add more protein to diet

7 Easy Ways to Pump Up Your Protein

This week we share our friend's article on protein. Ashleigh runs Feed Your Future Dietitics. You can claim consultations with Ashleigh on your private health insurance depending on your level of cover? Rebates are also available when you for certain conditions through Medicare.

Do you want to increase the amount of protein you give your body over a day? Before reaching for a protein shake here are some easy swaps and additions you can put into your diet. At the end of the day the extra total amount of protein you provide your body may surprise you.

Swap White Rice for Quinoa

By swapping refined white rice for quinoa, you are gaining an extra 2g of protein per 100g. Quinoa also gives your body a complete protein source unlike white rice which is limited in the amino acid lysine. Lysine is an essential amino acid and is important in maintaining your muscle.

Swap Butter for Hummus

1/3rd of a cup of hummus will give your body around 4g of protein. In addition to this benefit, you are swapping a spread which is a saturated fat with one which is mostly heart healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat.

Swap Ham for Salmon

A slice of ham gives your body 3.8g of protein compared to 14g of protein in 95g of tinned salmon in spring water. Ham is a processed meat and is not recommended as a regular component in your diet. Processed meat increases your risk of cancers like stomach cancer and should be enjoyed as a treat rather than a staple in your diet.

Seafood like salmon on the other hand is recommended 2-3 times a week with 100g considered a serve. This promotes optimal health of your body by providing an essential fat called omega-3 fat that your brain, heart, arteries, joints, and eyes need to function and is not simply a great source of complete protein to add to your day.

Choose Greek Yoghurt Over Regular Yoghurt

245 grams of low-fat Greek Yoghurt has 24g of protein compared to regular yoghurt with 13g. You are nearly doubling the amount of protein you give your body with this swap.

Add an Extra Egg

Each egg gives your body around 6.3g of protein. Why not try adding another to your toast at breakfast, in your salad or sandwich at lunch or simply as a snack?

If you do not have diabetes, high cholesterol, or heart disease up to 2 eggs including the yolk each day can be a part of an overall balanced diet. If you do have diabetes, high cholesterol or at risk of heart disease then up to 6 eggs including the yolk is recommended over a full week.

Select Wholegrain Over White Bread

Each slice of wholegrain bread can give your body around 4g of protein compared to 1.4g per slice of white bread.

Add Seeds and Nuts to Your Meal

Nuts are a great meat alternative to add more protein in your day. 30g or a small handful of nuts can give your body 3-6g of protein. 30g of seeds gives your body around 4-5g of protein. Why not try adding a handful of nuts and seeds to your salad, in your sauce or on top of your cereal.

Take home message: Try these easy food swaps and additions to your meals and snacks instead of adding a protein shake. You will be saving yourself money as well as giving your body more health benefits than a single protein powder could provide.

 

Here's a simple and delicious recipe for Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken that's high in protein and bursting with flavor:

Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, minced garlic, dried oregano, dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, and pepper to create the marinade.
  2. Place the chicken breasts in a resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken, making sure each piece is coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, up to 4 hours.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade, allowing any excess to drip off.
  5. Grill the chicken for about 6-8 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C) and the chicken is no longer pink in the center. Cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts.
  6. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
  7. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley before serving.
  8. Serve the grilled lemon herb chicken with your choice of sides, such as a fresh green salad, steamed vegetables, quinoa, or brown rice.

This Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken is not only a great source of protein but also a flavorful and healthy option for a balanced meal. You can customize the herbs and spices to your preference and even use the marinade for other types of protein, like fish or tofu. Enjoy!

Reference:

  1. https://www.heartfoundation.org.nz/wellbeing/healthy-eating/nutrition-facts/eggs-and-cholesterol/#:~:text=So%20how%20many%20eggs%20can%20I%20eat?%20Based,substantive%20influence%20on%20their%20risk%20of%20heart%20disease.
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