Protein is an important part of any well balanced, healthy diet. There’s a big push towards alternating protein choices by including more seafood and vegetable-based proteins to your diet. The new My Plate guidelines encourage everyone to choose seafood twice a week and also increase their intake of foods like beans, legumes, hummus, soy products (such as edamame and tofu), and nuts and seeds.
Regardless of your preference, you just want to make sure that your choices are mostly lean. When eating meat, choose cuts that are generally leaner. For example, choose boneless chicken without skin or choose the highest percent lean ground beef (93 or 95%), or switch to ground chicken or turkey. Choose lean red meat cuts such as top round and sirloin and choose lunch meats that are naturally lower in fat like turkey, ham and roast beef. When cooking meats, choose cooking methods like baking, broiling or sautéing, drain off additional fat after cooking and use minimal oils/butters when flavoring or cooking meats.
Increasing seafood intake is a new recommendation. It’s recommended most people consume 8 ounces of seafood each week from different sources. Some good options include salmon, trout, tuna and cod. By increasing seafood intake, you will get more Omega-3’s in your diet which has been associated with lowering the risk of heart disease. Not a fan of seafood? No worries, you can consider taking an omega-3 supplement, or you can choose vegetable based sources such as canola or olive oil, flax seeds (ground) or flax oil, and soybeans.
If you’re used to eating a mostly carnivorous diet, try starting slowly to vary your protein choices. Choose one day a week to have a non-meat protein for your dinner and then try to aim for a whole day. A few things you could try: Swap out that piece of chicken for ¼ cup of sliced nuts and beans in a salad, try a veggie burger, make a veggie soup loaded with beans and different vegetables or try lentils in your stir-fry. For sandwiches, try a veggie and hummus pita or a peanut butter sandwich for lunch. Experimenting with different alternatives is a fun way to keep lunch and dinner ideas fresh and new!
If you need help evaluating your favorite recipe, premium members can post it in the Rate My Plate
To get a weight loss plan perfectly catered to your personal needs, click here and becomes a Diet.com Premium member