What are some non-meat ideas that are high in protein?
Aside from protein powders/shakes and egg whites, both of which I tire of quickly what are some other good ideas for getting lean protein while keeping fat levels down? I have a goal of 40/30/30 (carbs/fat/protein) I do really well staying in range on fats/carbs but not enough protein unless I push the fat/carbs over the top. Looking for some ideas on how to boost protein that are not too high in fat/carbs so I can keep my macros balanced.
Cheeses, beans, lentils, tofu, nuts. Those are some high-protein alternatives.
I'm sure someone can answer this better, but beans, lentils, chick peas and other legumes are good, especially when combined with whole grains (which will all figure into your carb total).
Look into traditional "peasant" fare of various countries.
Many Asian cuisines use meat sparingly, if at all. Mexican, Middle Eastern and East Indian menus. for instance, have many tasty entrees that have good protein levels without much fat.
Beans are a good alternative. Years ago our family ate lots of different bean meals instead of meats when meat prices were very high. My mom got a hold of a great recipe book for bean dishes. There were some real nice ones in there.
Another option to look into is quinoa. It is a very healthy food, packed with plenty of goodness. I believe it is classed as a superfood due to how many proteins and vitamins it contains. It can be used for a lot of different dishes, so has potential for variety
I'm not an expert at this, but some of my favorite non-meat proteins are:
Unsalted whole almonds and cashews
Peanut butter and honey sandwiches on whole wheat
Soy burgers and Soy "chicken" patties
Tofu instead of meat in Chinese food
Chick peas/Garbanzo beans/Hummus
What is the 100% for the macros? What is the goal? I too look for protein methods other than meats. I lean toward fish / poultry / eggs / dairy still today. I do like lentil & black beans as a protein source. I like nuts, but the fats raise quickly.
I once tried to balance my macros with fats & protein seeking a low carb - low fat diet/nutrition plan. I learned I was not doing it correctly of least for me. Yet, consider I am diabetic too. I need carbs to balance glucose levels, insulin control, and maintenance of my med program - how long for them to reach their peaks lowering glucose levels.
Key was understanding the glycemic index regarding when I needed energy & how long. Consider a modern view regarding weight loss/maintenance & fat loss is insulin & triglyceride theories.
I am not that concerned of proteins & fats today as I am a protein based person according to the Metabolic Typing Diet. That shares fats & protein are almost the same. So, I seek a balance of 60% carbs to 40% fats & proteins. Remember fats are 9 calories per gram while carbs & protein are 4. That was much easier for me to balance proteins & fats as a whole rather than separate.
The difference is usage. Fats take '6 hours to be digested' & be a usable energy source. I shy away from fats considering only their need for health/wellness & with when consumed. Fats assist in vitamin absorption, hormone regulation, brain function, and etc. Proteins both build and maintain muscle mass. And, proteins require more energy to digest thus may burn fat. I really do not rely on that fact.
I consume fats for energy with the intent to exercise much later other than maintenance of sustenance. I may have nuts near bedtime & sleep 6 or 7 hours then exercise when awakening. Or, eat fats for breakfast - butter, dairy & I like bacon too. Then exercise mid to late afternoon. I consider the energy needed for the exercising. When seeking fat loss I made sure the energy source of caloric intake was much less (deficit) at the right time for exercising. That is where fat digestion & glycemic load comes in. Goal: Burn Fat (energy) patiently.
No matter the strategy I first worked out what my 'needed' caloric intake would be for a week. I sought the minimum needed & then subtracted 3,500 calories for a one pound per week weight loss. Over one year I lost 25lbs with 27% body fat today. I was sedentary only exercising 30 min. / day on an exercise bike & 10 min with exercise bands.
I'm not positive about their carbohydrates, but here is a quick list of protein sources that might help:
Beans (Kidney, green, etc)
Hummus (made from chick peas)
Nuts (Almonds and Pistachios I think are best)
Legumes (Peanuts and Soy beans)
Quinoa (it's a grain, but very healthy)
Buckwheat (Though I don't think it's actually wheat)
Nutritional Yeast (Can replace cheese in some recipes)
Potatoes (Skip the butter, cheese and sour cream and a baked potato is very healthy).
Popcorn (also skip the butter and salt)
Bananas and most fruit
That's off the top of my head but there are others. One of my favorite high protein snacks is edamame beans in the shell (soy beans). They are quick to cook in the microwave and they have a pleasant buttery flavor, even when completely unseasoned. It's kind of shocking how many things have protein when you start looking for it. But don't forget to include high fiber snacks as well, as that is one of the biggest contributors to 'feeling full'.
Most people don't realize that some plant-based foods contain a fair amount of protein, and if you eat a wide variety, you should get enough protein. (Protein requirements vary, but unless you're an athlete, they aren't as high as you might think.)
In addition to beans/legumes (especially chickpeas, also called garbanzos, lentils and green peas) and nuts (almonds are great), many seeds have significant amounts of protein, particularly hempseed. Quinoa is one of the ancient grains that has some protein, and you can even get a delicious organic pasta from Ancient Harvest that's a blend of quinoa and non-GMO corn. It has the texture you expect from spaghetti, macaroni, etc., and contains almost no fat. I've found it at both Kroger and Whole Foods.
Spinach is one of the leafy greens with a good bit of protein, and broccoli has some too. Even avocado contains some protein. I like to add avocado to green leafy salads, and it's the healthy type of fat. Most of the foods I"ve mentioned are low fat.
You may want to add some amino acids supplements if you are very active or exercise strenuously, but I recommend you check with your doctor first.
If you like edemame, tofu, tempah or seitan, those have plenty of protein. However, I no longer eat any type of soybean product (somewhat too late, since I'm convinced that years of believing the hype about how good soybeans are for humans and eating the stuff is what wrecked my thyroid gland). I urge people who still have functioning thyroids not to eat large amounts of soy. Surgery to remove a non-working enlarged gland is not fun, nor is taking a pill every day to replace it.
Good luck boosting your protein in a delicious way while keeping your fat and carbs low, Christin.
I have a sandwich of canned salmon (not the entire can, about half a tablespoon), on one slice of wheat bread, w/a few spices. It is about what you are looking for. You may want to change the bread - rye, oat, white or crisps. The salmon is about right.
Thanks everyone for all the excellent answers - a lot of great ideas here. I'm definitely working on finding my balance.
TOFU, it takes on the taste of anything you put in it. I love curry so I slice it sprinkle it with curry and spray the pan with pam and fry it. Pam is calorie free, TOFU is low calorie. I eat a lot of high protein bars, boca burgers, a lot of non meat freezer items that really taste great. There is a great high protein bread in the freezer at the health food stores. Check it out!
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