The Best Protein for Weight Loss

August 26, 2013

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Best Protein for Weight LossYour body needs protein to survive. In fact, every cell in the body is made up of protein. But not all proteins are created equal when it comes to overall health. Unfortunately, you won’t find the best protein for weight loss in a steak or a burger, but you can find it in other delicious foods, and you don’t have to limit yourself to meat!

Nix red meat. Multiple studies show red meat is linked to cardiovascular disease and stroke. One study followed the dietary habits of about 84,000 women and 43,000 men. After 26 and 22 years of follow up, about 2,600 women and about 1,400 men had a stroke. The dietary habits showed red meat intake was associated with a higher risk of stroke, whereas higher intake of poultry was associated with a decreased stroke risk. Can’t say no to that steak for good? You don’t have to quit cold turkey. Limit it to special occasions and choose lean cuts of meat and you should be in the clear.

Stick with lean poultry. Think chicken, turkey, and Cornish hen. Your best protein for weight loss is white meat, sans skin. Why? Dark meat is usually fattier than white meat, and the skin, unlike fruits and vegetables, has no nutritional value. In fact, by saying so long to the skin, you’ll save about 100 calories per serving and unwanted saturated fat. Grill or bake your poultry to reap the best health benefits. If you go with the fried version, you may as well have had a burger.

Start the day with eggs. Not only is the protein in eggs some of the best quality protein for weight loss you can find, but eggs can also help build muscle strength. You may see athletes bulking up on protein supplements, but eggs have a better effect. One large egg packs in 6 grams of protein, and when combined with other healthy nutrients, starting the day with eggs puts you on the path to weight loss success.

Look under the sea. Fish, shrimp, shellfish, scallops, shrimp, crab, etc. Most seafood is a good, lean source of protein, but tuna tops the seafood list for most protein per serving. One 3-ounce serving of tuna clocks in at 25 grams of protein. But other fish and shellfish varieties are no lacking. You can expect to get 19 to 26 grams of protein with any seafood choice.

Don’t forget about non-meat sources. Although leafy greens may not boast as much protein as its meatier counterparts, you can still get your fill from many vegetables. Spinach, broccoli, asparagus, and artichokes are rich in protein, and a large number of legumes—seeds, nuts, peas, and beans—pack a hefty punch. You can expect 4 to 5 grams from vegetables per serving and anywhere from 9 to 29 grams of protein per cup from legumes.

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