Your health and fitness goals should directly affect the foods that you eat, because the foods you eat influences the way in which your body works. When people want to cut down on body fat they generally cut out carbohydrates or fats. When they want to increase energy output and endurance performance they increase their intake of carbs and fats. And when their main goal is to build muscle mass and strengthen their bodies, it is generally beneficial for them to maintain a high protein diet.
High Quality Animal Protein
When buying beef look for lean cuts with low fat contents. Not only will you get the most bang for your buck by the time you’re done cooking it, but it will also be less greasy and thus a healthier option.
With so many different ways to prepare chicken you can have a completely different meal every night for weeks all featuring the same main ingredient. Since it goes with everything, is relatively lean, and has a lower calorie count, it’s no wonder so many people turn to chicken as their main source of protein.
Turkey is a great low calorie protein option for breakfast, lunch, dinner and any snacks in between. From sandwiches to the main dish, this lean meat packs a protein punch that will keep you full and performing at your peak until your next scheduled meal.
People often associate pork with bacon and forget all about the health benefits it provides. Pork tenderloins are a high protein, lean meat choice that can easily be used as a substitute in recipes that traditionally call for beef or chicken without disrupting the integrity of the dish.
Not only is salmon an exceptional protein choice, but it is also high in heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. This popular fish option is not only fairly simple to cook on your own at home, but it’s relatively popular in most restaurants which means that you should never have a reason for skipping out on a healthy protein.
If you’re looking for an affordable option for an easy meal that can be added to a salad, pasta dish, or eaten solo, and can even be enjoyed on the run as a quick snack either by itself or with crackers or whole grain bread, then tuna is the high protein diet protein choice for you.
When you’re calorie counting it can be difficult to get enough protein in your diet without going over your calorie limit. That’s where white fish comes in. It is a low calorie option that is high in protein and can be seasoned to take on a variety of delicious flavors to keep your taste buds tantalized.
Most of the nutritional makeup of shrimp is in fact protein, which makes it one of the best high protein meats for your dollar. It is also fairly versatile and can be used in pasta dishes, grilled on a skewer, or served as shrimp cocktail for an appetizer.
Not only is milk a fantastic source of protein, it is also high in other essential nutrients like vitamin D, potassium, and of course calcium. While reduced fat, low fat, and fat free varieties will still provide you with plenty of protein in your diet, sticking with whole fat milk ensures that you get the most amount of protein possible.
Although cheese is an adequate source of protein for a snack or as an additive to a lunch sandwich, it’s not quite healthy enough on it’s own to steal the show come dinnertime. A more realistic option is to serve a cheese tray for an appetizer or make a mini tray for yourself for a healthy lunch on the go.
Yogurt is a terrific source of protein, but Greek yogurt is even better. Opt for the plain varieties rather than the sugar laden flavor options and instead flavor them yourself with fresh fruits, nuts, or seeds. The portability makes it a great choice for on the go snacks, and the endless flavor additions make it great for dessert. The choice is yours.
When the budget is tight it doesn’t get much better than eggs for your high protein diet food. They are cheap, easy to make, and can be used in a variety of different recipes to add a bit of flavor and a bunch of protein. Their versatility make them perfect for any meal of the day.
High protein diets are important for bodybuilders and weightlifters, as is staying away from carbohydrates. In the past that meant that they had to forgo pasta dishes, but with ISOPASTA those meals are back in play. A single serving gives you 50 grams of protein with only 7 net grams of carbs for a delicious dinner that doesn’t ruin your macros.
High Quality Vegetarian Protein
Beans & Legumes
Put your beans in a salad, have them as a side dish, or make them into your main course. No matter how you prepare them they make an impressive vegetarian protein source. Beans are not only categorized as a protein though, they are also a vegetable, which means that they provide you with an abundance of necessary nutrients.
Nuts & Nut Butters
While walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pistachios all make great snacks they don’t offer as much protein as you might think so it’s important not to count on them as a full protein source come meal time. Nut butters are also a fine choice for snack time and can be enjoyed on whole grain crackers, whole grain bread, or straight from the jar.
Saying goodbye to meat and becoming a vegetarian can be difficult, but tofu can make the transition a bit easier for some. Tofu is like a flavor sponge so it is a perfect vegetarian protein substitute in recipes that traditionally call for beef, chicken, or even seafood.
Chia seeds don’t necessarily contain a lot of protein, but because they are composed primarily of protein they made the list anyway. They also happen to contain all nine essential amino acids that your body needs to function, making them a pretty awesome superfood.
Quinoa is another one of those magical superfoods that contains all nine essential amino acids. On top of that quinoa is actually a grain that packs a protein punch, which means that while you’re loading up on your carbs you can also get a healthy dose of protein to go along with it.
Hummus is made from garbanzo beans which as you may have noticed already made the list once. With all the different flavor options available we decided that hummus needed its own honorable mention as a protein snack option. Serve with pita chips or vegetables to satisfy your need to crunch.
Make a salad using spinach as your leafy greens, or saute it into your dinner dish for an extra dose of protein. Once it’s cooked in your taste buds will hardly know the difference but your body definitely will. It can even be added to your omelets for a good morning breakfast that will keep you full all morning long.
Vegan Protein Powder
Many protein powders contain whey or other animal based proteins, but choosing a vegan protein powder can be a good way to add protein to your diet. Many vegetarian protein options just don’t pack the same punch as animal based proteins so having a powder available to make a protein shake can make staying healthy as a vegetarian much easier.
The Importance Of Protein
No matter what source your protein comes from it’s essential to the health of your diet that you consume an adequate amount no matter what time of lifestyle you lead. Of course if your lifestyle happens to find you in the gym, lifting weights and working out in the hopes of building larger muscles then adding in additional protein to your diet is equally as important. Protein is used to regulate your hormones, synthesize enzymes and most importantly repair and build muscle mass which is why many consider it the most important macronutrient. It’s also the only one that you can’t cut out of your diet without serious health consequences. So make sure that each of your meals comes portioned out with plenty of life sustaining protein, regardless of its origin.
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