How to make the right choices when it comes to protein

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Protein is very important to us! They are the favorite food group of some meat eaters and also, they are the food that most people look forward to eating on their plate. Are we making the right choices when it comes to protein? Are we being smart in choosing them?

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Proteins are made up of amino acids. There are twenty amino acids and not all proteins contain all twenty. Animal proteins do but plant protein doesn't, so if you're a vegan you should consume a variety of plant base foods that contain proteins in order to obtain all.

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Important points
Point #1: Our bodies don't store protein (so we can't store excess protein) so, we need to eat it every day.
Point #2: We need to eat it regularly because we cannot make our own protein.
Point #3: We all require different amounts of protein. For example, a child's protein requirement will differ from that of an adult female.

How to choose them?
  • Smart choice #1: You should try to eliminate most processed meats from your diet and eat fresh meat instead. These processed meat include hot dogs, salami, etc. If you can't cut most of them out completely, at least, try to reduce the amount.
Why should I eliminate processed proteins?
Processed proteins contain lots of sodium!

  • Smart choice #2: Go for lean protein. We need protein, but we don't need the extra fat! You can trim off the excess fat if you don't have lean ones.
  • Smart choice #3: Eat plant-based proteins also like beans, lentils (split pea), tofu, etc. - don't always rely on animal and fish to supply your body with the required protein. When some of  us think of protein we don't think that it can come from plants also. You can also read my previous post on the benefits of dhal (a dish made from a plant-based protein).
  • Smart choice #4: Reduce the amount of canned protein that you consume. Canned proteins contain preservatives and lots of sodium! Also, if for example, you choose to eat a can of tuna, you should choose one that's packed in water instead of oil.

How to use protein?
You should incorporate small amounts of protein into your meals throughout the day. This will keep you full all day, thus preventing you from overeating and it will also speed up your metabolism. This is so because proteins take more energy to digest and it also takes longer.