There are several reasons why a person may want to introduce more protein into your diet. Protein aids in muscle development and maintenance, it keeps our blood sugar levels stable, and it can keep us feeling fuller in between meals. Fortunately, there are many healthy sources of protein to suit a variety of tastes and dietary requirements
Low-fat / skim dairy products.
Eggs / egg white.
Beans, legumes, nuts and seeds.
Add the meat to the diet to increase protein intake. The important thing to remember is that meat can also contain high amounts of saturated fat, which can be harmful to your health. Try to choose the leanest meat and eat poultry without the skin. Add leftover chicken to salads or toss some meat into soups and stews.
Increases seafood can be incredibly heart-healthy, while providing you with an excellent source of protein. Some seafood sources include wild salmon, albacore tuna, scallops, cod, shrimp and herring. You can add some tuna in a whole-wheat pita or mix a little shrimp and whole wheat pasta with a little garlic and olive oil.
Add specific whole grains to your diet. Oat bran, quinoa and barley are just some of wholegrain sources of protein. You can add oat bran to homemade muffins or use it in recipes as a partial substitute for flour. Quinoa can be added as a thickener for soups and stews.
Add protein-rich vegetables for salads and side dishes. These vegetables include broccoli, asparagus, peas, spinach, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. You can try some new stir-fry recipes, add these vegetables to salads, or steam them in the microwave. Try moss softened cauliflower as an alternative to mashed potatoes. You can throw any fresh peas in the salad or melt some skim cheddar cheese on top of steamed broccoli.
Eat dairy products, but try to choose the low-fat (1%) and foam products to avoid unwanted saturated fat. Some dairy choices can include milk, cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt (including Greek yogurt.) Try a little cottage cheese mixed with your favorite fruit or mix cottage cheese with pepper, salt and beans for a healthy fiber-filled snack.
Eat an egg or some egg whites to add a little more protein in the day. You can create a simple omelet with peppers and onions or perhaps try a “sweet egg white omelet” with a little cinnamon and sugar (or sugar substitute such as stevia.)
Experiment with adding different beans and legumes to your meals. Some of the choices are chickpeas, lentils, soybeans (edamame), black beans, and kidney beans. There are also a variety of nuts and seeds such as almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds and walnuts which can be eaten as a snack or added as a topping for your favorite dish. Have a slice of whole-grain toast with some natural peanut butter on it. Eat some vegetables dipped in chickpea hummus. Roast and season some chickpeas in the oven for a healthy snack. Just be aware of the calorie content of many foods in this category. They may be healthy, but the calories can add up quickly!
Try some soy products. Tofu is a very popular and versatile soy product. Almost flavorless, absorbs tofu flavor of the court as it is added. You can add tofu to soups or stir-fry dishes. You can make tofu “scrambled” or blending silken tofu into puddings and sauces.
Test different protein powders. You can add protein powder to smoothies and protein shakes. Throw a scoop of vanilla protein powder into pudding mix or yogurt dishes.
Tips and Warnings
There are various calculations to determine the amount of protein a person needs depends on their age, gender and activity level. You may want to investigate this information before increasing protein levels.
Check out various recipe sites online for some creative ways to incorporate these foods into your meals.
As always, should any significant changes in your diet always be discussed with a doctor or nutritionist who can support your nutritional needs.