Are you looking for ways to increase protein intake?
In a world where people know more about the nutritional value of dark chocolate than their cholesterol levels, it’s not surprising that one of the most common health questions I get from family, friends, and colleagues is, “How much protein should I be eating?”
Protein is the building block of everything, so how do you know if you’re getting enough.
Eating foods rich in protein is a good start, and today I’m going to give you ten quick ways to increase your protein intake.
1) Eat Cheese
You’ve probably heard that cheese isn’t great for you.
But what you may not know is that cheese is an excellent source of protein and calcium!
Cottage cheese has a great amount of protein per serving, but Swiss, feta, and American cheeses are also good sources of calcium. Cheddar, mozzarella, and Parmesan are all high in Vitamin A – so don’t feel guilty about making grilled cheese for lunch or enjoying a slice on your salad at dinner.
2) Eat eggs to increase protein intake
In addition to being a fantastic source of protein, eggs are quick and easy to prepare. They are inexpensive, versatile, and can be eaten any time of the day! Even if you’re not usually a fan of eggs, there’s no need to worry.
With so many ways to cook them – omelets, frittatas, fried, scrambled – you’re bound to find a recipe that will have you shouting “I’m lovin’ it!” in no time.
3) Try dairy alternatives, such as almond and soy milk
Almond and soy milk are excellent protein sources and tend to have more protein than dairy milk. Almond milk has fewer calories, so it’s a better choice if you’re trying to lose weight, while the soy is higher in protein.
We recommend Silk’s Unsweetened Organic Soymilk, 7 grams of protein per serving. Almondmilk can be as high as 9 grams of protein per serving – check the nutrition labels on different products to find the right fit.
4) Replace refined grains with whole wheat, brown rice, and quinoa
Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. In fact, they may be one of the world’s healthiest foods. What’s more, some whole grains contain a decent amount of protein compared to their refined counterparts. Here are the best examples:
- Whole Wheat
- Brown Rice
It’s important to note that while you can boost your protein intake with these grains, they should be viewed as complements to your overall diet. Consuming too many carbs will cause you to gain weight (and thus keep you out of shape), but it also could lead to other health problems like type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.
You’ll want to balance your diet by consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables and lean meats and fish if you’re trying to achieve peak physical fitness.
5) Lean on peanut butter
· Use it as a spread on wheat crackers or bread.
· Blend it into a smoothie with milk, bananas, and frozen fruit.
· Make sauces with it by combining peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, rice vinegar, and garlic. There are many recipes available online for this delicious Asian delicacy!
6) Use nuts in salads to increase protein intake
Nuts are a great way to increase protein intake at lunch or dinner. Walnuts, almonds, and cashews are just a few of the many nuts that can be used in salads when chicken or other meat is not desired. Nuts also make a great snack, providing protein and fiber when consumed with a balanced diet. However, avoid salted nuts, as too much salt can lead to high blood pressure.
7) Eat soy products such as edamame, tofu, and tempeh
Soy products are a great source of protein and can be used to replace meat in many recipes. With the rising popularity and availability of soy products, it’s easier to find them (and many recipes) in stores.
One cup of tofu and edamame contains 20 grams of protein, while tempeh has 31 grams per cup. Soy is also high in fiber, calcium, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. Tofu can serve as a nutritious dietary substitute for meat with its soft texture when frozen or firm texture when not frozen.
For example, try incorporating tofu into your favorite stir fry dish or vegetable soup recipe instead of chicken or beef for a delicious meal full of nutrients.
8) Try canned tuna in water instead of protein bars
Good protein sources aren’t always easy to find. Thousands of people each year choose to take their health into their own hands, and they find themselves at a loss when snacking.
You can get more protein without sacrificing your budget or sanity by picking up a can of tuna in water instead of downing a protein bar.
You’ll save money because tuna is relatively inexpensive and easier to transport than those oversized bars, which often need to be kept refrigerated. The water-packed tuna has less sodium than other options, so it’s better for you overall.
9) Eat more beans and legumes
If you want to up your intake of plant-based protein, beans and legumes are a great way to go. They’re also cheap, versatile, and full of other good nutrients like fiber, iron, and potassium.
It’s easy to incorporate more beans into your diet – start adding them to dishes that already have some protein in them.
- Try replacing ground beef with black or kidney beans in tacos or nachos.
- Add chickpeas or cannellini beans to the salad for extra crunch and protein.
- Stir lentils into minestrone for an extra dose of protein with minimal effort or cost.
10) Have meatless meals twice a week
While meat is a good source of protein, it isn’t the only way to get protein. There are many other protein sources that don’t come from animals and are both delicious for you.
You can get half your protein from plant-based foods like beans, tofu, or nuts throughout the day. Then have one or two meals where all the protein comes from plants (for example, a stir-fry with tofu and cashews).
This is a great way to add variety to your diet while still getting enough protein. Meatless meals are also better for the environment because they produce much less greenhouse gas emissions than eating meat does. They’re cheaper too!
You can increase your protein intake without eating meat every day by using beans, eggs, and soy products.