The proteins within our bodies are what make up bones, cartilage, muscles, skin and our blood. Therefore, it is essential to continually supply ourselves with quality protein sources so we can build and repair muscle mass. Lean proteins help lower blood cholesterol, support brain functioning and promote a higher metabolic rate. A maximized metabolism can help maintain a healthy body weight.
Lean protein refers to sources that are high in protein while lower in fat. Plant proteins like chickpeas, lentils and quinoa are considered quality lean proteins. Animal protein like fish, skinless chicken, shellfish, pork loin and eggs are excellent choices to implement into your meal plan on a consistent basis. Here is an example of a lean protein diet:
- Smoothie with 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 cup Greek yogurt and 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup strawberries with 10 cashews
- Mixed green salad with tomatoes, carrots, cucumber and grilled chicken
- An apple or 2 clementines
- 5 oz white fish or salmon with roasted asparagus and garlic butter sauce
- 3/4 cup quinoa or brown rice
A higher protein diet with ample vegetables can keep you full and satisfied. Lean plant and animal proteins are an important part of maintaining physical and mental health.