In this post I will list the healthy lean protein sources available that should be consumed as part of a healthy diet. To be considered a lean protein source, it must be at least 92% lean or better. Anything higher in fat should be avoided allowing you to obtain your fat from healthier sources. I will later post the available sources of E.F.A’s (essential fatty acids) that should be included in your diet.
LEAN PROTEIN SOURCES:
- Boneless skinless chicken breast. (preferably not frozen)
- Lean ground turkey
- Lean ground beef
- Turkey breast
- Egg whites (a couple yolks per day is ok and is a good source of fat)
- Tuna (no more than 3 cans per week due to mercury)
- Fish such as salmon or tilapia (salmon contains more fat but its the healthy omega-3 fat)
- Pork tenderloin (this is a white meat that contains 31% less fat than it did 21 years ago)
- Soy ( 50 grams a day of soy protein can lower cholesterol by 3%)
- Skyr ( this Icelandic-style yogurt offers twice the amount of protein compared to regular yogurt, and is made from low fat milk, keeping it a lean protein source)
- Low fat milk, cheese and Greek yogurt (not everyone includes dairy in their diets, if you avoid dairy be sure to look into calcium rich food or supplements)
- Protein powders ( protein powders are a great way to supplement an already strong diet. However the majority of your protein should come from whole food sources not just powders. When choosing your protien powder it is important to consider how it will be incorporated into your diet. For example, casein protein is the slowest absorbed protein available, It curdles in your stomach allowing it to be broken down over the course of 6-7 hours. This would be an ideal shake to take right before bed to help prevent muscle catobolism)
PROTEIN SOURCES THAT CONTAIN SOME HEALTHY FATS AND CARBS:
- Nuts (nuts contain a good source of protein but are loaded with healthy fats. I would consider nuts as part of the healthy fat sources, but you shouldn’t overlook the amount of protein they contain)
- Oatmeal ( oatmeal contains a healthy amount of fiber and protein as well as some healthy fat. Eating oatmeal in the morning along with a lean protein source has been shown to keep you full and increase your metabolism for the entire day)
- Beans (they contain as much protein per half cup as steak has per one ounce, plus they are a great source of fiber, which will help you feel full longer and also will help greatly with the digestive process)
- Quinoa (a fluffy grain that has become rather popular as of late, it has a nutty taste when cooked, only consume it if it falls into your daily carbohydrate limit, as it is primarily a carb source)
- Sunflower seeds ( they contain a good amount of protein and a ton of healthy fat, I would recommend shopping for a brand that is low in sodium. Some of the sunflower seeds contain ridiculous amounts of sodium and should be avoided.
Protein is vital in repairing the damage done to your muscles from intense resistance training. 40 grams of Whey protein should be taken immediately after training. Whey protein is the fastest absorbed source of protein available and has been shown to increase your amino acid profile immediately after consumed. Keeping your muscles bathed in the right nutrients throughout the day is the second most important part of muscle growth. The most important and sometimes overlooked key to adding lean muscle is sleep. In fact, many people do not realize that your muscles only grow when your asleep. To be more specific, they grow the most during the last stage of your sleep known as the R.E.M cycle (rapid eye movement) Typically it takes 3-4 hours to complete a sleep cycle, so try and get at least 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night to ensure you complete your second sleep cycle. By keeping your body full of quality protein, training hard, and sleeping enough, you will wake up bigger and stronger everyday.
About the Author
Philip Dolgovin is a personal trainer who achieved amazing success by going from 260-lbs to 190-lbs with 10% body fat. He is passionate about fitness and now helps others accomplish the same success.