Jan 15, 2011
Protein intake is essential to growth and repair of new muscle tissue, not to mention it aids in fat loss and keeps you from feeling hungry throughout the day. Research shows that exercisers on a protein-rich diet burned more fat and lost more weight than those who were restricting their protein intake. Below are some of the most powerful sources of dietary protein:
- Eggs: Providing 6 grams of the highest quality protein, eggs rank at the top of the list. Don't worry about the cholesterol--recent research is proving dietary intake of cholesterol isn't as much of a risk as it once was thought to be. You can, and should, eat at least one egg a day (with the yolk!).
- Fish: Salmon and tilapia provide roughly 23 grams of protein per 4 ounce serving. These great options also give your omega-3 intake a boost--salmon aiding more than tilapia. A nice goal would be 3 servings per week.
- Red meat: Oh yeah, I'm going there--just make sure you're getting grass-fed beef or bison as opposed to grain-fed as it provides less saturated fat and more omega-3's. This is a great source of iron, which aids in oxygen transport for your exercise sessions. Keep your weekly intake to around 18 to 20 ounces, however.
- Chicken breast: In 3 ounces, you're getting a whopping 28 grams of protein! Stick to skinless to cut back on unnecessary fat. Good news is you can have this option daily, just keep in mind cooking method--baked, grilled, or braised are the healthiest options.
- Low-fat dairy: Greek yogurt and skim milk are your best options. Greek yogurt has more protein and less sugar by volume than regular yogurt--make sure you get plain and sweeten it yourself with fresh berries for the best results. Milk and greek yogurt are also fortified with Vitamin D and are natural sources of calcium, both of which are essential to overall health and aid in weight loss. You can get up to 3 servings of low-fat dairy a day!