When it comes to putting together a diet plan with the best foods that will benefit you most according to what your goals are, protein definitely has its role to play. Protein is an excellent source when it comes to losing weight, at the same time you need protein to maintain muscle.
If it’s muscle you want to add to your frame, then you will need large quantities of protein. I have put together a list of some of the best food sources for protein and what their benefits are to give you a better idea of which protein rich foods for weight loss and lean muscle to add in your diet and which ones are the best support for whatever your goals are.
Chicken’s excellent source of protein
When it comes to one of the best choices for protein you can’t go wrong with chicken, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s the best, there is not one best source of protein there are many good sources of protein and you should have a combination of them, after all, variety is the spice of life.
Chicken is one of the better sources when it comes to learn white meat. I always enjoy a good juicy steak, but red meat is often high in calories and saturated fat, possibly eating too much of it can be linked to heart disease and cancer. Chicken is a lot leaner, providing you don’t fry it and eat the skin.
A three ounce serving size of chicken breast has 140 calories, 3 grams of fat and 25 grams of protein. Dark chicken like the thigh can tend to be a little higher in calories and fat and if you leave the skin on will increase the calorie and fat intake by quadruple the amount.
However if you eat chicken from Mc McDonalds they will soak the whole chicken or portions of it in sodium water or brine, their purpose for doing this is to make it more tender and juicer, the problem with this is that adds about 440 mg of sodium in a 4 oz serving of chicken.
It’s best to prepare the chicken yourself, that way you know exactly what goes into it and it’s much healthier if it’s baked or prepared in a slow cooker.
Fish is an excellent source of protein
Fish doesn’t seem to be as popular as beef or chicken, any time you hear about someone wanting to beef up their diet with protein, it’s always for a big juicy steak or lean chicken but how often do you hear one of your training buddies talking about grilling up fish to boost his protein supplementation?
Fish packs just as much protein as beef and chicken but with so many varieties of fish and with such a variety of flavors it can make you wonder why fish is so low on the popularity list. Fish is an excellent choice of protein for the bodybuilders diet and with all the nutrients that fish has to offer, just simply adding two servings of fish to your diet per week can give you a boost of nutrients that you wouldn’t otherwise get.
The healthiest options are fatty fish which are high in omega 3 fatty acids, these fatty acids are important for your body and mind to function properly and are linked to a reduced risk of many diseases including heart attack, stroke and heart disease.
Some of the top fish that you should include in your diet are salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel, cod, haddock, flounder, perch, halibut and tuna.
Shrimp is an essential addition to a healthy diet, shrimp has ample amounts of protein and all the essential amino acids for a healthy diet. Shrimp is a great source of high quality protein as well as other nutrients.
Depending on the method of preparation shrimps content of protein will vary, a 4 ounce serving of steamed shrimp has 25 grams of protein. Canned shrimp and breaded fried shrimp will contain a little less protein, fast food restaurants serving size of 5.6 ounce breaded shrimp only has 12 grams of protein.
Shrimp contains cholesterol although it is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats. Omega 3 fatty acids are involved in brain development in young children and are a big factor in reducing the risk of heart disease by the regulating of blood pressure, decreasing inflammation and preventing blood clots.
If you are trying to reduce your intake of cholesterol you should limit your shrimp intake.
Eggs are one of the best sources for protein, they contain all the amino acids you need for building muscle. Eggs are one of the high quality amino acids, the better of the two types of amino acids which contain all 20 of the essential amino acids, being that amino acids are the building blocks of protein goes to show you that eggs are pretty important for building muscle.
The second type of protein is known as the incomplete proteins, these do not contain all 20 amino acids, rice and beans would fall into the category of incomplete proteins.
The nutrition value of an egg is 6.28 grams of protein, 70 calories and 4.75 grams of fat as well as containing vitamins and minerals. The protein in eggs helps to increase muscle mass and minimize muscle damage from workouts.
Eggs also contain a pretty high level of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids which control hormone regulation and cellular growth in the body.
Nuts are a great source of healthy fats and fiber and many other beneficial nutrients and while there are many different types of nuts, each one will offer different nutritional value. Nuts are a plant based protein, a diet that is rich in nutrients from nuts may help with preventing risk factors like chronic diseases and inflammation.
Since there is a large number of types of nuts, I made a list of the top three nuts an their nutritional value.
1. Peanuts 25 grams of protein, 49 grams of fat, 16 grams of carbs, 9 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, 92 milligrams of calcium, 5 milligrams of iron, 168 milligrams of magnesium, 375 milligrams of phosphorus, 705 milligrams of potassium.
2. Almonds 21 grams of protein, 50 grams of fat, 22 grams of carbs, 13 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, 269 milligrams of calcium, 4 milligrams of iron, 270 milligrams of magnesium, 480 milligrams of phosphorus, 733 milligrams of potassium, 26 milligrams of vitamin E.
3. Pistachios 20 grams of protein, 45 grams of fat, 27 grams of carbs, 11 grams of fiber 7 grams of sugar, 105 milligrams of calcium, 4 milligrams of iron, 121 milligrams of magnesium, 490 milligrams of phosphorus.
Greek yogurt provides a significant source of protein, even for a relatively small portion. Greek yogurt also serves as a perfect after workout meal. Eating a snack of Greek yogurt within an hour after a workout replenishes your glycogen stores and provides protein for small muscle tears.
Within the different Greek yogurt varieties, fat free Greek yogurt contains the most protein. Some of the prominent brands contain 18-20 grams of protein for a 6-7 ounce fat free serving which adds up to a good amount for a post workout meal.
That covers six of the best protein rich foods which are all great for supplementing in your diet to increase your quality protein consumption for better health and larger muscles. For other protein rich foods that rank as some of the best are milk, lentils and cottage cheese.
I hope this article can help with a little more insight into a wider variety of protein based foods that you can include in your diet to give your diet a little more zest to it.
If you have any questions or comments or any thing you might like to add, leave them in the box.