We have all heard about protein diets to lose weight quickly even though these can cause your organs to be overworked and are therefore harmful to your health. But the truth is that protein is essential to your diet and it is possible that not many people are eating enough amounts of it and as a result are also having problems losing weight.
We will explain how to start eating more protein in a balanced way, without abusing animal protein, in order to help you lose pounds faster and reduce your waist size, along with many other benefits.
The Importance of Eating Protein
Eating protein is especially important during periods of growth, pregnancy, or for people who don’t exercise daily. The truth is that it should not be lacking in your daily meals. Many people also abuse carbohydrates (pasta, bread, pastries, etc.) and forget about protein. On the other hand, other people eat a lot of protein but it is always from animals and this excess can cause problems in your kidneys and liver.
What Does Protein Give You?
- Gives you firmness and prevents flacidness in your muscles and skin
- Nourishes your hair, skin, and nails
- It is essential for having healthy bones
- Prevents fluid retention (in your legs, eyelids, ankles, etc.)
- Gives you energy, resistance, and vitality
- Helps raise your defenses
- Promotes the burning of body fat, especially around your waist
- Prevents constipation (especially vegetable protein)
A Balanced Meal
A balanced meal, throughout the day, should contain:
- Animal and or vegetable protein
- Raw and cooked fruits and vegetables
- Carbohydrates, preferably whole grain (rice, oats, millet, wheat, etc.)
- Healthy fats (vegetable oils, nuts, avocado…)
The proportions will vary according to each person’s age and lifestyle, but the best guarantee of eating in a balanced way is feeling good, having energy, and maintaining a proper weight.
Sources of Animal Protein
Sources of animal protein are the following:
- Meat: red (beef, lamb, pork) and white (chicken, turkey)
- Fish: white (hake, sole, monkfish) and blue (salmon, tuna, swordfish)
- Seafood: (oysters, shrimp, mussels)
- Milk and dairy products (cheese, yogurt, butter, cream): cow, goat, sheep
Try not to abuse red meats, cold cuts, or shellfish, and dairy products that have high fat contents. Instead, go for other proteins. Eggs, for example, are one of the healthiest and richest sources of protein, especially egg whites.
Also, try to choose organic products, because many studies have proven that the amount of hormones and medications that the animals receive go directly into your body. Also, the conditions in which they live also worsen the quality and taste of food. It is best to eat less animal protein but of a higher quality.
When cooking, choose healthy and light ways: grilled, steamed, or baked.
Sources of Vegetable Protein
Vegetable protein is also an excellent source of protein that is not of a lesser quality than animal protein. Many people even digest it better. Although the proportion of protein is lower, the truth is that the body absorbs it much better. They also contain fiber and many vitamins and minerals, which is why they are essential to your diet. It’s best to combine both in your weekly meals.
- Legumes: beans, garbanzo beans, peas, lentils
- Nuts: pine nutes, peanuts, almonds, pistachios, almonds
- Edible mushrooms
- Fruit: although fruit barely contains any protein, we would like to point out avocados and bananas, that are the ones that have the most amounts of it.
- Grains: Grain do not have large amounts of protein either, but wheat, semolina, barley, and rye do. The combination of grains and legumes is great for providing yourself with a complete amount of vegetable protein.
- Algae, especially spirulina
- Beer yeast
- Wheat gluten
- Germinated seeds
People that suffer from high cholesterol or triglycerides should eat more vegetable protein than animal. They should only eat animal protein once a week.
Images courtesy of ponte1112, joannova and ulteriorepicure