Consuming high protein foods can help control appetite and help you in weight management. Adequate protein intake in daily diet can make the body feel fuller for longer and should be taken in appropriate amounts to help maintain a lean physique or achieve an ideal weight. According to the National Nutrient Reference Intake report for macronutrients, adults who do not lead an active lifestyle should consume 0.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight. In other words, inactive men should consume at least 56g of protein per day compared to women who need to consume about 46g per day.
Protein-Rich Foods for a Healthy Body
Protein-rich foods are generally considered an essential source of nutrients for the body, alongside carbohydrates and fats. High protein foods can help repair and build stronger muscles, as well as increase metabolism, which plays a role in the weight loss process. The following are the functions of high protein foods for an ideal diet:
- High protein foods can help maintain an ideal body weight, reduce excess carbohydrate intake, and help reduce body fat;
- High protein foods help control hunger and appetite. Foods with high protein content can activate hormones that control hunger and provide a feeling of fullness for a longer period.
5 Lists of Cheap, Delicious and Satisfying Protein Foods
Generally, you should choose high protein and low saturated fat and calorie food sources. Chicken, meat, nuts, dairy products, eggs, and more are examples of foods that contain high sources of protein:
1. Chicken Breast
Chicken is a high-protein food source and is a must-have diet menu for those who want to lose weight and athletes who want to appear muscular. The chicken breast, in particular, has a high protein content and low calorie compared to other parts of the chicken, making it a suitable high-protein food for weight loss. Cooked chicken breast contains the following nutrients:
- Chicken breast calories: 284
- Protein: 53.4g
- Carbohydrates: 0g
- Fat: 6.2g
One serving of chicken breast (100g) can provide 165g of calories, 31g of protein, and 3.6g of fat. This means that approximately 80% of the calories in chicken breast come from protein, and 20% come from fat. However, this nutritional breakdown applies only to plain chicken breast dishes without any additional seasoning. If you fry, bake using other seasonings, or buy chicken dishes from fast-food restaurants, the calorie, carbohydrate, and fat content may vary and can affect your health.
Fresh beef is a complete protein source that is rich in vitamin B12, iron, and zinc, which are excellent for the body. Each part of the beef contains different protein contents. However, on average, it contains at least 30g of protein per 100g of beef. You can diversify your beef recipes in your daily diet, such as making beef meatballs, homemade beef burgers, and more. Avoid processed meat as it contains high salt and preservative content that can affect your health. Overconsumption of processed red meat can increase the risk of colon cancer and other dangerous diseases.
3. Dairy Products, Yogurt
Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are good sources of nutrition that are needed by the body and contain high levels of protein. For example, milk (cow’s milk or goat’s milk) is rich in protein, calcium, and enriched with other additional nutrients such as vitamin D and A, suitable for those who want to diet. A cup of milk can provide 8g of protein. However, if you have an allergy to milk, you can opt for plant-based dairy products such as soy milk or almond milk. However, avoid soy milk with high levels of added sugar as it can pose other risks such as diabetes, etc. The intake of every 100g of soybeans can provide at least 13g of protein.
Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, contains high levels of protein. You can vary your diet by adding fruits such as berries, nuts, and others to add nutritional sources to your yogurt dish. Make sure to eat plain yogurt or yogurt without flavor and avoid high-sugar yogurt to maximize the benefits of yogurt.
Nuts such as peanuts, pumpkin seeds or pumpkin seeds, lentils, and almonds are among the high-protein, fiber, and magnesium foods. Although these nuts are delicious to eat as a snack and can be used as a light snack, they can also be combined with other daily menus such as salads or eaten with yogurt to enjoy additional protein sources. Each 28g serving of diet nuts such as almonds, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds provides 6g, 7g, and 9g of protein, respectively.
Although nuts are good for a healthy diet, avoid flavored nuts or nut products that are high in saturated fat or added sugar. For example, fans of dal curry roti should control their intake even though lentils are high in protein. This is because it contains high levels of simple carbohydrates that may affect your health.
Eggs have a high protein content that provides vitamins, minerals, and good fats for healthy brain development – egg yolks are rich in vitamins, iron, calcium, and others. Although egg whites are said to provide more protein, studies show that eating the whole egg provides more significant benefits than just eating egg whites. Eggs are easy to prepare and can be cooked in various ways, whether boiled, fried, or half-cooked:
- Half-cooked eggs;
- Boiled eggs (calories in boiled eggs – one boiled egg is equivalent to 78 calories);
- Egg sandwich;
- Egg soup.
Although eggs are one of the best slimming foods, you need to control your egg intake in your daily diet, especially fried eggs, as fried eggs can increase fat content by up to 50 percent. One egg contains at least 6g of protein and 1g of carbohydrates.
Generally, there are many other high-protein foods that are not listed here – meat-based foods, dairy, vegetables, and nuts are generally good sources of protein. Therefore, you are advised to practice a healthy and balanced diet to maintain an ideal body weight.
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