Protein is an important part of your diet. You should consume quality protein sources at each meal. Your body uses protein to build muscle and organ tissue. Skin and bones also use protein for maintenance. Select protein sources that are low in fat to avoid consuming too many calories.
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Your Protein Prescription
Protein, along with carbohydrates and fat, provides calories for your body. Each gram of protein contains 4 calories. Between 10 to 35 percent of your caloric intake should come from protein, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Based on a 2,000 calorie diet, you can have 200 to 700 calories from protein. This is equal to 50 to 175 grams of protein each day. You should eat 5 to 6 ounces of meat or meat substitutes each day. Spread your protein consumption into several meals and snacks throughout the day. This will provide your body with the protein it needs all day long.
Seafood is high in protein and some types offer beneficial fats. Salmon, herring and trout, for instance, are high in omega-3 fatty acids. This heart-healthy fat may reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, reports MyPyramid.gov. A 5-ounce serving of salmon contains approximately 40 grams of protein, 6 ounces of herring provides 24 grams, and 6 ounces of trout has about 40 grams of protein. Other seafood high in protein includes shrimp, lobster and crab. A 5-ounce serving of shrimp contains about 35 grams of protein, 4 ounces of crab or lobster provides about 20 grams of protein.
Don't be Chicken
Poultry includes chicken, turkey and duck. White meat contains less fat than dark meat. Remove the skin as an additional way to cut fat and calories. Dark chicken meat contains about 26 grams of protein per 4-ounce serving, while the same amount of chicken breast has as much as 35 grams of protein, according to the HeartSpring website. Roasted turkey provides 25 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving and 4 ounces of broiled duck contains 26 grams.
Beef Up Your Protein Intake
Beef tends to be high in saturated fat, which can raise cholesterol levels and clog your arteries. Select lean cuts of beef whenever possible. Ground beef that is 80 percent lean has 22 grams of fat for a 3-ounce serving. Deli-style roast beef provides 21 grams for 4 ounces, a 6-ounce portion of beef ribs has nearly 40 grams of protein and 6 ounces of sirloin steak contains over 50 grams.