5 Effective Ways to Add More Protein into Your Diet
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Consuming enough protein is essential, as it aids the development of enzymes and hormones, the maintenance of our immune system, and the growth and regeneration of tissues. Moreover, overeating is less likely because protein keeps you satisfied for longer. It’s never a bad idea to include additional protein in your diet, especially if you have trouble getting enough of it. Below are five ways to include more protein into your diet.
1. Take protein snacks before or after meals
Protein snacks are beneficial if you want to boost your protein intake. Since many of the most widely consumed snacks have a higher carbohydrate content, you want to look for those best suited to your goals. Greek yogurt, cream cheese, hard-boiled eggs, and jerky are all excellent snack options, so feel free to include them in your diet. These items can also be combined with other meals to create a more varied snack, so keep this in mind. As a tip, stick to snacks you enjoy increasing your motivation.
2. Increase the amount of protein you consume per meal
Simply consuming more protein than you are already eating is the fastest and easiest way to improve your protein intake. You can achieve this with no effort by increasing the serving size of your protein sources at every meal, even if it is only a small amount. For instance, if you often eat one egg for breakfast, try eating two instead. You can add two extras if you eat two pieces of meat at supper.
Adding protein to every meal is also a great strategy worth considering. Make sure you have them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Although you can easily prepare a nutritious lunch, breakfast, and dinner without much protein, it may not be ideal for your goals. Instead, ensure every meal has animal or plant proteins to help you achieve your daily intake.
3. Combine proteins from plants and animals
You can mix both plant and animal proteins in your diet. This will give you more alternatives and combining and eating them all at once will help you up your daily protein consumption. You can combine foods like eggs, black beans, salmon, and chickpeas, so feel free to consider this.
When combining proteins, if you don’t have any dietary restrictions, ensure you place greater priority on animal protein first and vegetarian protein second. This is because the former is a denser source of protein than plants, gram for gram. This said, both animal and plant proteins are highly nutritious and should be part of a healthy diet.
Meat, poultry, and seafood are awesome examples, so feel free to leverage them. In contrast, plant sources like beans, nuts, and seeds are primary sources of nutrients other than protein. Even though some plants have protein, animal products can help you consume more protein because they have larger amino acid levels.
4. Consider Taking Protein Supplements
Another excellent strategy to enhance your protein consumption is to add protein supplements to your meals. Protein powders have become a popular dietary supplement for those aiming to gain muscle mass, including athletes. Supplements like protein powder offer a simple and practical solution for those who struggle to consume enough protein from their diet.
A single scoop of protein powder typically contains 20 grams of protein per serving, around 2.5 ounces of chicken, or 3 big eggs. The biological value (BV) score of a powder, which reflects how well the body can utilize the protein in a food, should be considered when selecting. Never use protein powder as a substitute for a balanced diet; always use it as a supplement.
5. Your main meals should focus on protein
Making protein a highlight at every meal is beneficial, so keep this in mind. Make protein your main dish and plan the rest of your meals around it. For instance, you can choose meals like beans, chicken, or slow cooker taco meat and then decide what other foods you’ll put into it.
As a tip, you can add a portion of complex carbohydrates, fiber from vegetables or fruit, and a healthy fat source to create a balanced meal. Consulting a dietitian or nutritionist can be helpful if you find it challenging to plan your meals around protein. You can also consider an eating plan like the Keto diet to get the desired outcome.
You can boost your protein intake with careful planning since it is a necessary nutrient that plays several significant roles in the body. You can easily add more protein to your diet by including a sizeable portion in every meal and planning your meals around it, so keep this in mind.
*This article is based on personal suggestions and/or experiences and is for informational purposes only. This should not be used as professional advice. Please consult a professional where applicable.