What to Know About Healthy Proteins

by The Cooperative

Protein is a necessity for healthy nutrition. Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle, cartilage, skin, and bone, and it helps to keep us feeling full longer in between meals, which aids in weight maintenance over time. It is also important to ensure we choose healthy proteins to benefit our long-term health. Healthy proteins are those that contain less saturated fat, which is important for preventing chronic diseases like heart attack and stroke. Here are some examples of healthy proteins:


  1. Lean Meats: Select lean meats such as skinless chicken, turkey breast, or ground chicken/turkey. These options have less saturated fat than beef or pork. If you do select beef or pork, select leaner cuts such as sirloin, tenderloin, or round cuts to help reduce the amount of saturated fat. Venison is another example of a leaner option of red meats and contains less saturated fat than beef or pork.
  2. Fish and Seafood: Fish and seafood are great sources of lean protein and are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish like salmon and mackerel are fattier than other options, such as cod, tilapia, and haddock, which have less saturated fat. Seafood options such as lobster, shrimp, and scallops are healthy lean protein options that are low in saturated fat and easily incorporated into meals. 
  3. Plant-Based Proteins: Beans, legumes, lentils, tofu, tempeh, and edamame are plant-based proteins that are high in protein but contain less saturated fat than animal proteins. They also offer other benefits, such as fiber and other essential nutrients that we would not get from animal proteins.
  4. Eggs: Eggs are a complete protein source, containing all the essential amino acids. They are a lean protein option that is incredibly versatile and can be included in a variety of different dishes.
  5. Dairy Products: Low-fat dairy products such as low-fat Greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, low-fat milk, and low-fat cheese are lean protein options that contain less saturated fat than full-fat dairy options. You can substitute these options for higher-fat dairy options in recipes to help reduce the overall amount of saturated fat in recipes.  


Understanding healthy proteins and why it is important to incorporate them into your diet is key to achieving healthier nutrition in the future and preventing the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart attack and stroke. Consuming a combination of lean animal proteins and plant proteins will also help benefit muscle health, improve immunity, and boost overall vitality.
By, Coach Mariah

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