It’s no secret that protein is an essential part of any well-balanced diet. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, build muscle, or feel more energetic, getting enough protein on a regular basis is critical. The good news is that upping your protein intake is easier than you might think. Check out these 6 easy tips to help you add more protein to your everyday diet.
Eat a Savory Breakfast
To make sure that you consume enough protein in the course of a day, be sure to start early. If you’re used to eating cereal, a bagel, or pastries for breakfast, it’s time to switch things up. Focusing on keeping your breakfast savory is a simple step that can make a big difference in the long run. Here are some ideas of savory protein-rich breakfast options to pick up at the grocery store:
- Make eggs the star of the meal in the form of an omelet, frittata, or scramble
- Pair a side of sausage, bacon, or ham with your waffle or pancakes
- Add protein powder to your oatmeal or smoothie
- Elevate your ordinary smoothie, toast, or oatmeal with your favorite nut butter
Add Eggs to Any Meal
Who says that eggs should only be eaten in the mornings? Along with being affordable and rich in important nutrients, including selenium, choline, and protein, of course, eggs can be prepared in a variety of ways, making them a wonderful addition to nearly any meal. Not sure where an egg belongs on your lunches and dinners? Keep these ideas in mind:
- Hard-boiled eggs pair perfectly with nuts,
- Poached eggs would make just about any soup more decadent and hearty
- Top your sandwiches and bowls with a fried egg to effortlessly add protein and flavor
Eating small snacks between meals is a great way to maintain your energy levels between meals and prevent overeating when it’s dinnertime. Unfortunately, finding healthy options to snack on is often easier said than done, especially if you’re on the go. Many of the snacks that people reach for between meals leave a lot to be desired in terms of overall nutrients, protein included.
To help you get the most out of your snack break, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and have some options on hand that are high in protein. These could include, seeds, nuts, protein bars, and beef jerky. When you have more time on your hands to prepare a snack that’s delicious and healthy, you can’t go wrong with these ideas:
- Apple slices and your favorite nut butter
- Blueberries and cottage cheese
- Turkey, cheese, and crackers
Choose Leaner, Larger Cuts of Meat
Another effective way to make sure that you’re getting enough protein throughout your day is to build each meal around your protein of choice. Rather than focusing on a carbohydrate or vegetable as the star of the dish with a protein added in for good measure, strive to do just the opposite. By taking this approach, you won’t be depriving yourself of any particular food group (bread and pasta are still fair game), however, you can rest assured that you’ll stay full longer, have more energy, and avoid unwanted weight gain by getting an adequate amount of protein.
Of course, creating meals as you go can make meeting your daily goal of 50 grams of protein a challenge. To stay on track no matter what you have on your schedule during the week, taking the time to meal prep in advance with cuts of meat that are lean and large is a good idea. By having chicken, pork, beef, or fish already cooked and portioned, quickly building healthy, balanced meals will be a no-brainer.
Think Outside the Box
Striving to pack more protein in your diet should be thought of as a long-term lifestyle choice, not a temporary diet trend. After all, consuming plenty of protein is important for people of all ages. In order to make sure that all your meals, snacks, and treats are brimming with nutrients, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Check out these ideas to incorporate protein into a few culinary places that you might not expect them:
- Give your baked goods and treats a healthy upgrade by adding Greek yogurt, protein powder, seeds, nuts, and even beans.
- Add legumes or beans to your salads, soups, dips, and burgers.
- Swap out your ordinary rice and pasta for quinoa.
- Incorporate cow’s milk in your daily diet, such as blended into your coffee, baked in bread, or mixed into pasta sauces.
You don’t have to be a carnivore to eat a healthy diet filled with high-protein ingredients. Plenty of meat-free foods are high in protein and act as blank slates that can be prepared in a variety of ways to keep your palate pleased. Some meatless food choices that are versatile as they are delicious include:
- Tofu: Made from soybean curds, tofu offers a neutral flavor that can easily take on different seasonings and cooking preparations, including baking, frying, and grilling.
- Greek yogurt: Choose a low-fat variety to add extra protein to your parfaits, smoothies, dips, salad dressings, and more.
- Whole grains: Wild rice, quinoa, buckwheat, and couscous all offer nearly double the amount of protein in a single cup as ordinary white rice.
Add More Protein to Your Diet at International Fresh Market
If you aren’t used to thinking about what you put in your mouth before you eat it, it may take some time to get used to swapping out your everyday meals with ones that are more protein-rich. Choosing quality ingredients is the first step in creating meals that aren’t only delicious but healthy as well. At International Fresh Market, we provide a large selection of foods that can help you make living a well-balanced life a pleasure.