Protein is an important macronutrient in our diet and one that has gained more attention than others in the last few years, especially amongst those undertaking weight loss diets.
Protein has many roles in the body including to help repair and build body tissues, provide the body with a structure framework, maintain proper pH and fluid balance, and allow metabolic reactions to take place.
It also has great benefits for those promoting weight loss and weight management as it has thermogenic properties and helps with satiation.
Many people can get stuck consuming the same protein in their diet, one being chicken! There is the mistake that this is the best source of protein because it contains high amounts of protein, whilst providing lower amounts of saturated fat when the skin or fat isn’t consumed.
However, there is many other great sources of protein out there, and there is benefits to consuming a variety of protein choices. This includes consuming different vitamins and minerals such as getting omega-3s from fish sources or probiotics from plain Greek yogurt. It’s also much more exiting having options and variability!
Here are a list of protein choices that can be added to your diet: Turkey, beef, lamb, pork, fish, tuna, eggs, plain Greek yogurt, tofu, tempeh, legumes, chickpeas beans, peas, lentils, edamame.
These can be consumed in various forms which adds even more variation. Plant based proteins are also great options to add in to the diet as they provide great sources of dietary fibre which is key for great gut health, and contain low amounts of saturated fat which most animal proteins contain.
To help ensure you consume a variety of protein choices, sit down with the family and organise a weekly plan of what protein choice will be consumed at each dinner so you don’t get stuck having the same one day in day out.
Also be aware of what you’re having at lunch as a protein, so you don’t double up at dinner with the same choice.
It’s ideal to have a protein source at each meal, but aim to get variety amongst these choices.
Candace Sciberras is a Dietitian at OnePoint Health in Penrith. Candace graduated from the University of Wyoming, America with a degree in Human Nutrition and Food. She later went on to do her dietetic internship in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is a member of the Dietetic Association Australia and holds her APD along with a Level 1 Anthropemetrist accreditation with ISAK.