Best High Protein Foods for Weight Loss

Grilled chicken breastsWhat’s the difference between a high protein diet and high protein foods for weight loss?

High protein foods are important for building and maintaining muscle for healthy weight loss. They also help you to stay full longer.

Plus, if you’re interested in the best protein sources of protein for weight loss, you probably also care about your appearance and how you’ll feel while losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight.

So consider the fact that your hair, nails and hormones are mostly protein.

Protein is also necessary to make enzymes. And, besides muscle, it’s a very important component in your skin, bones, cartilage, blood and the building and repairing of tissue and every cell in your body.

The Best Protein Sources for Weight Loss

As you can see, high protein foods, especially the best protein foods for weight loss, are very important to you. But the problem with most high protein diets is they’re also generally low-carb diets.

And just like you need the best protein for weight loss, you also need the best carbohydrates to look and feel your absolute best.

Good carbohydrates have essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, which help you to look and feel good too. But good carbs also help protect against heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.

On the other hand, eating protein foods that are high in unhealthy fats increases your risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.

That’s why the best protein for weight loss is so important. And for the best protein sources, you need to consider the whole protein package.

  • A 6-oz porterhouse steak with 38 protein grams can has 41 fat grams (mostly unhealthy fat) and a whopping 540 calories.
  • The same amount of salmon with 36 protein grams has 18 fat grams (mainly healthy omega 3 fatty acids) and 348 calories.
  • While a cup of high fiber lentils with 18 protein grams has only 1 fat gram (mainly healthy fat) and comes to just 230 calories.

Choose the Best Protein for Weight Loss

Here’s your guide to the best protein for weight loss and optimum health.

  • Seafood: Some fish, like salmon, have important omega 3 oils. Other seafood, like lobster and sole are high protein with low fat.
  • Poultry: White meat turkey and chicken (without the skin) is low in fat, low in calories and one of the best protein sources. A 2-oz serving has 14 protein grams, 2 fat grams and only 70 calories.
  • Dairy: Low-fat dairy, like yogurt, skim milk and cottage cheese, are good protein sources for calcium. Eggs, although high in fat, are also an excellent, complete protein when used sparingly.
  • Beans: Legumes and beans are the best sources for vegetable protein. Plus they’re high in fiber, which helps you to feel full longer.
  • Nuts: An ounce of almonds offers 6 protein grams and healthy fatty acids. So use nuts sparingly to add protein and flavor.
  • Grains: Brown rice and whole grain breads, crackers and cereals, like oatmeal, provide some protein and lots of healthy fiber.
  • Meat: Although meat is a high protein food, red meat has been shown to increase the risk of inflammation and some cancers. So eat very lean meat only occasionally and avoid all processed meats.

For healthy weight loss, you need healthy protein. So learn the best protein sources for weight loss. And also check out the healthy high protein high fiber diet plan and list of high protein foods for weight loss.

What your experience with protein and weight loss?

Do you have any favorite protein foods, dishes or recipes that have helped you to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight more easily?

More Commonsense Health for You:
How to Lose Belly Fat and Waist Fat
The Mediterranean Diet Plan and Lifestyle
List of High Protein Foods & Best Protein Sources
How Many Calories Should I Eat a Day to Lose Weight?

References:

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Shai I, Schwarzfuchs D, Henkin Y, et al. New England Journal of Medicine. Comparing the effectiveness and safety of weight loss with a low-carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or low-fat diet. N Engl J Med 2008;359:229-41.

Willett WC. Obesity Research. Dietary fat is a major player in obesity–but not the only one. Diets high in fat do not account for the high prevalence of excess body fat in Western countries. Obesity 2002;3:59-68.

Kushner RF, Doerfler B. Current Opinion in Gastroenterology. Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets revisited. Curr Opin Gastroenterol 2008;24:198-203.

Phelan Wing RR, Phelan S. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Long-term weight loss maintenance. Am J Clin Nutr  2005;82(1 Suppl):222S-225S.

Dansinger ML, Gleason JA, Griffith JL, et al. The Journal of the American Medical Association. Comparison of the Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, and Zone diets for weight loss and heart disease risk reduction: a randomized trial. JAMA 2005;293:43–53.

Mozaffarian D, Hao T, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Hu FB. New England Journal of Medicine. Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men. N Engl J Med 2011;364:2392–404.

Phelan S, Wyatt H, Nassery S, et al. Obesity Research. Three–Year Weight Change in Successful Weight Losers Who Lost Weight on a Low–Carbohydrate Diet. Obesity 2007;15:2470–2477.

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