Hey Angels and Alphas,
With summer finally here, it seems that high-protein and high-fat diets are getting all the more popular in the weight loss community. And it may even seem like you have carte blanche to load up on red meats for all those amazing summer barbecues!
However, it doesn’t really matter what eating plan you’re following right now, the fact is red meat is still high in fat (saturated fat) compared to leaner cuts. And while not every expert agrees that saturated fat is dangerous in terms of increased heart disease risk, the latest research from Harvard Medical School has suggested that the key to protecting your heart is to actually eat less saturated fats and more polyunsaturated fats.
For this exact reason, it’s actually vital that we limit our red meat intake and make leaner proteins our go-to. Most experts will agree that red meat isn’t something that should be eaten regularly. As a matter of fact, a good rule of thumb is to eat red meat no more than twice a week, according to most health authorities.
That’s why today, we’re here to explore some high-protein options that won’t have you resorting to big steaks every time you want a protein-rich meal. These alternatives will have you feeling full for a longer period, as well as aid weight loss and help you build muscle. All in one go!
Let’s get started.
Chicken is the meat-of-choice for a lot of athletes and fitness pros – and with good reason. Chicken is not only lower in calories compared to beef or pork, but it’s also low in saturated fat as long as you avoid the skin.
A chicken breast that’s about 100 grams (or about 3.5 ounces) will amount to about 25-30 grams of protein, all within a healthy range of 160-170 calories. Red meat such as a top round cut will have about 20-30 percent more calories for the same amount of protein. When you can, always opt for lean chicken cuts – they’re both delicious and nutritious.
#2 PEA PROTEIN POWDER
If you’re vegan, vegetarian, or just want to avoid meat altogether, pea protein is pretty much ideal. It can be used in smoothies, shakes, everywhere! It’s made from yellow peas, with one scoop of pea protein boasting about 20-25 grams of protein. And guess what – it contains zero saturated fat and comes with an extra boost of iron, or about 35 percent of your daily requirement in just one scoop!
A 100-gram serving of cooked shrimp amounts to about 20-25 grams of protein with just 1 gram of fat. In calorie terms, that’s under 100 calories! When you’re in the grocery store, try to look for shrimp that’s farmed in the U.S. since it’s usually rated as the best choice in terms of sustainability by most seafood health authorities.
Sardines are another gym-goer favorite. That being said, these small fish are sometimes overlooked by the health community, but they pack a big punch when it comes to protein contents and flavor.
You can buy them either fresh and throw them on the grill or just pick them up canned. In the canned alternatives, you’ll find flavors such as olive oil or lemon which can be great if you’re worried about their taste. One can of sardines can rack up about 25 grams of protein. Moreover, as oily fish, they’re a great source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Not to mention, they’re a great addition to salads!
#5 COTTAGE CHEESE
When you’re looking for high-protein dairy, Greek yogurt is often the first thing that comes to mind. And make no mistake, it’s a great option! But cottage cheese is another excellent, often-overlooked choice. One cup offers about 24 grams of protein.
You can even skip the 0 percent fat and go for 2 percent if you want something that packs a little more satiety. Another thing you can do is minimize all the adder sugar by looking for unsweetened cottage cheese (to which you can then add your own toppings such as nut butter or fruit.)
If you’re one of the people who appreciate soy protein, chances are you’re already familiar with things like tofu. Tempeh is similar – it’s made from cooked, fermented soybeans. They’re also a complete protein, containing all of the nine essential amino acids. A 100-gram serving of tempeh contains about 20 grams of protein and serves as an amazing substitute for meat in sandwiches.