14 Easy Ways to Be Sure Your Getting Enough Protein in Your Diet
However, some researchers believe that many people should be eating significantly more than this amount (1). A high protein intake can help with weight loss, increase muscle mass and improve health, to name a few.
Here are 14 easy ways to eat more protein:
1. Eat Your Protein First
What's more, eating protein first can help keep your blood sugar and insulin levels from rising too high after a meal.
In a small study, people with type 2 diabetes were served identical meals on different days. Blood sugar and insulin rose significantly less when they consumed protein and vegetables before high-carb foods, compared to when the order was reversed (5).
Bottom Line: Eating protein first at meals can help you feel full and keep blood sugar and insulin levels from rising too high.
2. Snack on Cheese
Snacks are a good way to get extra protein into your diet, as long as you choose the right types.
Many common snack foods are very low in protein, such as chips, pretzels and crackers.
For example, a 28-gram (1-oz) serving of tortilla chips has 137 calories but only 2 grams of protein (6).
Bottom Line: Choose cheese for a filling snack that's high in protein and calcium and may also improve heart health.
3. Replace Cereal with Eggs
Eating whole eggs can also modify the size and shape of your LDL (“bad") cholesterol particles in a way that may decrease heart disease risk (15).
Bottom Line: Replacing cereal with eggs boosts protein consumption, makes you feel more full and helps you eat fewer calories.
4. Top Your Food with Chopped Almonds
Almonds are incredibly healthy.
Almonds also contain 6 grams of protein in a 28-gram (1-oz) serving, which makes them a better source than most nuts (16).
And although a serving of almonds contains around 167 calories, studies have shown that your body actually absorbs only about 129 of those calories because some of the fat isn't digested (17, 18, 19).
So sprinkle a few tablespoons of chopped almonds over yogurt, cottage cheese, salads or oatmeal to increase your protein intake and add flavor and crunch.
Bottom Line: Almonds are high in several nutrients and can boost the protein content of a meal or snack.
5. Choose Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a versatile, high-protein food.
Greek yogurt is made by removing whey and other liquids to produce a richer, creamier yogurt.
Greek yogurt has a tangy flavor that goes well with berries or chopped fruit. It can also be used as a substitute for sour cream in dips, sauces and other recipes.
Bottom Line: Greek yogurt contains twice as much protein as traditional yogurt and can be eaten alone or added to other foods.
6. Add Protein-Rich Foods to Your Salad
Salads are loaded with vegetables that provide vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help protect you from disease.
However, they often contain only a few grams of protein, which will likely lead to hunger after an hour or two.
To add protein to your salad, top it with any of the foods below. A 100-gram (3.5-oz) serving of these foods will give you the following amounts of protein:
- Chicken or turkey breast: 30 grams.
- Tuna: 26 grams.
- Salmon: 25 grams.
- Cheese: 22 grams.
If you're looking for a good plant-based option, garbanzo beans (chickpeas) are a great choice that provides 15 grams of protein per cup (165 grams).
Bottom Line: Topping your salad with poultry, cheese, fish or legumes will help you meet your protein needs and stay full and satisfied.
7. Have a Protein Shake for Breakfast
A shake or smoothie can be a great breakfast, depending on the ingredients. Many smoothies contain a lot of fruit, vegetables or juice, but little protein.
One scoop (28 grams) of whey powder provides about 20 grams of protein, on average (28).
Whey Protein Shake
- 8 oz (225 grams) unsweetened almond milk.
- 1 scoop of whey powder.
- 1 cup fresh berries.
- Stevia or another healthy sweetener, if desired.
- 1/2 cup crushed ice.
Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
Bottom Line: Having a protein shake for breakfast helps you start the day off right. Whey may be the best type to use.
8. Include a High-Protein Food with Every Meal
When it comes to protein, it's not just the total amount you take in every day that matters. Getting enough at each meal is also important.
Several researchers recommend consuming a minimum of 20–30 grams of protein at each meal.
Select foods from this list of delicious high-protein foods in order to make sure you meet your needs at every meal.
Bottom Line: Include a high-protein food at each meal to get what you need to feel full and maintain muscle mass.
9. Choose Leaner, Slightly Larger Cuts of Meat
Selecting leaner cuts of meat and increasing portion sizes slightly can significantly boost the protein content of your meal.
What's more, your meal may even end up being lower in calories. For example, compare these two steaks:
- Ribeye steak (fatty): 18 g protein and 274 calories per 100 g (3.5 oz) (31).
- Top sirloin steak (lean): 24 g protein and 225 calories per 112 g (4 oz) (32).
Bottom Line: Choosing leaner cuts of meat and slightly larger portions is an easy way to increase your protein intake.
10. Pair Peanut Butter with Fruit
Fruit is rich in antioxidants, nutrients and fiber. However, it's very low in protein.
In fact, spreading 2 tablespoons of peanut butter on sliced fruit will boost the total protein content by 8 grams (33).
Bottom Line: Add peanut butter to fruit to boost your protein intake. This can decrease appetite, improve heart health and lower blood sugar.
11. Eat Lean Jerky
Lean jerky is a convenient way to get more protein into your diet.
However, it's important to choose a healthy type.
Many types of jerky contain sugar, preservatives and various questionable ingredients. They're also frequently made from lower-quality meat.
Some jerky and “snack sticks" come from grass-fed beef, bison and other free-range animals. Choosing jerky from grass-fed animals will provide better-quality meat with higher amounts of healthy omega-3 fats (36).
Lean jerkies or snack sticks contain about 7 grams of protein per 28 grams (1 oz).
They can often be stored for several months without refrigeration and are ideal for travel.
Bottom Line: Lean jerkies and snack sticks are good sources of protein. Choose high-quality types that come from grass-fed animals.
12. Indulge in Cottage Cheese at Any Time
Cottage cheese is a tasty food that's also very high in protein. A one-cup (225-gram) serving contains 25 grams of protein and 220 calories (37).
One study followed women who ate a high-protein, high-dairy diet while exercising and reducing calorie intake. They lost more belly fat and gained more muscle mass than women with moderate protein and dairy intake (39).
Cottage cheese is delicious on its own. You can also try it with chopped nuts or seeds, cinnamon and stevia or another sweetener for a quick breakfast.
Additionally, smaller amounts of cottage cheese make a great snack.
Bottom Line: Cottage cheese is a versatile, high-protein food that makes you feel full and may help improve body composition.
13. Munch on Edamame
Edamame is the term for steamed soybeans in their unripened form.
Soybeans have more protein than other legumes and are popular among vegetarians and vegans.
One cup of edamame has 17 grams of protein and about 180 calories (40).
Edamame can be purchased fresh or frozen and it makes a great snack. It can also be added to stir-fry recipes.
Bottom Line: Edamame is a good source of plant protein and may also have other health benefits.
14. Eat Canned Fish
Canned fish is a fantastic way to boost protein intake.
It requires no refrigeration, so it's wonderful for travel. It can be enjoyed as a snack or with a meal.
A 100-gram (3.5-oz) serving of canned fish contains between 20–25 grams of protein and 150–200 calories.
Ideas for serving canned fish include combining it with healthy mayo, serving it on top of a salad or eating it straight from the can.
Bottom Line: Canned fish is a convenient source of high-quality protein and beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.
Take Home Message
Getting enough protein is very important.
A high protein intake can help you lose weight and gain muscle, while improving your body composition and metabolic health.
Fortunately, this is easy to do if you follow the simple tips above.
This article was reposted from our media associate Authority Nutrition.
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1. Stay Informed<p>A first order of business in pet evacuation planning is to understand and be ready for the possible threats in your area. Visit <a href="https://www.ready.gov/be-informed" target="_blank">Ready.gov</a> to learn more about preparing for potential disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and wildfires. Then pay attention to related updates by tuning <a href="http://www.weather.gov/nwr/" target="_blank">NOAA Weather Radio</a> to your local emergency station or using the <a href="https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app" target="_blank">FEMA app</a> to get National Weather Service alerts.</p>
2. Ensure Your Pet is Easily Identifiable<p><span>Household pets, including indoor cats, should wear collars with ID tags that have your mobile phone number. </span><a href="https://www.avma.org/microchipping-animals-faq" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Microchipping</a><span> your pets will also improve your chances of reunion should you become separated. Be sure to add an emergency contact for friends or relatives outside your immediate area.</span></p><p>Additionally, use <a href="https://secure.aspca.org/take-action/order-your-pet-safety-pack" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">'animals inside' door/window stickers</a> to show rescue workers how many pets live there. (If you evacuate with your pets, quickly write "Evacuated" on the sticker so first responders don't waste time searching for them.)</p>
3. Make a Pet Evacuation Plan<p> "No family disaster plan is complete without including your pets and all of your animals," says veterinarian Heather Case in <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9NRJkFKAm4" target="_blank">a video</a> produced by the American Veterinary Medical Association.</p><p>It's important to determine where to take your pet in the event of an emergency.</p><p>Red Cross shelters and many other emergency shelters allow only service animals. Ask your vet, local animal shelters, and emergency management officials for information on local and regional animal sheltering options.</p><p>For those with access to the rare shelter that allows pets, CDC offers <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/emergencies/pets-in-evacuation-centers.html" target="_blank">tips on what to expect</a> there, including potential health risks and hygiene best practices.</p><p>Beyond that, talk with family or friends outside the evacuation area about potentially hosting you and/or your pet if you're comfortable doing so. Search for pet-friendly hotel or boarding options along key evacuation routes.</p><p>If you have exotic pets or a mix of large and small animals, you may need to identify multiple locations to shelter them.</p><p>For other household pets like hamsters, snakes, and fish, the SPCA recommends that if they normally live in a cage, they should be transported in that cage. If the enclosure is too big to transport, however, transfer them to a smaller container temporarily. (More on that <a href="https://www.spcai.org/take-action/emergency-preparedness/evacuation-how-to-be-pet-prepared" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>.)</p><p>For any pet, a key step is to establish who in your household will be the point person for gathering up pets and bringing their supplies. Keep in mind that you may not be home when disaster strikes, so come up with a Plan B. For example, you might form a buddy system with neighbors with pets, or coordinate with a trusted pet sitter.</p>
4. Prepare a Pet Evacuation Kit<p>Like the emergency preparedness kit you'd prepare for humans, assemble basic survival items for your pets in a sturdy, easy-to-grab container. Items should include:</p><ul><li>Water, food, and medicine to last a week or two;</li><li>Water, food bowls, and a can opener if packing wet food;</li><li>Litter supplies for cats (a shoebox lined with a plastic bag and litter may work);</li><li>Leashes, harnesses, or vehicle restraints if applicable;</li><li>A <a href="https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/emergencycare/pet-first-aid-supplies-checklist" target="_blank">pet first aid kit</a>;</li><li>A sturdy carrier or crate for each cat or dog. In addition to easing transport, these may serve as your pet's most familiar or safe space in an unfamiliar environment;</li><li>A favorite toy and/or blanket;</li><li>If your pet is prone to anxiety or stress, the American Kennel Club suggests adding <a href="https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/home-living/create-emergency-evacuation-plan-dog/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">stress-relieving items</a> like an anxiety vest or calming sprays.</li></ul><p>In the not-unlikely event that you and your pet have to shelter in different places, your kit should also include:</p><ul><li>Detailed information including contact information for you, your vet, and other emergency contacts;</li><li>A list with phone numbers and addresses of potential destinations, including pet-friendly hotels and emergency boarding facilities near your planned evacuation routes, plus friends or relatives in other areas who might be willing to host you or your pet;</li><li>Medical information including vaccine records and a current rabies vaccination tag;</li><li>Feeding notes including portions and sizes in case you need to leave your pet in someone else's care;</li><li>A photo of you and your pet for identification purposes.</li></ul>
5. Be Ready to Evacuate at Any Time<p>It's always wise to be prepared, but stay especially vigilant in high-risk periods during fire or hurricane season. Practice evacuating at different times of day. Make sure your grab-and-go kit is up to date and in a convenient location, and keep leashes and carriers by the exit door. You might even stow a thick pillowcase under your bed for middle-of-the-night, dash-out emergencies when you don't have time to coax an anxious pet into a carrier. If forecasters warn of potential wildfire, a hurricane, or other dangerous conditions, bring outdoor pets inside so you can keep a close eye on them.</p><p>As with any emergency, the key is to be prepared. As the American Kennel Club points out, "If you panic, it will agitate your dog. Therefore, <a href="https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/home-living/create-emergency-evacuation-plan-dog/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">pet disaster preparedness</a> will not only reduce your anxiety but will help reduce your pet's anxiety too."</p>
Evacuating Horses and Other Farm Animals<p>The same basic principles apply for evacuating horses and most other livestock. Provide each with some form of identification. Ensure that adequate food, water, and medicine are available. And develop a clear plan on where to go and how to get there.</p><p>Sheltering and transporting farm animals requires careful coordination, from identifying potential shelter space at fairgrounds, racetracks, or pastures, to ensuring enough space is available in vehicles and trailers – not to mention handlers and drivers on hand to support the effort.</p><p>For most farm animals, the Red Cross advises that you consider precautionary evacuation when a threat seems imminent but evacuation orders haven't yet been announced. The American Veterinary Medical Association has <a href="https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/emergencycare/large-animals-and-livestock-disasters" target="_blank">more information</a>.</p>
Bottom Line: If You Need to Evacuate, So Do Your Pets<p>As the Humane Society warns, pets left behind in a disaster can easily be injured, lost, or killed. Plan ahead to make sure you can safely evacuate your entire household – furry members included.</p>
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