Protein is a vital and high-quality nutrient for our diet that can not only be extremely helpful when losing weight but is also essential for gaining muscle. That is why you need to know which the best lean protein foods are to eat.
Proteins are primarily a structural nutrient, so they are not usually used as an energy source and cannot be stored in the body. Likewise, they are the nutrients that produce the most exceptional sensation of satiety in our body, those that demand the highest expenditure of calories to be digested and those that can contribute to the gain of muscle mass, which is the most metabolically active and key at the time of losing weight.
The idea is to choose foods with lean or low-fat proteins because this way, we will have fewer calories but more satiety and metabolic expenditure. Some good choices are:
- Egg whites
- White fish
- Turkey or chicken breast
- Fresh cheese
- Dried algae
- Black beans
- Textured soybeans
- Egg Whites
The egg whites are entirely separable from the egg yolk and, thus, are the only option in which we can find 0% fat and 100% high-quality protein. Besides, it is a source of group B vitamins for our body. With egg whites, we can make an omelet with oatmeal for breakfast, a salty omelet ideal for dinner, a wrap or roll very nutritious and satiating or some chocolate fitness waffles.
- White Fish
Although oily fish is beneficial because of its omega-three content, in white fish, we find lean proteins and very few calories that are easily satiated. Some recommended specimens are sea bream, cod, permit, sole, grouper or red mullet. In all cases, they have less than 7% fat and more than 15% protein. We can use them in various dishes such as baked, in stews, in appetizers or salads.
- Turkey or Chicken Breast
Referring to fresh turkey and chicken breast, not the cold cuts version, which is processed meat, these options are around 25% protein and have less than 8% fat, turkey breast being the option with less fat (less than 2%). Like all foods of animal origin, they have good quality protein and are versatile and accessible options within the meat we can easily add to our diet. We can prepare with poultry breasts, an oriental stir-fry with vegetables, a juicy baked breast, a turkey soup, some skewers or turkey meatballs.
- Fresh Cheese
Among the different dairy products, we have at our disposal, cheeses are the ones that contain the most protein. However, the leanest options are those without maturation such as fresh cheese, which has around 20% protein and 10% or less fat. We can also go to skimmed options that have even less fat, but the best thing is that in this food, in addition to quality proteins, we find calcium, potassium, vitamin A and D for our body. We can use fresh cheese to make desserts, cakes, toasts, smoothies, or a smoothie bowl for breakfast.
- Dried Algae
All algae are a good source of protein, but in their dehydrated or dried version, they concentrate nutrients and can, therefore, be the best alternative when adding lean proteins. Dried Spirulina has more than 50% protein and dried nori seaweed more than 30%, the latter being the lowest in fat. With seaweed, we can make a soup, some pancakes, or a simple shake using powdered seaweed.
- Black Beans
Within the legumes are one of the alternatives with more protein, exceeding 25% of this nutrient and providing truly little fat. Also, like all legumes, black beans are rich in fiber and, therefore, are very satiating food and ideal for losing weight. With black beans, we can prepare a warm salad, a hummus of color, an appetizer or snack or some nutritious vegetarian burritos.
They are another of the legumes with the highest protein content, in this case, around 23.5%. We can soak or cook them quickly at home or go for the canned version, which is equally recommended. With lentils, we can make tacos, medallions or hamburgers, salads, stir-fries, stews and much more.
- Textured Soybeans
Although soy is an oily or fatty legume, in textured soy, we find less than 5% lipids and, on average, 50% of excellent quality protein like that of animal origin. With textured soy, we can prepare dishes just like meat, incorporating it, for example, into tacos, a Bolognese (fake) sauce, or stuffed peppers.
It is a derivative of wheat, specifically from its higher protein portion, so, seitan provides an average of 24 grams of protein per 100 grams with less than 2% fat. It can be used as a replacement for meat on a vegan diet in dishes such as seitan with almond sauce, a skewer, or a stew. You know, if you want to add protein to your diet to lose weight, these are the nine best low-fat alternatives to do so.
Quinoa is a relatively new food for us; however, it is gradually becoming popular, and even the FAO has designated 2013 as the international year of Quinoa. Quinoa is just a seed; however, it can be consumed as a cereal, that is why it is also known as a pseudo-cereal. Most of the calories in Quinoa come in the form of carbohydrates, but it also contains in every 100 grams about 16 grams of pure protein, plus 5 to 6 grams of healthy fat in the same 100 grams. If we compare Quinoa with most cereals, it contains much more protein and fat, although the latter is mostly unsaturated, with the presence of omega 6 and omega 3 acids standing out. In terms of caloric intake, Quinoa is like or slightly higher than a cereal, as it contains fewer carbohydrates.
The Benefits of Lean Protein:
- They are ideal for people who play sports because the lean proteins strengthen the muscles and develop the tissues.
- Foods with lean protein help you lose weight.
- It also strengthens the immune system.
- They contribute to the growth of skin, nails and hair.
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