(This guest post is authored by Julie Moore of Colorado Beef Council)
Are we consuming protein in the right way? Many Americans eat more than 60% of their daily protein in one single large dinner meal – that doesn’t leave much room for protein at other meals or snacks! A growing body of evidence indicates that eating a higher protein diet, about 25-30 grams per meal or snack, may help maximize optimal health, maintain muscle mass, provide energy to lead an active lifestyle and reduce mindless eating.
Research that was recently published in The Journal of Nutrition shows that including a moderate amount of protein at three meals and snacks throughout the day provides many health benefits, such as supporting healthy aging and weight management by minimizing muscle loss and aiding in satiety.
Here are a few tips to make small changes to your diet.
Easy 30 gram protein-rich breakfast ideas:
- 2 eggs with peanut butter on a slice of whole grain toast, and a glass of 1% milk
- Scrambled eggs with lean ground beef wrapped in a whole grain tortilla in this satisfying beef breakfast burrito.
Lighten up your lunch:
- Create a salad of greens, carrots, brown rice, garbanzo beans and top with hard-boiled eggs or 2 oz chicken.
- Enjoy an open-faced, lean roast beef or ham sandwich for a high-protein lunch such as the pictured Mediterranean Beef and Veggie Wrap
Sneak in a snack:
- 1 oz. Beef jerky (80 kcals, 15g protein)
- Pre-packed single servings of almonds or other nuts (1 serving = 169 kcals, 6 grams of protein)
- 1 Laughing Cow Mini Babybel Cheese (70 kcals, 5g protein)
- 1 (1.5-oz) to-go peanut butter pouch (250 kcal, 9g protein)
- LUNA Protein Bar (170 kcals, 12g protein)
- Balance Bar Gold (200 kcals, 14g protein)
- 1-oz pumpkin seeds (163 kcals, 5g protein)
- Kashi Trail Mix Granola bar (140 kcals, 6g protein)
- Nature Valley Greek Yogurt Protein bar (180 kcals, 10g protein)
- Sabra Hummus to Go with Pretzel Crisps (260 kcals, 6g protein)