What Are Some Lean Protein Foods? | Exercise.com Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

What Are Some Lean Protein Foods?

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Aug 25, 2020

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  • Lean protein foods include fish, nuts, vegetables, and fruit.
  • For healthier protein options without the fat, you should incorporate beans, lean meats, legumes, and healthy grains into your diet.
  • If you need to supplement your diet, protein supplements are now made to be low in fat, calories, and cholesterol.
Of course, there are some foods that contain more protein than others, but if it is healthy you are looking for, you will have many options!

Can eating the right proteins help with your fitness goals? Yes! Protein is important for muscle gain, energy production, and a healthy heart and body.

In fact, if you are looking for an exercise routine to achieve your fitness and health goals, look no further. Go PRO today for access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, and more.

Do Lean Protein Foods Have as Much Protein as Fatty Foods?

There are some lean protein foods that have as much or almost as much protein as fatty foods do! In fact, chicken breast is a food with some of the highest levels of protein per serving.

Chicken breast has 27 grams of protein per three ounces, and that is without the skin. Chicken breast certainly qualifies as a lean protein source.

In addition, there are several types of fish that have high protein levels. For example, a 3-ounce serving of yellowfin tuna has 25 grams of protein. Halibut, swordfish, and rainbow trout all have over 20 grams of protein as well.

According to WebMD, the right kind of protein can help you lose weight. Proteins from fatty foods can’t do that because the fat you are eating is going to affect your body.

Here are some categories recommended for lean protein:

  • Seafood
  • Lean beef
  • Egg whites
  • Whole eggs (limit one per day)
  • Beans
  • White meat pork and poultry
  • Low-fat milk products

The truth is that fattier versions of meat products, such as beef or chicken, have the same amount of protein as their lean counterparts. There is no reason to go with the fattier version unless you just aren’t concerned about your heart health or losing weight.

How Much Protein Should I Be Getting from Meat Versus Vegetables and Fruit?

You should limit your red meat intake, even of lean meats, to no more than about three portions per week. Most people eat about five servings per week, and many people eat even more.

Red meat and poor heart health have been closely linked. However, this doesn’t mean you have to jump over to huge servings of fruits and veggies to get your protein.

Instead, you should replace red meat with fish, chicken, or pork. Perhaps you can even substitute meat for an entire day with beans or nuts.

While most fruits and veggies contain protein, there isn’t enough to sustain you without eating something else. Vegetarians can use beans and soy as a meat replacement because beans and soy contain high levels of protein.

Here are some good vegetarian protein food sources:

The fact is that meat contains the highest levels of protein, more than any other food. That is why a well-balanced diet is so important.

If you are eating your daily servings of fruits and veggies and you include beans or nuts on a daily basis, then you can certainly lower your meat intake drastically and still get the protein your body needs.

You just need to be sure you are getting your protein from multiple sources and you will be doing just fine.

Are Protein Supplements a Lean Source of Protein?

Once upon a time, protein supplements were high in fat and cholesterol. However, science has come a long way and most protein supplements are fat-free, very low in calories, and have no cholesterol.

This doesn’t mean that all protein supplements are created the same.

In addition to looking at the nutritional value of a protein supplement, you want to ensure you are getting a natural whole food product that is safe for your body.

What’s more, look for protein supplements that are manufactured in the United States. The reason you want to do this is that the FDA regulates the way that food products are made in the U.S. but not outside of the U.S.

You can be more confident in the quality of your supplements if you choose something made here.

Many people don’t realize that synthesized vitamins and minerals have a very low absorption rate in the human body. Most people who take protein supplements are expecting a vitamin infusion as well to help them during their workouts.

It is better to use a whole food product, which ensures your body gets the most benefit from the supplement you choose to use.

Keep in mind that supplementation of any kind is not enough for your overall health and fitness needs. Exercise is important. Go PRO today for access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, goal trackers, and more!

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