Protein is one of the most important ingredients of a nutritious diet that is required to energize the body. It is a misconception that protein is found only in meat. In reality, it is actually discovered in different types of foods. Healthy eating involves eating a protein-rich diet while keeping a strict watch on your fat and cholesterol intake.
Is Protein Necessary In Our Diet?
Protein is tasty but how is it mandatory for our body? Well, it is the main building block of cells and tissues in the whole body. Humans need it for proper functioning, healing and for muscle build-up in the body.
How Much Protein Is Needed By Us?
It is compulsory to fulfill your body’s requirements but don’t over-depend on protein and also don’t consume it as your chief source of food. Only a well-balanced food can meet all your body’s requirements. Majority of females require 50 grams of protein in a day, and males need approximately 60-70 grams of protein, which is nearly between 2 to 3 servings. More quantity of protein is needed by the pregnant women, athletes, and old age people. But it is generally observed that a lot of population consumes greater than 120 grams of protein per day which is more than what we actually need.
Intake of Meat – Should It Be Reduced?
Protein is vital for good health but every protein-containing diet is not appropriate for you. You have to choose between the sources of protein which contain healthy ingredients and avoid those which do not. Unhealthy ingredients can be saturated fat which is a form of unhealthy fats and cholesterol. Various types of meat consist of a large quantity of saturated fat which if consumed can cross your everyday requirement of fat with only a small number of bites.
For example, chicken breast which is skinless has very less quantity of protein but on the other hand, red meat has more amount of proteins along with cholesterol and saturated fat. Therefore, while selecting meat, you have to be very careful and choose wisely.
It is advisable to select beef and pork which are thinly cut. Also you can ask a butcher on the pieces which are finely cut and stay away from meats such as steak which are marbled because white marbling is nothing but fat. Stay away from processed meats like hot dogs and cold cuts as they contain lot of salt and fat which not only contain saturated fats but also cause indigestion due to water retention in the body.
What Other Sources of Proteins Are There?
To include protein in your diet, choose healthy and low-fat foods. Luckily, many health-filled sources of protein exist like fish, nuts, beans, and low-fat dairy products which also provide calcium.
Egg is considered as the best source of protein. If people are worried about fat and cholesterol, then also they can have their protein by consuming only the egg white because cholesterol and fat is present in the yolk.
Other healthy diets which include protein are as follows:
- Fish and seafood
- Protein meal replacement bars
- Low-fat and milk that is fat-free, yogurt, cheese and dairy products
- Whole grains
- Nuts and nut butters like peanut butter
- Beans and lentils
Proteins are important for a healthy living but you have to choose foods that contain less cholesterol and saturated fats so that you get the desired energy with no harmful effects on the body.
By Aditi Tyagi