Protein is possibly the most important nutrient needed in our daily diets, and without a good amount of protein, that diet you thought was ‘balanced’ is the complete opposite. Protein is responsible for growth and repair within our bodies. Without it, our muscles and surrounding tissues would never repair after a day of movement. In order to look healthy, and be healthy, a protein high diet is essential. There are several types of foods which are very high in protein, but the problem with many high protein foods, is the high content of saturated fat they carry. Saturated fat leads to cholesterol, and if you suffer from high cholesterol, choosing the right protein sources can be hard. Check out this list of high protein foods, which are also low in saturates, helping to keep your cholesterol levels below the borderline:
Eggs, as a whole are very high in saturated fats and cholesterol, but most, if not all of that is from the yolk. Disregard the yolk, and you have yourself a tasty food, packing 26 grams of protein per cup. Egg whites are virtually fat free, so don’t be afraid of over indulging.
Not only are pumpkin seeds relatively cheap, they are also great for adding protein to your diet. Just a small serving of 60z of pumpkin seeds can help increase your protein intake by 21 grams. Pumpkin seeds also contain phytosterols, which are responsible for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels in your body. Pumpkin seeds can be bought in bulk for just a few dollars, and although they may be hard to get used to eating raw, they taste pretty good!
Omega-3 plays a massive role in your body’s cholesterol levels. The higher your omega-3 consumption, the better your cholesterol is likely to be. As you may know, omega-3 fats are typically found in fish, but most fish are full of other saturated and trans fats, making them a no-go when looking for low fat foods. Salmon, is one of the rare fish which is very low in fats (apart from omega-3 of course), and with its massive protein content and great taste, it is definitely one to be adding to your shopping list.
Turkey is cheap, it tastes great and it can help lead to a reduction of LDL levels. Turkey can be used in hundreds of recipes, including salads, sandwiches and your thanksgiving dinner! Please note, that turkey skin tends to be high in saturated fats, so be sure to buy skinless turkey, preferably breast (it is the leanest part!). One breast of skinless turkey can pack 22 grams of protein: More than enough for a single meal.
For you non-meat eaters out there! Soy is a great alternative for meats, and they are very high in protein, making them perfect for vegetarians. Soy has been shown to increase your levels of HDL, and lower the levels of LDL in your body. Not bad for something so tasty!