14 easy ways to increase your protein intake

Getting enough protein is important for health.

For this reason, the recommended daily intake (RDI) of protein is 50 grams per day.

However, some researchers believe that many people should eat much more than this amount (1).

A high protein intake can help you lose weight, increase muscle mass and improve health, to name a few.

Here are 14 easy ways to eat more protein.

1. Eat your protein first

When you eat a meal, eat the protein source first, especially before you get to the starches. The protein increases the production of PYY, an intestinal hormone that makes you feel full and satisfied (2).

In addition, a high protein intake decreases the levels of ghrelin "hunger hormone" and increases your metabolic rate after eating and during sleep (3, 4).

Also, eating protein first can help prevent blood sugar and insulin levels from rising too much after a meal.

In a small study, people with type 2 diabetes received identical meals on different days. Blood sugar and insulin increased significantly less when they consumed proteins and vegetables before Foods rich in carbohydrates, compared to when the order was invested (5).

Bottom line: Eating protein first at meals can help you feel full and keep your blood sugar and insulin levels from getting too high.

2. Cheese Snack

Snacks are a good way to include additional proteins in your diet, as long as you choose the right types.

Many common snacks are very low in protein, such as potato chips, crackers, and crackers.

For example, a portion of 28 grams (1 ounce) of tortilla chips has 137 calories, but only 2 grams of protein (6).

In contrast, the same amount of cheddar cheese contains 7 grams of protein, along with 20 fewer calories and 4 times more calcium (7).

In addition, cheese does not seem to raise cholesterol levels much, even in people with high cholesterol. In fact, cheese can even benefit heart health (8, 9).

Bottom line: Choose cheese for a filling sandwich that is rich in protein and calcium and can also improve heart health.

3. Replace the cereal with eggs

Many breakfast foods are low in protein, such as toast, bagels and cereals.

Although oatmeal contains more protein than most cereals, it still provides only 6 grams in a typical 1-cup serving (10).

On the other hand, three large eggs provide 19 grams of high quality protein, along with important nutrients such as selenium and choline (11).

In addition, several studies have shown that eating eggs for breakfast reduces appetite and keeps it full for several hours, so you end up eating fewer calories later in the day (12, 13, 14).

Eating whole eggs can also change the size and shape of your LDL ("bad") cholesterol particles in a way that can lower your risk of heart disease (15).

Bottom line: Replacing cereal with eggs increases protein consumption, makes you feel fuller and helps you eat fewer calories.

4. Cover your food with chopped almonds

The almonds are incredibly healthy.

They are high in magnesium, fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, but low in digestible carbohydrates.

Almonds also contain 6 grams of protein in a 28-gram (1 ounce) serving, which makes them a better source than most nuts (16).

And although a serving of almonds contains about 167 calories, studies have shown that your body actually absorbs only about 129 of those calories because part of the fat is not digested (17, 18, 19).

So sprinkle a tablespoon of chopped almonds over yogurt, cottage cheese, salads or oatmeal to increase your protein intake and add flavor and crunch.

Bottom line: Almonds are rich in various nutrients and can increase the protein content of a meal or snack.

5. Choose Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is a versatile food, high in protein.

A portion of 240 grams (8 ounces) provides between 17 and 20 grams of protein, depending on the brand. This is approximately twice the amount in traditional yogurt (20, 21).

Greek yogurt is made by removing whey and other liquids to produce a richer, creamier yogurt.

Research shows that Greek yogurt increases the release of intestinal hormones GLP-1 and PYY, which reduce hunger and make you feel full (22).

In addition, it contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been shown to promote fat loss in some studies (23, 24).

Greek yogurt has an acidic taste that goes well with berries or chopped fruit. It can also be used as a substitute for sour cream in sauces, sauces and other recipes.

Bottom line: Greek yogurt contains twice as much protein as traditional yogurt and can be eaten alone or added to other foods.

6. Add high-protein foods to your salad

The salads are full of vegetables that provide vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help protect you from diseases.

However, they often contain only a few grams of protein, which will probably cause hunger after one or two hours.

To add protein to your salad, cover it with any of the foods below. A portion of 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of these foods will give you the following amounts of protein:

  • Chicken breast or turkey: 30 grams

  • Tuna: 26 grams.

  • Salmon: 25 grams.

  • Cheese: 22 grams.

If you are looking for a good plant-based option, chickpeas (chickpeas) are an excellent option that provides 15 grams of protein per cup (165 grams).

Bottom line: Combining your salad with chicken, cheese, fish or legumes will help you meet your protein needs and stay satisfied and satisfied.

7. Take a protein shake for breakfast

A smoothie or shake can be a great breakfast, depending on the ingredients. Many shakes contain lots of fruit, vegetables or juice, but little protein.

Protein powders facilitate the creation of a protein rich shake. There are several types on the market, including whey protein, soy, egg and pea.

Whey protein powder has been the most studied and appears to have an advantage over others when it comes to helping you feel satisfied (25, 26, 27).

One tablespoon (28 grams) of whey powder provides approximately 20 grams of protein, on average (28).

Here is a basic recipe for milk shake. To further increase the protein content, use more protein powder or add peanut butter, almond butter, flax seeds or chia seeds.

Whey protein shake

  • 8 ounces (225 grams) of almond milk without sugar.

  • 1 tablespoon of whey powder.

  • 1 cup of fresh berries

  • Stevia or another healthy sweetener, if desired.

  • 1/2 cup of crushed ice

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Bottom line: Taking a protein shake for breakfast helps you start the day right. The serum may be the best type to use.

8. Include a high protein food with every meal

When it comes to proteins, the important thing is not just the total amount you consume each day. Getting enough at each meal is also important.

Several researchers recommend consuming a minimum of 20 to 30 grams of protein in each meal.

Studies show that this amount promotes fullness and preserves muscle mass better than the smallest amounts ingested throughout the day (29, 30).

Select foods from this list of delicious high-protein foods to make sure you meet your needs at each meal.

Bottom line: Include a high-protein food at each meal to get what you need to feel full and maintain muscle mass.

9. Choose leaner and slightly larger cuts of meat

Selecting leaner cuts of meat and increasing portion sizes can significantly increase the protein content of your meal.

What's more, your meal may even end up being lower in calories. For example, compare these two fillets:

  • T-bone steak (greasy): 18 g of protein and 274 calories per 100 g (3.5 oz) (31).

  • Top sirloin (lean): 24 g of protein and 225 calories per 112 g (4 oz) (32).

Bottom line: Choosing lean cuts of meat and slightly larger portions is an easy way to increase your protein intake.

10. Pair of peanut butter with fruit

The fruit is rich in antioxidants, nutrients and fiber. However, it is very low in proteins.

Peanut butter is a delicious, protein-rich food with a creamy texture that complements firm fruits like apples and pears.

In fact, spreading 2 tablespoons of peanut butter in sliced ​​fruits will increase the total protein content by 8 grams (33).

In addition, studies suggest that peanut butter may decrease appetite, reduce blood sugar levels and promote heart health (34, 35).

Bottom line: Add peanut butter to the fruit to increase your protein intake. This can decrease appetite, improve heart health and lower blood sugar.

11. Eat Lean Jerky

Dry meat is a convenient way to include more protein in your diet.

However, it is important to choose a healthy type.

Many types of beef jerky contain sugar, preservatives and several questionable ingredients. They are also frequently made of low quality meat.

Some small bowls and "sticks" come from beef fed on grass, bison and other farm animals. The choice of dry meat from grass-fed animals will provide better quality meat with higher amounts of healthy omega-3 fats (36).

The fat strips or snack bars contain approximately 7 grams of protein per 28 grams (1 oz).

They can often be stored for several months without refrigeration and are ideal for traveling.

Bottom line: Lean pulls and snack bars are good sources of protein. Choose high quality types that come from grass-fed animals.

12. Enjoy cottage cheese at any time

Cottage cheese is a tasty food that is also very high in protein. A one-cup serving (225 grams) contains 25 grams of protein and 220 calories (37).

A 2015 study found that cottage cheese was as abundant and satisfying as eggs (38).

In addition, the type of total fat is a good source of CLA, which can promote fat loss and lead to improvements in body composition (23, 39).

One study followed women who ate a diet high in protein and milk while exercising and reduced their calorie intake. They lost more abdominal fat and gained more muscle mass than women with moderate protein and milk intake (39).

The cottage cheese is delicious on its own. You can also try it with nuts or chopped seeds, cinnamon and stevia or another sweetener for a quick breakfast.

In addition, the smaller amounts of cottage cheese make a great snack.

Bottom line: Cottage cheese is a versatile and protein rich food that makes you feel full and can help improve body composition.

13. Munch in Edamame

Edamame is the term for soybeans steamed in their unripe form.

Soy has more protein than other legumes and is popular with vegetarians and vegans.

One cup of edamame contains 17 grams of protein and approximately 180 calories (40).

Edamame is rich in an antioxidant known as kaempferol. Studies in mice suggest that it can lower blood sugar and help lose weight (41, 42).

Edamame can be bought fresh or frozen, and it is an excellent snack. It can also be added to sautéed recipes.

Bottom line: Edamame is a good source of vegetable protein and may also have other health benefits.

14. Eat canned fish

Canned fish is a fantastic way to increase protein intake.

It does not require refrigeration, so it is wonderful to travel. It can be enjoyed as an aperitif or with a meal.

Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel are also excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can fight inflammation and improve heart health (43, 44, 45).

A portion of canned fish of 100 grams (3.5 ounces) contains between 20 and 25 grams of protein and between 150 and 200 calories.

Ideas for serving canned fish include combining it with healthy mayonnaise, serving it on top of a salad or eating it directly from the can.

Bottom line: Canned fish is a convenient source of high quality protein and beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.

Bring the message home

Getting enough protein is very important.

A high protein intake can help you lose weight and gain muscle, while improving body composition and metabolic health.

Fortunately, this is easy to do if you follow the simple tips above.

Reference: https: //www.healthline.com/nutrition/14-ways-to-increase-protein-intake


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