Lean protein is a great addition to a healthy diet. It’s the perfect food to fill you up and stay with you for a few hours. That means you can go longer in between meals, cutting your overall food consumption.
It’s also an important source of nutrition, particularly when you’re working out and trying to grow your own muscle mass.
There are various sources of lean protein.
Chicken & Turkey
Chicken and turkey are both great sources of lean protein. While most cuts of meat from both are pretty lean, the white meat is your best choice. Use whole birds, breast meat only, tenderloins, or even ground chicken or turkey in your meals. Cold cuts and canned chicken (in water) are great options when you’re on the go.
While we may think of beef as a fattier meat, there are a lot of great lean options. Lean ground beef is a go-to in my house. Other great sources of lean beef are beef tips, tenderloins and flank steak. Look around or ask your butcher for other lean options, or simply get a cut of beef you like and cut off as much of the fat as you can before or after you cook it.
Pork is another great option when it comes to lean protein. As with beef, you want to choose a lean cut. Pork chops with any fatty bits cut off and pork tenderloin are great options. Stay away from ground pork, sausages, and most roast as they are full of extra fat.
Fish, and seafood in general is yet another great source of protein. To keep it lean stay away from fatty fish like salmon and instead go with things like tuna, cod, halibut, flounder, tilapia and red snapper. When it comes to other types of seafood, you can’t go wrong with shrimp or oysters, provided you don’t deep fry them, or drown them in butter. I love to top a piece of grilled fish with some fresh salsa.
Eggs are another great protein source. The egg white is pure protein while the yolk has some healthy fat and important vitamins. Mix it up for scrambled eggs, poached eggs or any way you like to eat your eggs. Hard boiled eggs are a great portable snack that will fill you up. If you want to cut the fat and keep it extra lean, stick to all or mostly egg whites.
When it comes to dairy, my favorite source of lean protein is Greek yogurt. It’s great sweet or savory. You can use it in a variety of dishes, turn it into dips, or eat it on its own. Find a couple of recipes you enjoy and work more Greek Yogurt into your diet.