Proteins are known to have a lot of health benefits for example muscle building, tissue repair, weight loss and satiety the feeling of fullness after eating. Although proteins have a lot of health benefits, many people who mind about their weight are afraid of protein food sources due to the fear of weight gain.
It is so because most protein food sources are accompanied by more fat and calories than you actually need.
But the interesting part is there high protein foods that are low in fat and calories. Examples of such foods include lean beef, pork loins, low-fat milk and many other food sources.
What are proteins?
According to Medical News Today, ‘Proteins are large molecules that our cells need to function properly. They consist of amino acids. The structure and function of our bodies depend on proteins. The regulation of the body’s cells, tissues, and organs cannot happen without them.”
Proteins are structural molecules that are assembled out of amino acids many of which our bodies cannot produce on their own. Animal foods are high in proteins and are capable of providing all the essential amino acids needed.
What are the examples of high protein foods that are low in fat?
With a lot of protein food sources, one would want to eat foods that are high in proteins yet low in fat. Of course, it is almost everyone’s dream of eating without limit and not gain weight. Below are the carefully chosen high protein foods that are low in fat.
1. White-fleshed fish.
Most white fleshed fish are excellent sources of proteins yet are very low in fats. With per 100 grams having fat content under 3 grams, 20-25 grams of proteins and 85-130 calories.
Examples of white-fleshed fish includes cod, haddock, Pollok, flounder, halibut and tilapia.
These types of fish have are excellent sources of hunger-satisfying proteins with less fat and fewer calories making them weight loss diet-friendly.
2. Lean beef.
Lean beef is the type of beef with less than 10 grams of total fat and with around 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat per 100 grams.
When buying beef, it is always labeled lean beef or when it isn’t labeled certain labels like ”loin” nad ”round” will tell you that the mean is lean. Sirloin and tenderloin are some of the examples of lean round steak.
3. Low-fat milk.
Milk is an easy way to get protein when you drink it or add to cereals. Choosing low-fat milk will save you lots of calories and fat.
A serving of 240 ml has 8 grams of proteins, 2.5 grams of fat and around 100 calories.
In comparison, the same amount of whole milk will have the same amount of proteins but with 150 calories and 8 grams of fat.
4. Egg whites.
Egg whites are great sources of proteins yet they are low in calories and fat. Whole eggs are healthy for a weight loss diet but for something lighter with fewer calories and fat, eggs whites do the magic.
The egg white contains only 16 calories which are about less than a quarter of calories found in an egg. It also contains only 0.5 grams of fat and 3 grams of proteins.
5. White skinless poultry meat.
Poultry meat is a good source of proteins but some diets, discourage it due to high calories and fat. Poultry meat can be fat-free if you choose the parts wisely, parts like the breasts, breast tenderloins and wings.
When eating poultry meat, avoid the skin as it has a whopping 200 calories and 8 grams of fat. Removing the skin from poultry meat saves you a lot of calories and fat.
In summary chicken and turkey meat especially the breast area is high in healthy proteins, low in calories and fat.
6. Beans, lentils and peas.
Legumes are good sources of healthy vegan proteins and they contain fiber too. They are low in fats, high in proteins and fiber making them weight loss friendly.
Both fiber and proteins are essential for weight loss. Fiber also helps in lowering cholesterol to people who eat fiber food sources often.
7. Pork loins.
These are pork cuts that fit in the USDA’s definition of lean which means that they have less than 10 grams of fat per 100 grams serving.
Pork tenderloin which is the leanest cut has 143 calories, 26 grams of proteins and 3.5 grams of fat per 100 grams.
8. Plain Greek yogurt.
A plain yogurt serving of 6 ounces contains 15-20 grams of proteins compared to regular yogurt which has 9 grams in the same serving
Low fat plain Greek yogurt has 3 grams of fat and about 125 calories per 6 ounces serving. Choosing plain yogurt helps to cut off unnecessary sweeteners that could have added to the calories you consume.
9. Cottage cheese.
Half a cup of cottage cheese contains around 97 calories, 13 grams of proteins and only 2.5 grams of fat. It is therefore an excellent source of proteins and calcium. Try to get low-fat cottage cheese that has no additives or sweeteners for the best result.
Meat from bison or buffalos is healthy, lean and has low fat. It is an excellent source of protein while it offers less fat per serving than beef.
Many people are choosing bison meat over beef as bison meat is leaner than beef.
Is a protein diet good for weight loss?
There a lot of diets like the keto diet, Atkin’s diet and many more that promise weight loss. Most have precautions while others fail to meet their expectations. Let us see how the protein diet can be good for weight loss.
Eating foods that are rich in proteins can help in weight loss in the following ways;
A protein diet is good for weight loss and will deliver the expected results if the foods involved are chosen wisely.
Taking adequate proteins helps in reducing appetite and hunger levels, this helps to reduce your food intake and unnecessary cravings. Foods that are rich in proteins will give you a feeling of fullness after eating. This means you will take longer to feel hungry and you will avoid cravings.
In addition to suppressing appetite, taking proteins helps to maintain muscle mass during weight loss. Many weight-loss diets like keto cause muscle loss which is not the case with a protein diet. This makes the protein diet stand out among other weight-loss diets.
A protein diet is good for weight loss as it involves fewer risks, has no food groups elimination and delivers results in a healthy way.
However, a protein diet may not help with weight loss if the foods chosen have high-fat content. While choosing foods to include in a protein diet for weight loss, you should choose foods that are high in proteins yet low in fat like the examples discussed in this article.
You should also note that a protein diet alone will not help in achieving weight loss faster and effectively. A protein diet combined with workouts for weight loss will do the magic.
Healthy benefits of eating high protein foods that are low in fats.
Reduces appetite and hunger levels.
Eating protein-rich foods will help you feel satisfied for longer periods of time. A high protein diet helps you eat fewer calories by improving the function of hunger control hormones.
This is because protein reduces the level of hunger hormones ghrelin making you feel satisfied longer and reducing appetite. For people who are trying to lose weight, proteins can be the healthy food type that can be replaced for carbs and fat.
Proteins help in weight loss.
A high protein diet boosts metabolism which leads to the burning of more calories by the body. While on a protein diet, the body is able to suppress the hunger causing hormones to reduce your appetite and feeling satisfied for a longer period of time.
Eating proteins also helps in maintaining muscles during weight loss. On diets from which you consume fewer proteins, muscle mass can be lost in the process. But eating adequate proteins can help you lose weight while maintaining muscles.
Proteins increase muscle mass and strength.
Eating adequate amounts of proteins helps in muscle growth and maintenance. For young children, proteins help them to grow while for adults, proteins build muscles.
Therefore, high protein intake can help gain muscles and strength especially people who are on strength training. And for people on weight loss, proteins reduce muscle loss.
It lowers high blood pressure.
Heart attacks, strokes, and chronic kidney diseases are all caused by high blood pressure. On a bright side, adequate-protein intake has shown to lower blood pressure.
Repair the body after injury.
Not only do proteins help in building the body, but they also repair it in case of an injury. Eating more proteins after an injury can speed up body recovery.
How much protein do I need a day?
Proteins are the main bodybuilding blocks for the body. It is used to make muscles, tendons, body organs and the skin. Also, the enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters are made with proteins. This makes proteins vital and a deficiency in proteins can cause serious body failures and complications.
But how much proteins do you need in a day?
According to Healthline, the amount of protein needed in a day is;
- 56 grams per day for the average sedentary man.
- 46 grams per day for the average sedentary woman.
That is the amount that is enough to prevent a deficiency of proteins. It turns out that the real amount needed will depend on the activity level, age, mass, physique goals and state of health.
What happens if you eat too much protein?
Consuming high amounts of proteins for longer periods of time comes with risks and health complications. They include;
High protein intake can cause weight gain. Especially if you consume too many calories while trying to increase your protein intake.
When you restrict your carbs intake and eat large amounts of proteins, you can develop bad breath.
High protein diets most times restrict carbs ending up consuming less of foods rich in fiber. This causes constipation and poor digestion.
Increased cancer risk.
High protein diets are usually associated with high red meat consumption which is linked to increased risk of getting cancer. Red or processed meat is usually associated with colorectal, breast and prostate cancer.
Increased kidney damage.
Excess intake of proteins is linked to damage of the kidney to people with preexisting kidney disease. This is due to the excess nitrogen found in amino acids that the kidneys have to work harder to get rid of.
Lots of red meat and full-fat dairy products as part of the protein diet may lead to heart disease. This can be linked to high intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol.
The bottom line;
Not only do these food sources provide proteins, but they also provide other important nutrients. To embark on a protein diet, you should choose a meal plan from a trusted website or nutritionist.
High protein foods that are low in fat will help you achieve a weight loss or to maintain your current body physique all according to your preference.
It is also wise to inquire with your doctor before fully committing yourself to weight loss and a protein diet.
You may want to know about other diets.