The main macronutrient many of us consistently struggle to get enough of is protein. This is true no matter what one’s dietary preferences might be and is a big reason why a vast number of protein supplements, in the form of concentrates, bars and powders, have become so readily available over the last decade.
But, is making sure to regularly consume a sufficient amount really so important? It absolutely is — protein helps to keep muscles strong, boosts immunity and regulates hormone levels. As I explain in my cookbook about macro-based nutrition:
“Every gram of protein is 4 calories … and the average recommended daily protein intake for adults is 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight. This amount may slightly increase during times of illness, surgery recovery, or advanced age. Although this dietary requirement can be met by eating many plant- or animal-derived foods, in order to avoid unnecessarily increasing one’s risk of developing heart disease or certain types of cancer, try to meet your target level for this macro with lean protein sources such as smoked turkey breast, canned light tuna, tofu and Greek yogurt.”
Other budget-friendly ways to increase your daily protein intake include:
- Purchase seafood like cod and salmon when it’s on sale.
- Put lentils in a favorite soup recipe.
- Have one serving of egg whites in the morning.
- Add hempseeds to smoothies.
- Drink bone broth.
- Have cottage cheese as a snack.
- Use hummus instead of mayo on sandwiches.
- Try topping a salad with chickpeas.
If you need more ideas on how to increase your protein intake, peruse this assortment of articles and recipes in the TOPS Member Portal. And if you’re already a protein pro in terms of meal planning, please drop one or two tips in the discussion thread below.
Let us help each other to remember that ‘wellness’ is our ‘why’ this Wednesday.