Protein: Lean is Best

Protein is found in muscle, bone, skin, hair, and almost all body tissues. It is built from building blocks called amino acids. Our bodies make non-essential amino acids, but we also require essential amino acids from our diet. Animal proteins tend to deliver all the essential amino acids we need, while grains, nuts, seeds and beans can lack the full amino acid chain they are good sources of folate and fiber.3

Vegetarians need to be certain to eat a variety of protein containing foods in order to get all the amino acids needed to make a new protein.3

The protein package is something to consider. For example, wild salmon is an excellent source of protein, low in sodium and saturated fat, and excellent source of healthy Omega-3. Beans also contain an excellent source of protein and fiber have virtually little saturated fat. On the other hand, a T-bone steak is an excellent source of protein but also contains saturated fat, calories, and sodium.3

Research studies indicate eating even small amounts of red or processed meat increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and both stomach and colon cancer.3

Eating healthy proteins is essential to health, but there is no need to go overboard; anywhere from 10% to 35% of our total calories will satisfy your protein requirements. Just make certain the protein is lean, heart healthy, and diverse.3