Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Importance of Protein

Everyday I tell clients about the importance of protein in their diets.  Not only does it help with blood sugar control but it helps regulate your feeling of fullness (get you full and keep you full longer).  A recent study found that a diet that had 15% protein compared to a diet with 10% protein resulted in an overall lower caloric intake and less snacking.  (Gosby et al, Testing Protein Leverage in Lean Humans: A Randomized Controlled Experimental Study. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (10)).

Try to these tips to help increase your protein intake:
- have a source of protein with each meal and each snack (vary the type... be creative)
- choose seafood twice a week
- make meat & poultry lean
- have eggs (they are good for you... if you have high cholesterol, limit the yolks and eat the whites where the protein is found)
- have nuts & seeds!!!  Try almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds...  the sky is the limit!  Definitely go with unsalted and try to have raw when possible.
- Eat plant protein foods more often: beans and peas (black, pinto, garbanzo, lentils, hummus, red beans, kidney beans- you name it), tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers
- Remember that you should still be watching your portions... If you eat 3 meals and 2 snacks that are well balanced (contain protein, fruit and/or veggie, whole grain and dairy) you will obtain all of the nutrients you need, eat small portions, feel satisfied and get to a healthy weight!

Enjoy and be well...

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