If you are looking for protein food, but are always disappointed by what you get from the highly processed food, fear not. Today, I will share with you some of the best natural sources of protein. I am sure you have been eating some of them, just not aware that they are already great protein laden food. So, what you should do is to eat more. In general, animal proteins (from milk, eggs and meats) are considered highly digestible and higher quality than plant sources of protein. However, do not worry about this too much, as long as you vary your food.
- First choice will be eggs. Yes, it is often overlooked. It is cheap yet providing the highest quality of protein. However, watch out the fat content (cholesterol) in the yolk. Simply remove the yolk. I normally eat only egg white and my wife knows that. She include egg white in many of her recipe.
- Second choice will be white meats from poultry (chicken and ostrich) provide leaner protein. The best choice is chicken breastwhich has the lowest fat content compared with drumsticks and wings. Also, the way it is cooked make the difference too. Steamed with skinless is a much better choice compared with deep fried chicken. Roasted or grilled chicken breast is not too bad either.
- Fishhas higher fat content than chicken. But, the good news is that it is a good unsaturated fat. I recommend white-fleshed fish such as flounder, tilapia, marble goby as well as shellfish like lobster. Otherwise, dark meat fish such as tuna and salmon are lean too with healthy fat. However, watch out how the fish is prepared for dish. If you are going for deep fried fish with saucy dips or off the shelf store bought tuna salad, you will be eating much unhealthy calories and the health benefits of eating fish will be traded off.
- Red meat (beef and lamb) gives protein, but it comes with fat. However, eaten in moderation, red meat provides not only protein, but also vitamin B12. To get leaner cut from red meat, get it from sirloin or tender (lower back of a cow). Avoid ground meats because they are higher in fat as it is mixed with different cuts during processing.
- The next one will be from dairy products such as cheese and yogurt. Cottage cheese is loaded with protein, potassium, calcium and vitamin D, which are all required for proper muscle function. Cottage cheese has more protein than yogurt. Make sure you buy the low fat version of the diary product.
- For vegetarian, here are some of the protein sources:
- You can get protein from soy beans directly. You can get protein from tofu or soy milk too.
- Look for bean such as black beans and chickpeas.
- Algae, which is a type of seaweed, contains high protein too.
How about peanut butter? Some said it is a great protein source. Yes, it is, but it also comes with much fat.
Wait, how about whey protein, you may ask. I am not a fan of supplement like whey protein. Don’t get me wrong. Nothing bad about it. Just that if you are able to get protein from eggs, chicken breast, fish and red meat, you should stick with them. The creation of whey protein occurs during the process of churning milk in to cheese. So, it is actually made from milk protein and can be another lean protein choice (if you can afford them in long term). As the word “supplement” means, you should use it to provide a quick and convenient source, and not relying it as the main source of protein.
So, the next time you wonder how you can make some delicious protein packed breakfast, do this – scramble up a few egg whites with some seasonal veggies and herbs, with a handful of low-fat cheese and I am sure you will love it! Remember to check out my the other article on Do We Really Need To Take Protein Supplement To Build Muscle?
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