A diet rich in lean protein has an array of health benefits. There are ways to incorporate it into each meal. The idea is to have lean protein while balancing the carbs and good fats. One must prioritise protein and aim for at least 20 to 30 grams per meal
Image Credit: Grilled chicken breast with veggies, Unsplash
Lean proteins provide our body with the necessary vitamins and minerals to maintain an effective metabolism. This could aid in weight loss or help you keep your ideal body weight. Such dietary changes also result in better sleep. It is easy to incorporate protein foods throughout each meal and snack. Breakfast options include eggs, low-fat milk, chickpeas, green peas, tofu, Greek yoghurt, or a smoothie mixed with protein powder, sattu or roasted black chickpea flour. When planning lunches and dinners, always aim to include one cup of veggies, three to four ounces or 110 grams of protein, and one-half to one whole cup of whole grains. High-protein seeds and nuts such as almonds, chia seeds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds must be kept handy for easy inclusion of lean protein. Similarly, stock dried, roasted black beans and high-protein pasta prepared from chickpeas or lentils.
Breakfast is the most challenging meal to include lean protein into. If you are usually an early dinner eater, having a protein-rich breakfast is necessary to start the day with the needed energy. Rely on eggs as your staple option. They allow you to experiment with several delicious breakfast meals. Scrambled eggs with spinach, whole wheat bread, and half a cup of berries. One egg has approximately six to seven grams of protein. Another simple option is using skim milk to make rolled oats. When you combine both, you get two sources of lean protein.
Lunch should be the main meal for those who eat a light breakfast and dinner. It is also perfect since the body remains in its most active state. Consider a rolled or whole wheat wrap loaded with sliced chicken breast, low-fat cheese, lettuce, tomato, and balsamic vinaigrette. Prefer to pick whole wheat products, as often they have more protein than white flour ones. Likewise, the options for vegetarians include grilled sliced tofu and baked chickpea nuggets. Another alternative is fresh green pea Indian flat bread or cheela with scrambled tofu and various vegetables. In addition, one can prepare a drink made with soaked chia seeds, lemon juice, mint leaves, and organic honey. It will add protein, fibre and vitamin c.
Roasted edamame, Image Source: Shutterstock
Nutritionists and fitness experts have been highlighting the importance of healthy snacking between meals. It helps in controlling the tendency to overeat during main meals. Try 1/3 cup dry roasted edamame, chickpeas, nuts like almonds, and seeds like chia seeds, hemp seeds, and Ezekiel bread for a high-protein snack. Consider pairing them with a piece of whole fruit, such as orange, apple, pear, or peach. Keep these snacks ready a day ahead of time. 14 grams of protein are in one serving.
A healthy tofu bowl, Image Source: Pexels
Try to eat your dinner by 8 p.m. at the latest. Dinner should also include a portion of protein. Consider a bowl of chicken with brown rice, black beans, sautéed peppers, onions, lettuce, and salsa. Quinoa can be used in place of rice. For fibre, consume fresh raw veggies such as carrot, cucumber, and beetroot to facilitate easy digestion. Substitute a tiny scoop of plain non-fat Greek yoghurt to amp up the protein for the sour cream.