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Easy Ways to Increase Your Protein Intake

Easy Ways to Increase Your Protein Intake

A high-protein diet offers many health benefits. You can easily increase your protein intake with small changes to your diet, like replacing cereal for eggs, snacking on cheese, or starting your meals by eating protein sources first.
For this reason, the daily value (DV) for protein is 50 grams per day.

However, some researchers believe that many people should be eating significantly more than this amount.

A high protein intake offers several potential health benefits and could help increase weight loss, enhance muscle growth, and improve your overall health.
1. Eat your protein first.
When eating a meal, eat the protein source first, especially before you get to the starches.

Protein increases the production of peptide YY (PYY), a gut hormone that makes you feel full and satisfied.

In addition, a high protein intake decreases levels of ghrelin, the “hunger hormone,” and increases your metabolic rate after eating and during sleep.  
What’s more, eating protein first can help keep your blood sugar and insulin levels from rising too high after a meal.

In one small study, people with type 2 diabetes were served identical meals on different days. Blood sugar and insulin rose significantly less when they consumed protein and vegetables before eating high-carb foods, compared with when the order was reversed. 

2. Snack on cheese
Snacks are a good way to get extra protein into your diet, as long as you choose healthy ones.
Many common snack foods, such as chips, pretzels, and crackers, are very low in protein.
For example, a 1-cup (30-gram) serving of plain tortilla chips has 142 calories but only 2 grams of protein.

3. Replace cereal with eggs.
Many breakfast foods are low in protein, including toast, bagels, and cereals.
Although oatmeal contains more protein than most cereals, it still only provides about 5 grams in a typical 1-cup (240-gram) serving.
On the other hand, 3 large eggs provide 19 grams of high-quality protein, along with important nutrients like selenium and choline.

4. Top your food with chopped almonds.
Almonds are incredibly healthy.

They’re high in magnesium, fiber, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, yet low in digestible carbs.
Almonds also contain 6 grams of protein in a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving, which makes them a better source of protein than most nuts.

5. Choose Greek yogurt.
Greek yogurt is a versatile, high-protein food.
It’s made by removing whey and other liquids to produce a richer, creamier yogurt that’s higher in protein.
A 7-ounce (240-gram) serving provides 17–20 grams of protein, depending on the specific brand. This is about twice the amount in traditional yogurtResearch shows Greek yogurt increases the release of the gut hormones glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and PYY, which reduce hunger and make you feel full.

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