Finally, protein is getting its much-deserved attention. For decades, most discussions revolving around macronutrients focused on fat and carbs, namely how much should we be eating of both.
But there SHOULD be focus on protein. Protein builds our entire body, from muscles and bones to hormones and other biochemicals. If we don’t get enough protein in our diet every day, our health and well-being are compromised.
Okay, but how can you ensure you are getting enough protein and what if you don’t eat meat at all or are trying to limit meat consumption? Though animal-based protein delivers all of the essential amino acids we need, you can get sufficient protein from plant-based sources.
Here’s how you can get more protein into your diet without eating more meat:
Reach for a Good Protein Powder
Protein powders can be the perfect way to get some more protein in. There are vegan powders on the market as well as powders made from animal sources (whey). They key is to find a powder that offers around 25 grams of protein per serving, is clean and does not come with added sugars or unnecessary fillers. Read those labels to be certain of what you are getting.
Pair Lower Protein Sources with Higher Ones
If you try and eat more foods that offer the highest protein grams per bite, you’re going to be eating a lot of the same foods such as a protein powder, eggs, lentils etc. A better approach, and one that will add variety to your meals, is to pair lower protein sources with higher ones.
So this might look like adding a tablespoon of hemp seeds, which contain 4 grams of protein per tablespoon, to your morning smoothie and adding a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds (10 grams) to your salad and have some almond butter on an apple as a snack (another 4 grams per tablespoon). Right there you’ve added 18 grams of protein to your daily intake.
Eat More Than One Protein Source at Each Meal
Like a good pasta dish with Bolognese sauce? Whether that sauce was made from beef or lentils, there is one single source of protein right there. But what if you now had chickpea pasta instead of regular pasta? You’ve just added a second source of protein to your meal. And what if you add some tofu to your side salad, you’ve now added another source and really upped your daily intake.
If you use these 3 simple but effective tricks, you can ensure you get enough protein into your diet without having to eat any more meat!