If you've ever considered a high-protein diet, now might be the time, and we've got your shopping list ready.
Protein is found in every cell in your body, and the benefits of a diet rich in protein are numerous.
Protein helps speed up your metabolism, burn fat, and keep your blood sugar in line. It aids in the creation of enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. It also repairs muscle and, in conjunction with exercise, helps to build it.
The body does not store protein the same it way it stores fat and carbohydrates, however, so it needs an ample supply of this “macronutrient” on a regular basis in order to function properly.
How Much Is Enough?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, between 10 and 35 percent of the calories you consume each day should come from protein. That translates to about 46 grams of protein daily for women and 56 grams for men.
While a high-protein diet can be very beneficial, a diet too rich in protein can lead to high cholesterol, gout, kidney disease, and other health conditions. The CDC considers your protein intake high if you exceed the recommended number of grams, or if more than 35 percent of your calories are from protein. As always, consult your doctor before starting any diet. Assuming you get the all clear, however, it's time to go shopping.
Your Shopping List
One of the most appealing things about a high-protein diet is the fact that there many delicious items to choose from. When you hit the grocery store, throw some of these in your cart:
- Start off in the deli, and stock up on roast beef, pepperoni, chorizo, and roasted (but not flavored) turkey breast.
- Next, cruise down the aisles and pick up some canned light tuna, canned chicken, and (yes) some sardines. You'll also want to grab a few cans of navy beans, a sack of dried lentils, and some quinoa, a wonder grain which provides numerous health benefits beyond just its protein content. Peanut butter is a solid, protein-packed staple, and when it comes to snacking, you can't go wrong with jerky (watch out for the MSG, though) or mixed nuts. And don't forget to cruise by the freezer section for a bag or two of green peas.
- No trip to the dairy section is complete for the protein-minded shopper without (at least) a dozen eggs, a gallon of 2% (not skim) milk, cottage cheese (but watch out for the sodium), and greek yogurt, which contains roughly twice the protein as regular yogurt. If cow's milk isn't your thing, try unsweetened soy milk.
- The last (but absolutely, positively not least) stop you'll need to make before checking out is a visit to the meat section. Go for lean top or bottom round steaks, lean ground beef, boneless pork chops, and boneless (and skinless) chicken breast. And don't forget the seafood, either. Yellowfin tuna, (Pacific, not Atlantic) halibut, wild salmon, and tilapia are all tasty, protein-packed picks.
Be sure to check out the extensive selection of high protein foods in our Diet Direct store guide.
Other popular options for high protein diets:
Getting the right amount of protein doesn't have to take a lot of prep time when you're on the go. Protein bars and protein shakes are convenient way to supplement your intake, and are especially good when on a low calorie diet for weight loss.
Many on high-protein diets select vegan protein powders, a convenient and flexible way to make sure you get a healthy amount of protein.
We specialize in high-protein foods and supplements, carry the most popular brands, and offer a wide selection so you're certain to find the right option for you.