Protein is powerful! Proteins are strings of amino acids that your body requires for almost every bodily function. So it’s no wonder that it’s a necessary part of every “body goal” that you set out to achieve whether that might be losing weight or gaining 10 pounds of muscle mass. That's why it is so important to know the best protein sources.A large portion of your diet revolves around protein consumption. Anywhere from 35% or more of your daily caloric intake should come from protein. You just need to choose good sources of protein for your body in order to optimize your health and fitness.Today, let’s discuss some of the different types of high-quality protein you should be consuming and why.
- Whey Protein – approximately 20 grams per scoop
It’s pure; it’s clean; it’s easy to take anywhere. It’s whey protein, and it’s truly a man’s best friend. Not only is whey a convenient source of significant amounts of protein, manufacturers have mastered the flavor. Are you having a sweet craving? No problem! Break out the whey to satisfy your sweet tooth, all while making muscle gains.
- Eggs – 6 grams per large egg
Scrambled, hard-boiled or poached, no matter how you cook ‘em, eggs could be the perfect breakfast or snack food to help pour in the protein. Are you still eating cereal for breakfast like you did as a kid? It’s no wonder why the scale won’t drop them!It’s time to swap out for your cereal habit for an upgraded egg habit. Here’s why: Protein staves off hunger longer than morning carbs ever could. Plus, when you eat eggs, you eat zero carbs and zero sugar. You are only eating one thing: Eggs.Eggs are also just as fast to make as your bowl of cereal. Did you know you can make them in the microwave in minutes? Here’s an excellent 4-minute breakfast option: Microwave Egg & Veggie Breakfast BowlProtein Fact: Protein will slow the absorption of carbohydrates, too.
- Chicken Breast – 50 grams per 6 ounces serving
This is the best go-to source of lean protein for athletes. Not only does it deliver a ton of protein, but it’s super lean meat that helps you build a body that’s not only strong but also aesthetic.
- Cottage Cheese – 12 grams per half cup serving
For a tasty snack packed with casein protein and all of the essential amino acids, look no further than the dairy aisle. Toss the cottage cheese in your grocery basket.Did you know that whey protein and cottage cheese are derived from the same process? It’s true. They are actually separated from each other when milk is processed to make cheese. Then, of course, we use the products in different ways. However, that explains how cottage cheese is packed full of casein, the slowest digesting protein.Cottage cheese not only makes a great snack. In fact, some people use it in their protein pancakes for extra moisture, flavor, and added protein.Protein Fact: The advantages of the high-protein, low-carbohydrate approach are that diets that eliminate a whole category of nutrients, in this case, carbohydrates, are lower in calories and so result in weight loss.
- T-bone Steak –42 grams per 6 ounces serving
Steak is Man Food! While it’s great to eat lean white meat when you are working on a lean, chiseled body, there is still something you need from your red meats: Iron.According to WebMD, “Without sufficient iron, your body can't produce enough hemoglobin, a substance in red blood cells that makes it possible for them to carry oxygen to the body's tissues. As a result, you may feel weak, tired, and irritable.”In order to be strong as steel, you need to eat your iron! Here are some great grilling tips to follow!
- Lean Ground Beef 96% -- 48.4 grams per 6 ounces serving
This is another great way to get your iron and protein, and it can be prepared in thousands of ways. Make sure that you are spending a little extra for the extra lean meat though. You get the health benefits of the protein, but you also knock down the fat and cholesterol content with super lean beef.Protein Fact: Short-term studies have suggested that protein exerts a more positive effect on satiety per calorie than both carbohydrate and fat.
- Salmon – 50 grams per 1 filet (227 grams)
Omega-3 fatty acids are super healthy fats found naturally in fish. They are literally fats that fight fat. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. Physique minded people should stock up on salmon, and your body will repay you with results.Try this recipe: Baked Salmon.
- Canned Tuna – 70 grams per 6 ounces serving
Need a quick lunch? You can eat tuna straight from the can, buy flavored tuna in pouches, or prepare it the night before in just minutes. It’s fast and healthy and even better, you can find ways to prepare it sans mayo.Try this recipe: Healthy Mediterranean Tuna Salad.Protein Fact: The human body has about 100,000 different types of protein. The body needs protein to grow, heal, and carry about nearly every chemical reaction in the body.
- Quinoa – 8 grams per cup
Though quinoa is not a protein in the strictest sense, it’s high in protein and you should consider swapping one of your carbohydrate sources for quinoa. Quinoa is often referred to as an ancient grain, but it’s actually a seed. It is not processed like rice and because of that, it takes longer to digest.It also tastes great. One tip for giving it even more flavor is to cook it in your favorite broth, like chicken or beef broth.
- Peanut Butter – 8 grams per 2 tablespoons
Peanut butter is considered a meat substitute (a tasty one at that). It is full of protein, but be aware that it has a high-fat content. If you are trying to lose weight, be mindful of the amount of peanut butter you consume. Everything in moderation!
Best Protein Sources Conclusion:
Don’t be afraid of a diet high in protein. Athletes, such as bodybuilders, are known to have diets that consist of 50% or more of protein each day. Proteins are the building blocks for your body, and therefore they should be the building blocks of your diet.