5 High Protein Foods for Weight Loss
Protein serves several functions in the body. It can aid weight loss, increase metabolism and slow the digestion process, making you feel more satisfied and reducing calorie intake. Boosting your protein intake won’t magically make you lose weight; you must choose the right type of protein and eat the right amount to reap the benefits.
The USDA recommends that 10 to 30 percent of your daily calories come from protein. Eating healthy protein options is a significant component to maximizing your weight loss potential. Choose proteins that are rich in nutrients and low in saturated fats and calories, starting with the following high-protein foods.
Chicken is the top-consumed protein in the U.S. Three ounces of skinless, roasted chicken provides 27 grams of protein. It’s also a great source of niacin and B vitamins. The nutritional profile of chicken is affected by its diet. Choose pasture-raised, free-range, antibiotic-free chicken that’s high in antioxidants and omega-3s. Prepare chicken using healthy cooking methods such as roasting, poaching or baking.
Fish like salmon, trout, tuna and cod contain an array of essential amino acids, making them an amazing source of protein. You’ll find 19 grams of protein in just three ounces of baked cod. Fatty fish is also a great source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. It’s recommended to eat two to three servings of fish per week.
Research has shown that having portion-controlled protein snacks ready to go helps you lose weight faster. Nuts are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats and fiber and make an easy grab-and-go protein-rich snack. There are 27 grams of protein in just one cup of nuts. Enjoy a handful of nuts for a powerful snack, or sprinkle nuts in salads, soups or smoothies for a protein boost.
4. Plain Low-fat Yogurt
One cup of plain low-fat yogurt contains 12 grams of protein. It promotes fullness, curbs appetite and is full of vitamin D, which may also aid in weight loss. Enjoy yogurt in smoothies and parfaits or use it as a healthier alternative for creams in recipes.
Pulses include foods like beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas. Their soluble fiber helps slow digestion and their protein and fiber-rich profiles have a powerful effect on fullness. Eating about 3/4 cup of pulses daily can help weight loss, and they have a low glycemic index, which keeps blood sugar levels in check.