A diet high in protein is ideal for someone looking to scale back on carbohydrates and sugars and focus on protein. Such a diet is perfect for someone looking to lose some weight and gain muscle mass in its place. Constructing a daily menu for a high-protein diet doesn’t have to be a difficult endeavor. Consider a variety of foods that are high in protein and incorporate more of them into your diet every day.
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Although high-protein diets can be beneficial for short-term weight loss by helping to build muscle and restrict carbohydrate intake, there are some health factors that every dieter should take into consideration. According to MayoClinic.com, dieters should be wary of restricting carbohydrate intake to the point of nutrient deficiency. Carbohydrates are what the body uses to create fuel and energy for the body, and cutting out too many of them can result in health problems. MayoClinic.com also points out that large amounts of red meat and other fatty meats can make you more prone to heart disease, so choose your meats carefully to avoid such negative health effects.
Beans are an important food for a high-protein diet, especially for dieters who are not big on meat. While soybeans are a popular, high-protein option, for high-protein dieters the Vegetarian Resource Group also recommends other types of beans as well. Lima beans, black-eyed peas, black beans and kidney beans are all great choices for protein. Have them as a side dish or a quick snack, or make a chili or bean soup for dinner.
Lean meats are a high-protein diet essential. No high-protein menu is complete without a variety of lean meats to choose from. When considering meats for a high-protein diet, think of varieties that are low in fat. The American Heart Association recommends fish and shellfish; ground turkey; skinless chicken breast; lean beef such as sirloin, chuck or beef round; lean veal; and even wild game like pheasant, rabbit and duck. Lunch meat can also be a sensible choice, although dieters are advised to read labels for sodium quantity, as some processed lunch meats can contain 25 percent or more of the recommended daily value.
Tofu is a staple on the high-protein diet menu of a vegetarian, but it isn’t just for vegetarians anymore. The Vegetarian Resource Group reports that 4 oz. of regular tofu can contain up to 10 g of protein, making it an excellent option for high-protein dieters. It can be incorporated into a stir-fry or soup or eaten as a snack, for those who aren’t averse to the plain taste. Tofu takes on a lot of the taste and texture qualities of the food it is prepared with, so it blends nicely with other ingredients while still packing a powerful protein punch.
Not all high-protein diets need supplementation, but for those who are looking for a bit of extra protein in their diets, protein shakes are an option. Protein shakes are another consideration for high-protein dieters. MayoClinic.com warns that protein shakes are not a magical solution for weight loss, but they can add protein into your daily routine without you having to stop and have a meal. Some protein shakes are high in sugar, calories and other additives, so choose carefully, as not all protein shakes are created equal.
While high amounts of protein may aid in building lean muscle mass, the decrease in carbohydrates that often goes hand-in-hand with a high-protein diet is a concern for some. FoodNavigator.com warns that people cutting too many carbohydrates out of their diet for protein will find their body in a state called ketoacidosis, in which the body burns fat for energy and excretes valuable vitamins and minerals through the urine. Carbohydrates are an important source of energy. MayoClinic.com suggests incorporating as many complex carbohydrates into your diet as possible. Opt for carbohydrates that have fiber and plenty of nutrients, like whole-wheat bread, fruit and vegetables.