Foods High in Protein and Low in Fat
We all know that consuming fats is bad for us, although there are certain types of “good” (unsaturated) fats that our bodies need to function properly. Protein, on the other hand, does all kinds of great things for overall health, especially as part of a balanced diet. You might think that protein is only good for building muscle, but this is because of its ability to build and repair tissue (like muscle tears from exercise). However, it is also essential for creating strong bones, cartilage, skin, and blood, as well. So it’s no surprise that while our bodies need few fats, they need lots of protein. Unfortunately, it often seems that the two get paired up, so that you might have trouble finding one without the other. But by adding just a few key foods to your diet, you can reduce the amount of fat you ingest when you fill your body with protein.
- Lean meats. That slab of steak ringed by a delicious layer of fat can certainly be tempting (especially cooked in butter), but the benefits you’ll get from the protein will certainly be tempered by all the heavy fat you’re ingesting. Instead, go for lean meats like chicken, fish, and even reduced-fat beef (less than 10% fat) to enjoy a delicious food that is packed with protein (without all the fat).
- Eggs. A lot has been made of cutting cholesterol by tossing out the yolk and eating only the whites. This will certainly cut the calorie count, but you’re also going to miss out on the lion’s share of nutrients by consuming your eggs in this manner. Egg whites have protein, but you won’t get the full benefit without the yolk, and you’ll also lose B-vitamins, vitamin A, folate, lutein, and a whole host of other beneficial nutrients. Plus, studies now show that the cholesterol in eggs may actually help to raise HDL cholesterol (the good kind) rather than LDL. There is a lot of misinformation out there pertaining to eggs, but like everything else, you simply need to eat them in moderation to get the benefits without the drawbacks.
- Cottage cheese. Animal products can provide protein to everyone, but they are especially important if you’re a vegetarian. Most cheeses also come with a lot of fat (unless they’re part skim), but cottage cheese comes with a variety of fat contents (from 4% all the way down to fat-free) and surprisingly, one tastes about the same as another. So pick up some low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese for a tasty snack that is loaded with protein.
- Edamame. Soybeans, in general, tend to have quite a bit of protein for a plant. They won’t provide you with the complete proteins found in animal products, so they’re best used in a supplementary capacity, but unlike many other types of protein, edamame also comes with a heavy dose of fiber. And in case you didn’t know, fiber in the diet not only improves digestion; it also makes fats less soluble, so that your body sheds them rather than absorbing them.
- Quinoa. This seemingly miraculous grain has been around in South America forever, but it only recently made a splash on the international market. What sets it apart from other grains is that it has the essential amino acids necessary to create complete proteins (similar to those found in animal products), making it a good substitute for those who don’t eat meat. It is also high in dietary fiber, which means it could just be the perfect food! Just make sure you look for whole grain versions so that you receive all the health benefits.
About the author: Chris Larue writes for Ephedra Outlet where you can buy Ephedra and browse through the latest news and product offerings.
- High-density lipoprotein cholesterol changes after continuous egg consumption in healthy adults. [J Med Assoc Thai. 2008]