When you're dieting, calories need to be cut from somewhere, and commonly carbohydrates and fats are the targets. As a result, many weight-loss plans feature protein as a primary nutrient. Protein offers a number of benefits, including the fact that it takes more calories to digest than carbohydrates or fat, which may assist in weight loss. Protein also contains the amino acids your body needs to produce muscle cells and other tissues throughout your body. If you're following a high-protein diet, you should always have plenty of high-protein entrees and snack foods on hand to keep you on track.
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Although pork rinds are commonly considered a junk food, they are one of the few snacks high enough in protein and low enough in carbohydrates to be appropriate for a protein diet. According to the official website for Turkey Creek Snacks, original variety pork rinds contain 80 calories per serving, with 5 g of fat and 9 g of protein. The serving contains zero carbohydrates, but flavors such as barbecue may have added sweeteners in the form of carbohydrates. In addition, other brands may have different nutritional values.
Beef jerky is another snack food that can help you stick with your protein diet when the craving for junk food hits. Although high in sodium, beef jerky tends to be low in fat and carbohydrates but high in protein. According to the Daily Plate, a 1-oz. serving of beef jerky contains .5 g fat, 3 g carbohydrates and 15 g of protein. As with pork rinds, flavors other than "original" may have added carbohydrates and fat. If you do not like beef, some brands also have turkey and chicken jerky products, which may be more appealing.
Fish is a good source of protein, as most species contain low levels of fat and carbohydrates. However, some fish do contain high levels of fat, such as catfish, mackerel, sardines and salmon. Thankfully, the fat in these types of fish is mostly unsaturated, which is considered to be healthy. According to the American Heart Association, consuming omega-3 fatty acids is beneficial for overall health, as these fats may help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure levels. The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish at least two times per week.
Deli meats, such as turkey, chicken breast, ham and roast beef, can be convenient snacks, whether on a sandwich or not. Most of these meats are low in fat, which helps reduce calorie content. However, deli meats can also be high in sodium, which is used for flavoring.
Dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt contain varying levels of protein and fat. In addition, dairy products contain carbohydrates, so you should assess their nutritional values if you are on a low-carbohydrate diet. One dairy product that is low in carbohydrates is cottage cheese, and there are also low-fat versions available. The Daily Plate notes that one brand of-low fat cottage cheese contains 15 g of protein, 4 g of carbohydrates and 2 g of fat.