The best protein sources have 20 to 22 amino acids. The amino acids in high protein foods are known as the building blocks of the body because they are so important to your existence.
Amino acids are required for many human body functions, including the building and repairing of muscle, skin and organ tissue, for fighting infections and for carrying oxygen through the blood. In fact, next to water, protein is the most prominent element in the human body
In fact, next to water, protein is the most prominent element in the human body. To improve the quality of protein in your diet click here to go to my excellent list of healthy high protein foods.
Foods High In Protein
There are some 22 different amino acids found in complete protein foods.
A healthy body can make more than half of the 22 high protein foods amino acids naturally on its own. However, there are nine amino acids that your body can't synthesize. These nine are called the essential amino acids and they must be obtained from the food you eat.
That's why it is so important to eat a wide variety of good quality protein foods every day.
High protein foods, such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products and soy, are considered complete high protein sources since they contain all nine essential amino acids.
Plant foods like whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds and some vegetables are called incomplete protein sources since they are each lacking in one or more of the essential amino acids.
But plant foods eaten in combination (rice and beans) provide a complete protein profile.
Best Protein Sources
Fish and other seafood are excellent source of complete good quality high protein. It's lower in fat than red meat, especially unhealthy saturated fat. Salmon, tuna, sardines and herring, also provides higher amounts of heart healthy omega 3 fish oils.
Just make sure your fish entree is baked or broiled and not dipped in corn batter and deep-fried.
Chicken and turkey are other excellent complete high protein foods. Choose leaner white meat rather dark meat, which is much higher in fat. Since poultry skin is loaded with saturated fat, always remove the skin before cooking or before eating.
Consider using ground lean turkey in burgers, tacos and pasta sauces.
Dairy foods, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, are also very good food sources of complete protein. Dairy foods are rich in calcium too, which helps prevent osteoporosis and strengthen bones and teeth. To avoid saturated fat, always choose skim or low fat dairy foods.
Eggs are probably the least expensive form of complete protein. According to the American Heart Association, it's safe for a normal healthy adult to one egg a day.
Beans and Grains
Individual beans and grains are very good sources with incomplete plant protein content.
But when they're both eaten in a day, they provide a complete amino acid profile that's high in fiber without the saturated fats found in red meat. Soy protein found in tofu and powdered form has been shown to help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
If you want to eat beef or pork, be sure to choose the leaner cuts. Lean broiled beef has only slightly more saturated fat than skinless chicken. Pork tenderloin is considered by many to be white meat and is some 30% leaner than it was twenty years ago.
For a quick protein boost when on the go, consider trying protein based meal replacement drinks or bars. Just be sure they have at least six grams of protein and are low in sugar and fat.
Since your body can't store protein, be sure to use my Healthy Foods High in Protein List and follow my High Protein High Fiber Diet Plan for daily protein from the best protein sources.
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Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.