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This Month In Diet
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  • On the Prowl for Protein
    As more people are beginning to cut back on the amount of meat they eat, they’re looking for other ways to get their recommended daily amount of protein. The good news is there are plenty of vegetarian sources of protein to choose from. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

On the Prowl for Protein

Where to find protein when meat isn’t on the menu.

For years, the traditional Western diet has included some sort of meat or poultry as the main dish, but things are changing. As more people are beginning to cut back on the amount of meat they eat, whether because of preference, environmental concerns, or health reasons, they’re looking for other ways to get their recommended daily amount of protein. The good news is there are plenty of vegetarian sources of protein to choose from.

Why does protein matter? As a macronutrient, protein is essential for providing energy and provides the necessary nutrition to build bones, muscles, skin, blood, and hormones. Since your body doesn’t store reserves of protein, you must eat it every day if your body is going to operate at its max potential.

But if you’re looking to pull protein-rich meats from your diet, don’t worry. There are plenty of meatless options.

Cottage Cheese

Formerly known as “curds and whey,” cottage cheese can be added to a variety of dishes. With 14 grams of protein in half a cup, cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein. Rather than eating it plain, many people prefer to add bites of fruit to cottage cheese. While high in protein, cottage cheese also contains sodium, so eat it in moderation.

Green Peas

Compared to other vegetables, green peas contain a considerable amount of protein. Add them to salads, soups, or casseroles or eat them as a side dish. One cup of green peas contains 8 grams of protein. Not bad for tiny green balls!

Eggs

Since they contain all nine of the essential amino acids, eggs are a superb source of complete or whole protein. With 6 grams of protein and a host of vitamins and minerals, eggs can be a healthy part of your everyday diet, whether you prefer them scrambled, boiled, or poached. Even though they’re high in cholesterol, it’s perfectly safe for most people to eat one to two eggs a day—yolk included.

Greek Yogurt

A 100-calorie serving of Greek yogurt provides nearly 18 grams of protein. Creamy and low in calories, Greek yogurt makes a healthy addition to your diet. To cut back on calories, use Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream or mayonnaise. Just watch out for yogurt varieties that are full of added sugars. If you prefer a sweet taste, mix in fruit or a little honey.

Quinoa

Looking for a whole grain that’s packed with protein? Quinoa is another source of complete protein. Just one cup contains 8 grams of protein plus folate, iron, fiber, magnesium, and phosphorus. Add quinoa to salads and soups and enjoy.

Tempeh

With 31 grams of protein in one cup, tempeh is a vegetarian favorite. Made of soybeans, tempeh is firmer in texture compared to tofu, making it great for burgers, sandwiches, and stir-fries. If you don’t care for the taste of plain tempeh, add some sort of sauce or marinade.

Chia Seeds

They’re tiny, but they pack a protein punch. A meager two tablespoons of chia seeds will give you 9.4 grams of protein. Also high in iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and fiber, chia seeds can be added to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, or salads.

Peanut Butter

Don’t view peanut butter as just a kids’ food, because it’s a healthy source of protein for all ages. With 8 grams of protein in two tablespoons, peanut butter is also high in fiber and monounsaturated fats. Look for all-natural varieties low in added sugars.

Lentils

Full of protein—18 grams per cup, lentils are a proven standard in a vegetarian diet. High in fiber, folate, and the B vitamins, lentils are also good for your heart. Add them to soups, salads, burritos, or vegetable dishes.

About Training with Mr. America
About my programs: Mr. America Jason Kozma's Personal Training is a triple threat of body shaping weight workouts, precision fat-loss cardio and holistic nutrition using regular foods. Using his system, you can radically upgrade your fitness, health appearance and self-confidence. Clients routinely shed 20 pounds of body fat in eight weeks or less, increase their strength and flexibility, and achieve extreme cardiovascular fitness.

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