High protein diets have always been popular with athletes. Their popularity increased tenfold during the past 5 years with the introduction of the low carb type diets to the public that include high protein foods.
Regular people who do not exercise can eat moderately high protein foods. On the other hand athletes and people on muscle building diets must eat at least 1gram per lb of bodyweight in order to build muscle. A high protein diet is the staple of bodybuilders. Bodybuilding athletes always include a high protein food source in their daily diet.
High protein foods you can include in your diet are:
Turkey breast Chicken breast Lean cuts of red meat Lean cuts of pork Fish (most fish is high in protein) Eggs & Egg Whites Skim Milk Low fat cottage cheese Protein powders & bars
Whether you are going for muscle building or fat loss, a high protein diet plan can certainly help you either way.
If you are trying to build muscle, you need a high protein intake in your daily diet in order to recover from workouts and build muscle tissue. Protein provides the building blocks for muscle and without it muscle building and growth simply will not occur. During weightlifting and hard training, muscle tissue is broken down. In order for that muscle tissue to be rebuilt and grow stronger, we need to eat a diet high in protein. It’s pretty simple.
If fat loss is one’s goal, a high protein diet is also an absolute must. Most high protein foods are very low in carbs and saturated fats. Therefore by eating high protein foods in your diet, you also also eating quality low calorie foods. In order to accelerate the fat loss process, reducing carbs and overall calories is usually recommended. High protein foods can help you in achieving that.
An average person who trains hard and weighs 180lbs requires a minimum of 180grams of protein in his diet per day. This means at least 1gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. Anything less and muscle building/recovery will not be optimal. Some hard training athletes consume up to 2 grams of protein per lb of bodyweight in order to accelerate the muscle building process. This is not recommended for most people who require a moderately high protein intake. The total amount of protein taken every day should be spread over 5 to 6 meals throughout the course of a day.
Timing of high protein foods is also very important. You should be consuming high protein foods at all times but more for your breakfast, post workout meal and before-bed meal. Start your high protein daily diet by giving your body good quality protein to start the day. Then, right after your workout, consume a protein shake that will help kick start the muscle repairing process. Last but not least you have your before bed meal where you must consume a slow digesting form of protein (casein mostly) that will give you a steady release of high quality amino acids throughout the night.
Eating high amounts of protein in your diet can be very demanding. It requires a lot of time to cook high protein foods like chicken and turkey. The best way to get all of your protein is to use protein powders. Protein powders are extremely high in protein and they are very convenient to use. Just one small scoop of protein can provide 20-24 grams of the highest quality protein available. Make sure you choose your high protein supplements wisely. Do not get caught up in the marketing frenzy of magazines. A tub of high quality protein should not cost you more than $30 at any given time.
For more information on protein foods vs. protein supplements, check out: http://www.bodybuildingapplied.com/index_center_articles.asp?newsId=88
If you decide to embark upon a high protein diet, make sure you include a lot of vegetables and fibrous carbs with your meals in order to help protein digestion. Try to eat at least two salads per day and/or steamed vegetables. Furthermore, try to stay consistent with your high protein diet, day in day out, in order to keep a steady influx of aminos to your muscles. Always remember that if you are not eating enough protein & calories in your diet, your body will use existing muscle tissue to repair itself.
High protein foods are great for packing on extra muscle. To make sure that your diet is filled with muscle-building proteins, it is extremely important to consider which high protein foods you should consume during your daily eating routine. To help you select the best high protein foods for your diet, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most protein-packed foods that you can find in your average grocery store.
You will notice that the list covers a broad variety of high protein foods. This was done intentionally so that you can compare food types and have more options to add to your daily meals.
*(all nutrition estimates are based on standard single servings)
Peanut butter (2 tbsp)
Protein- 8 g
Fat- 16 g
Raw almonds (19 pieces)
Protein- 7 g
Fat- 14 g
Almond butter (1 tbsp)
Protein- 2 g
Fat- 9 g
Skinless chicken breast (1 cup)
Protein- 38 g
Ground beef (90% lean, 3 oz)
Protein- 23 g
Fat- 9 g
Ground turkey (3 oz)
Protein- 22 g
Fat- 11 g
Salmon (half fillet)
Protein- 39 g
Fat- 22 g
Tuna (canned, 1 cup)
Protein- 39 g
Fat- 1 g
Deli turkey (1 oz)
Protein- 4 g
Fat- 1 g
High protein foods vary substantially in protein, fat, and calorie content per serving. Some of the best high protein foods have high fat counts; however, it is important to consider that not all fats are bad for you, and some can be very beneficial to your diet- even if weight loss is your top priority. Almonds, for example, are rich in omega three fatty acids but low in saturated fats.
In general, if you are looking for an efficient way to increase your protein count but keep your calorie and fat intakes minimal, than fish and lean meats are an effective option. Canned tuna (hold the mayo) tops the list as the most efficient protein source. Skinless chicken breasts, deli turkey, ground turkey, and lean ground beef are also highly efficient high protein foods.