Protein is an essential part of a balanced diet, and helps to repair tissue after working out. If you are looking to lose weight and increase muscle mass, you need to ensure you are getting enough protein in your diet every day. As a woman, it’s recommended that you consume 46 grams per day of protein, and for men, that figure increases to 56 grams. If you are unsure of what constitutes a good protein source, these are some of the best food options you can to your diet to increase your daily protein intake.
Chicken breast is a popular option for meat-eaters looking to increase their protein intake and is best eaten without the skin. You can cook chicken in so many different ways, and by adding different seasonings or sauces, you won’t need to eat plain chicken breasts ever again. One chicken breast can contain up to 53 grams of protein, which will be an excellent contribution to your daily recommended protein intake.
For vegetarians, eggs are one of the most reliable sources of protein and are a great way to set you up for the day each morning. As well as being a fantastic source of protein, they contain many different minerals and vitamins. For a purer source of protein, consider eating just egg whites, which consist of nearly all protein. In one egg, you’ll receive up to six grams of protein, so it’s the perfect breakfast food for increasing your protein levels at the start of each day.
Snacks are important for keeping your energy levels high throughout the day, and if you are looking for a way to increase your protein levels while snacking, nuts are one of your best choices. Almonds are a fantastic source of protein, as are peanuts, and both of these can be enjoyed as a nut butter as well. Otherwise, try eating a small handful of cashews or pistachios the next time you are feeling peckish mid-afternoon. Of course, these are not a suitable option for anyone with a nut allergy.
For vegetarians and meat-eaters, adding cheese to your lunches and dinners can help to increase your protein intake. Many types of cheese can be a good source of protein, but one of the top options is cottage cheese, which is also a low-calorie and low-fat option. Alternately, parmesan, swiss cheese and cheddar will all add additional protein to your diet but should be eaten in moderation so as not to add too many extra calories to your meal.
If you are looking for a protein-rich breakfast or dessert option, consider a serving of Greek yogurt. It’s the ideal way to start your day, and could also be a sweet end to any meal. Try to find one that doesn’t have too much added sugar, as this won’t benefit your health. If you aren’t a fan of Greek yogurt, kefir and regular full-fat yogurt are also good sources of protein.
Adding more protein into your diet is essential for maintaining a fit and healthy body, and with these simple foods listed above, it’s easy to add a little more protein to each meal. You don’t have to eat the same bland foods every day to increase your protein consumption, so mix things up by rotating through this list of protein-rich foods each week to meet your daily recommended intake.