Trying to get lean and include more protein in your diet? You’re not alone. If you have ever been on a weight loss diet or just wanted to get fit, you know that proteins are your best friend.
While there have been debates about carbs and how much carbs to have, and also the world of healthy and unhealthy fats, protein is one nutrient group that has always stayed safe. Not just weight loss, a high protein diet packs in several potential health benefits, like enhancing muscle growth, and improving your overall health.
But aiming to incorporate more proteins into your diet can be more difficult than you thought. Worry not, we’ve got your back. We have come up with some easy, yet extremely effective ways for how you can add more proteins to your diet.
How to include more proteins in your diet
Always eat your protein first in a meal
When you are having a meal, always start with your protein before moving on to the carbs. Proteins release peptide, which is a gut hormone that makes you feel fuller. It also decreases levels of the hunger hormone called ghrelin, and also boosts your metabolism after the meal and even when you are sleeping. Most importantly, eating proteins first helps keep your blood sugar and insulin levels in check after a meal.
Cheese can be your snack-time BFF
But remember to choose healthy cheeses for snacking. Opting for store-bought cheese snacks like cheese crackers, chips and more isn’t going to help you as they are low in protein. Cheddar cheese is a great form of cheese to snack on. 28 grams of cheddar cheese contains 7 grams of protein, along with nearly 30 fewer calories and six times as much calcium than store-bought snacks.
Garnish your foods with chopped almonds
Almonds are healthy and make a great addition to a protein-rich diet. High in magnesium, fibers, and healthy monounsaturated fat, yet low in digestible carbs, 28 grams of almonds contain 6 grams of protein. So, be it your overnight oats, or chia pudding or cereals, or salads, just sprinkle some chopped almonds on top to have a rich protein diet.
Choose Greek yogurt instead of the regular one
Greek yogurt has more protein than regular yogurt. This yogurt is made by removing whey and other liquids from milk to create a richer, creamier yogurt that’s higher in protein. Serving 17–20 grams of protein per 28 grams, this is almost double than the protein content of regular yogurt. Greek yogurt also boosts the release of gut hormones, like glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and PYY, which curbs your hunger and makes you feel full.
Eat more whole grains than refined grains
Whole grains are rich in fibers, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, and most importantly, proteins. For example, one cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein, as opposed to a refined grain like white rice which contains only 4 grams of protein for the same quantity. Buckwheat, wild rice, couscous, millet, and teff are just some of the whole grains that will lead to a protein-rich diet.
Add boiled eggs with each meal
There are six grams of protein in each egg. And yes, including the yolk. Feeling hungry? Just boil, scramble, poach or fry a couple of eggs, add some seasoning of your choice and you have your easy protein food ready.
Use hummus as a spread for your breakfast toast
What do you usually have toast with? Butter or jams? How about you try it with hummus instead? Hummus is made from chickpeas, which are one of the most versatile legumes out there. Just one teaspoon of hummus contains 1.17 grams of protein. Just simply adding it to your toast will elevate your breakfast and give you more protein in your diet.
Swap ricotta for cottage cheese
In case you are thinking, yes, ricotta cheese has proteins too. But it also has a high-fat content, which is what makes it so creamy and silky. Cottage cheese or as we call it, paneer, on the other hand, is a staple in every Indian household. Half a cup of cottage cheese has about 14 grams of protein, but much fewer calories and much less content of fat. So, win-win!
To sum up, fulfilling your protein needs for the day is essential for the proper functioning of the body and leads to a healthier lifestyle overall. There are plenty of protein sources for people with all kinds of diets, and that’s good news. So, make sure you load up on your proteins today.
Hero Image: Courtesy LikeMeat/Unsplash; Featured Image: Courtesy Logan Jeffrey/Unsplash