Protein is an essential nutrient in any healthy diet. It also plays a major part in weight loss and muscle building. Your body literally uses this nutrient to grow new tissues, so if you want to replace body fat with lean muscle, you’ll need to increase your protein intake, among other things. However, there are many types of proteins and not all of them are equally good for you. It’s also essential to understand that getting too much of anything can be bad for you in the long run, so give high-protein diets a miss.
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Protein and Weight Loss: What You Need to Know
High-protein diets aren’t harmful by default and they can help weight loss (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition). However, it’s essential to understand that increasing your protein intake while reducing carbs too much can have negative consequences. Mayo Clinic warns that many high-protein plans call for severe carbohydrate restrictions, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies.
You should never forget that a healthy diet must include all essential nutrients. It’s fine to bring your consumption of proteins up a little for a short time. This, of course, will require reducing the intake of other nutrients to keep your calorie intake healthy. High-protein foods will make you feel fuller, thus boosting your weight loss efforts. But this plan can only be a short-term measure to get some headway in your weight loss plan.
It’s no less important to understand that you need to eat lean proteins instead of fat ones. Protein-rich foods contain many other nutrients except for proteins, and watching them is essential if you want to lose weight. This means that you need to choose what you eat carefully when you start using a program like the 14-day fat burn diet plan. You need to count your calories as well as make sure that the foods you eat contain only low levels of healthy fat. For example, this means choosing fish and poultry over beefsteak. If you can’t imagine your life without red meats, go for the leanest cuts and reduce the frequency of eating them.
5 Best High-Protein Foods for a Healthy Weight Loss Diet
- Greek yogurt: 17g of protein in 6 ounces.
Greek yogurt has the lowest level of fat among yogurts. Proteins from this product are easy for the body to absorb. This food also provides you with calcium and probiotics.
- Salmon: 17g of protein in 3 ounces.
Not only does salmon contain lots of lean protein with barely any fats. The fats it does contain are heart-friendly. Most importantly, salmon is an excellent source of essential omega 3 fatty acids. They play an important role in fighting inflammation, which is one of the main health dangers of obesity.
- Canned light tuna: 16g of protein in 3 ounces.
Canned tuna is a more affordable option to get protein and omega 3 from fish. According to FDA guidelines, you should eat up to 12 ounces of light canned tuna per week. Note that larger species of tuna contain higher levels of mercury and can become toxic if eaten in excess. Pregnant women should avoid any tuna for the duration of pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- Turkey: 16g of protein in a quarter-pound turkey burger.
Turkey is a healthier alternative to red meat because it’s lower in fats and calories. It also contains small amounts of omega 3 essential fatty acids.
- Eggs: 7g of protein in 1 egg.
Cooked eggs provide easily-digestible proteins and many vitamins as well as iron. Eat them for breakfast to reduce hunger.
Bear in mind that any high-protein food needs to be cooked without adding fats and other ‘bad’ elements. This means grilling, steaming, and boiling are the best options for weight loss. And be sure to avoid fatty seasonings.