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Can Certain Foods Help Build Muscle Tone?

by
author image Andrew Sheldon
Andrew Sheldon is a writer from New York. His writing focuses on health and exercise, but he is knowledgeable in various other areas. Sheldon has published articles on and Fitday.com other online health and fitness publications. He graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Science degree.
Can Certain Foods Help Build Muscle Tone?
A balanced diet provides the building blocks for muscles. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Overview

Your diet is equally as important as strength training if you are looking to build muscle tone. If your body is the vehicle, then food is its fuel. Without the proper diet, the body will be unable to perform at its highest capabilities and your results will be lacking. There are certain food sources, however, that can significantly help in building muscle tone.

Chicken

Can Certain Foods Help Build Muscle Tone?
Grilled chicken with side salad Photo Credit Barbara Dudziƅska/iStock/Getty Images

Animal products are highly concentrated with protein. Muscles are made of protein. While we strength train, muscles are damaged and need protein to repair and grow. Therefore, getting enough protein is vital when trying to build muscle. By choosing chicken, you can consume high amounts of protein while avoiding the excess fat found in red meat.

Egg Whites

Can Certain Foods Help Build Muscle Tone?
Basket filled with brown eggs Photo Credit Tharakorn/iStock/Getty Images

Being an animal product, eggs are another good source of protein. One single large egg contains about 6 grams of protein. Eating a few eggs a week can increase your protein intake. However, eggs do contain a significant amount of fat. The fat is in the egg yolk, so by eating only the white part of the egg, you still obtain the protein while eliminating extra calories from fat.

Whole Grain Pasta

Can Certain Foods Help Build Muscle Tone?
Uncooked whole wheat pasta Photo Credit DiasPhotography/iStock/Getty Images

Despite popular belief, carbohydrates are good for you and needed for energy by the body. They are especially important if you are physically active. Carbs are your body's main source of energy. Without them, you will not be able to perform your exercise as effectively. Whole grain pasta is a great source of carbohydrates while also delivering many of the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

Lentils

Can Certain Foods Help Build Muscle Tone?
Bowl of dried lentils Photo Credit Oxana Denezhkina/iStock/Getty Images

Vegetables can contain large amounts of protein and can be a healthier option than animal products. While considering sources of protein for your diet, keep in mind undesirable characteristics, as well as protein content. A 6-ounce steak contains 38 grams of protein, but it also has 44 grams of fat, while 1 cup of lentils has18 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of fat.

Soybeans

Can Certain Foods Help Build Muscle Tone?
Farmer holding a handful of soybeans Photo Credit Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images

Beans are one of the most protein-rich vegetables you can eat, while also delivering vitamins, minerals and fiber. While all varieties of beans are high in protein, soybeans are one of the best. One cup of soybeans can contain up to 29 grams of protein. Choosing beans, a low-fat protein source, can give you the benefits of protein without the extra fat.

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