How to Add More Protein to Your Diet
Protein is an essential nutrient for the body. It helps to build and repair tissues, to produce enzymes and hormones, and is a major component of muscles, bones, and skin. Most people need about 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight every day. That means a sedentary person needs about 55 grams of protein per day, while an active person needs closer to 70 grams.
There are two main ways to get more protein in your diet: by eating more protein-rich foods or by taking protein supplements. Here are some tips on how to do both:
Eating More Protein-Rich Foods
One easy way to increase your protein intake is to eat more high-protein foods. Some good options include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, tofu, nuts, and seeds. You can also get additional protein from dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. Adding a side of beans or lentils to your lunch or dinner plate is another easy way to boost your daily protein intake.
If you're looking for high-protein foods that are also low in calories, choose leaner cuts of meat and poultry, fish, tofu, legumes, and nonfat or low-fat dairy products.When cooking meat, poultry, or fish, be sure to remove the skin since it's high in fat.
If you're not used to eating a lot of protein at each meal, start by adding a small amount and gradually increase it over time. For example, if you typically eat two ounces of chicken at dinner, try increasing it to four ounces. Or if you usually have a cup of yogurt for breakfast, add an ounce or two of chopped chicken or nuts for extra protein.
Another way to increase your protein intake is by taking supplements. Protein powder is the most popular type of supplement used to boost protein intake. It's available in different forms such as whey, casein, soy, pea, egg white, hemp, rice, and potato.
Protein powders can be mixed with water or milk and drunk as a shake or smoothie. They can also be added to recipes such as pancakes or muffins. You can find protein powders at most health food stores or online retailers such as Amazon . Another option is ready-to-drink (RTD) protein shakes which come in cans or bottles. RTD shakes are convenient but they tend to be more expensive than powder supplements. You can also buy pre-mixed shakes that only require you to add water.
Finally, another type of supplement that's becoming increasingly popular is plant-based "meat” which is made from ingredients such as soybeans and peas.