissues. While most people get more protein than they need in their daily diet, protein deficiencies can lead to loss of muscle tissue, reduced immunity, and even a weak heart. When you’re looking at ways to choose protein rich foods, some choices are healthier than others. I’m all about the perfect balance of protein and carbs, because I’m dancing from 9:30-3:00 everyday and I need my energy!
This is: how to choose protein-rich foods!
- Aim for a healthy mix of animal and vegetable proteins (for those of you who eat meat). Animal proteins are known as complete proteins. They contain all of the amino acids necessary to create new proteins in your body. Examples of these are meat (for meat-eaters), eggs, poultry and fish, as well as dairy products like cheese and milk. Other sources of protein, like those from vegetables, grains, fruits and nuts, are incomplete proteins. They lack one or more amino acids required to create new proteins. The body uses incomplete proteins by breaking them down into individual amino acids. Those amino acids then combine with other amino acids from other foods to create protein building blocks. WINNING.
- Consider soy – which is a complete protein – as an alternative to animal protein found in red meat (for those of you who don’t eat meat). 2 to 4 servings of soy-based meals such as soybeans and tofu is a reasonable goal for adding more protein into your diet. Eating more than the recommended amount doesn’t necessarily add more nutritional benefit.
- Evaluate your food for more than just its protein content. Some protein will include fiber like those found in nuts, beans and whole grains. Fiber helps relieve constipation and can ward off diabetes and heart disease. Other proteins come with artery-clogging saturated fat like whole milk and some cuts of beef. To make healthier protein choices, pick the leanest cuts of meat or stick to poultry or fish. Skim or 1% milk are healthier alternatives to whole milk while still adding essential protein (and dairy) to your diet. Avoid fried meat like bacon, as well as hot dogs and sausage, and other animal organs like liver. (Sorry guys!)
- Strike a healthy balance between your carbohydrate and protein intake to add to your overall health. You know I’m all about that balance people! A focus on increasing protein and reducing processed carbohydrates can improve your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and heart attack. A live-it rich in protein may also help with weight control as it can satiate hunger, making you feel full longer.
Be creative when it comes to trying new foods and new recipes, as well as incorporating new protein sources into dishes that you love. I do this everyday with my oatmeal recipes because I need something that will power me through the morning! The oats themselves are not enough! Based on how your body feels and what your schedule is like, play around with the amount of protein you eat. There is nothing worse than that pang of hunger hitting you in the middle of something and there’s nothing you can do about.
Be smart, eat PROTEIN. 🙂
Have a terrific Tuesday! 🙂
Question of the Day:
Favorite protein-packed food?