Put these energizing and filling high-protein foods on your shopping list for the next time you go shopping.
Have you seen the recent news about canned tuna losing popularity? According to the USDA, sales of this high-quality, convenient form of protein have dropped by 40% in recent years. According to reports, this is largely due to millennials’ preference for a fresher fare.
If you don’t like canned tuna, you might be looking for other high-protein foods that are quick, easy, and versatile. Here are six foods that you probably don’t eat enough of, as well as simple ways to incorporate them into balanced meals.
High Protein Foods
In addition to canned and frozen options, steamed, ready-to-eat lentils can be found in the produce section of many supermarkets. A one-cup serving contains approximately 18 grams of protein, 16 grams of filling fiber (more than 60% of your daily target), and a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Toss a generous handful of leafy greens with a dressing made of balsamic vinegar, stone ground mustard, and Italian herb seasoning for a quick meal. Serve with lentils, a quarter avocado, and a few tablespoons of pumpkin seeds on top.
Pea Protein Burgers
While I always prefer whole foods over processed foods, I am a big fan of pea protein burgers made from yellow split peas. Pea protein is naturally gluten-free and is not a common allergen, and it’s simple to find pea burgers made with whole food ingredients. At least 25 grams of protein can be found in one patty.
I like to crumble them on salads, stir-fry them, and roll them up in collard wraps with chopped veggies and vinegar-based slaw. I also enjoy them whole, sandwiched between lettuce leaves with tomato, onion, and avocado and served with air fries.
While hard-boiled eggs are simple to prepare, you can also buy them pre-cooked. Each whole egg contains approximately 6 grams of protein. Furthermore, newer research indicates that the cholesterol in eggs, which is entirely found in the yolk, has little to no negative effect on blood cholesterol.
In fact, one study found that eating up to three whole eggs per day increased levels of “good” HDL cholesterol while decreasing levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol in healthy adults. The yolk also contains the majority of the nutrients in an egg, including at least 90% or all of the choline, vitamin D, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin B12, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Hard-boiled eggs can be added to salads for an instant protein boost. I also like to chop a few and toss them with spinach, tomatoes, red onion, celery, and bell pepper, as well as a small scoop of cooked, chilled quinoa and half an avocado.
Plant Protein Powder
Another processed food made with simple, clean ingredients that can be used in a variety of ways. One scoop of plant protein powder can provide at least 20 grams of protein while containing a few carbohydrates and fat. Plain, unflavored plant protein powder can be added to oatmeal and overnight oats, banana pancakes, savory soups, and cauliflower mash in addition to being whipped into smoothies.
If you don’t have a can opener, as many millennials do, look for beans sold in shelf-stable, tear-open boxes. One cup of organic vegetarian baked beans has approximately 12 grams of protein and fiber. Serve beans with steamed frozen broccoli tossed in jarred dairy-free pesto for a quick meal. Serve with a fresh garden salad tossed in an EVOO-based balsamic vinaigrette.
Grass-fed Greek yogurts, both plant-based and dairy-based, can be good sources of ready-to-eat protein. One individual container of a plant-based variety contains 11-14 grams of protein, depending on the brand. The great thing about plain Greek yogurt is that it can be eaten sweet or savory.
Add fresh fruit, nuts, or seeds, a drizzle of maple syrup, a dash of cinnamon, and a sprinkle of fresh-grated ginger for a sweet version. Add garlic, fresh dill, red wine vinegar, sea salt, and black pepper for a savory option, then toss with veggies like sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and a bit of red onion.
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