5 Tips to Increase Protein in Your Diet

5 Tips to Increase Protein in Your Diet

Posted by Lori Shemek; October 10, 2013

There are many people who are making a focused effort to reduce excess carbohydrates in their diet and adding in more protein and healthy fat.

The body uses protein to build tissue, repair muscles and for energy. It also keeps a balanced pH level in the blood, builds and maintains hormone levels, and keeps the body’s immune system functioning properly. Adequate protein intake will help prevent the loss the muscle mass that occurs naturally as a person ages.

Frailty can be avoided.

However, carbohydrate intake is at an all-time high – and there is a good reason for that. Can you say addiction? Carbohydrates spike your blood sugar very high and then it takes a deep, precipitous drop. It is this drop that causes you to crave more. The body likes to maintain balance and when it is at an all-time blood sugar low, the body needs the blood sugar to rise..so what do you do? You reach for more carbs such as sugar or white flour products.

We now know that sugar addiction is not just in your head. It is a real addiction. Even ‘healthy’ carbohydrates such as whole grains are ingested in excess and can create an imbalance in blood sugar.

Another issue with the intake of carbohydrates is the trigger of Insulin. And it’s not just a ‘diabetes’ word. If carbs are ingested in excess, insulin is triggered excessively as well.

Insulin is like a Pac Man, it likes to gobble up all the sugar in your blood and store it in your cells for energy at a later time. The problem is, however, that excessive insulin is always knocking on the cells door and the cell begins to ignore insulin and with continued excessive insulin, the cell eventually ignores insulin completely, leading to serious health conditions such as diabetes and much more.

Reducing carbs and adding more protein and healthy fats will help balance your blood sugar, helping you create insulin sensitivity – your key to optimal health.

So how do you go beyond the typical protein shake and lean meats and seafood for added protein during your day?

The 7 tips below will help ensure you do:

  1. Eat Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt has half the calories and twice the protein of traditional yogurt, thus making it a great choice.
  2. Add Cottage Cheese. Cheese Cottage cheese contains a whopping 28 grams of protein in just one cup. Add fruit and/or nuts to it or use it to make delicious protein pancakes.
  3. Snack on Nuts and Seeds. Nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, almonds or pumpkin seeds are not just high in protein, but contain very healthy fats.
  4. Start Your Day With Eggs. Eggs are an excellent source of high quality protein and healthy fat from the yolk. Eggs are versatile, so boil up a batch and take them along as a snack too!  You can also use just the egg white alone for increased protein intake.
  5. Add protein powder to any dish outside of a shake. Think about adding a scoop to a smoothie, your oatmeal, your yogurt, protein pancakes, cottage cheese, soups, healthy casseroles and blended into baked goods.

In addition to the optimal muscle toning protein provides, adequate protein has been linked to improved muscle function, increased bone density, younger-looking skin and decreased body fat.

To your optimal health,
~Lori Shemek