If you're tired of eating chicken all week or are stuck in a vegetarian rut of tofu and seitan-based meals, it's time to branch out and add some other healthy proteins to your diet. Protein-rich foods that are low in fat are the foundation of any healthy eating plan. You need protein for healthy skin, strength, focus, and to regulate your blood sugar. If you're not eating enough protein, you could have very low energy and find it hard to stick with your workout or diet regimen.
Here are five protein-rich foods you need to be eating on a regular basis:
1. Eggs and egg whites. One of the best protein-rich meals you can prepare for yourself is an omelet made with either all egg whites, or one whole egg and a few egg whites. One large egg contains just under seven grams of protein while egg whites have just under four grams of protein. Egg whites are also low in calories and can make for a great "filler" ingredient when you're cooking up a frittata, omelet, scrambled eggs, or other egg dish.
2. Turkey burgers. If you're looking for a chicken alternative for lunch, make a pita sandwich or whole wheat wrap with a turkey burger. A turkey burger patty contains around 20 grams of protein per serving and can be a healthy, low-fat addition to your midday meals.
3. Whey protein shakes. Technically not a "food", whey protein shakes can be a convenient source of protein for anyone on the go. Whey protein shakes can be part of a recovery meal after an intense workout or just consumed alone when you need an energizing snack. Your body absorbs this protein fairly quickly so you'll feel the effects within the hour.
4. Part-skim ricotta cheese. If you've eliminated cheese from your diet because of the high fat content, consider adding part-skim ricotta to breakfast or a healthy lasagna recipe. This thick and creamy cheese can be very satisfying and is relatively low in calories - only 80 calories per quarter cup serving.
5. Black lentils. Just a ½ cup of cooked black lentils has 12 grams of protein. These lentils are also a good source of fiber and can be a nutritious addition to lunch or dinner. Unlike other types of lentils, black lentils are also full of antioxidants so you'll enjoy some other health benefits.
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