Protein – the core benefactor in building and maintaining lean muscle – has another wonderful benefit too: It helps you feel full for a longer time. But if you're looking solely towards the weight loss aspect, there are certain protein-rich food items that could actually boost the process, helping you shed those extra pounds faster.
Writing for Reader's Digest, dietitian and nutrition expert, Christy Brissette, MS, RD, listed the best choices when it comes to a protein diet that could help you lose weight:
Canned tuna, per 3-ounce serving, contains 22 grams of protein and just less than 100 calories – meaning, tuna has 94 percent protein, and its remaining 6 percent of calories are all healthy fat, which has been associated with weight loss.
Other than being one of the healthiest and protein-rich foods, tuna is also rich in vitamins and minerals like niacin, selenium, and vitamin B12.
Chicken breast has about 90 percent protein, meaning, it provides 20 grams of protein and only 1 gram of fat per 3-ounce serving.
This is particularly beneficial as increasing the lean protein in the diet has been proven to boost long-term weight loss. This is again because of its ability to make you feel full without stacking up on the calories.
Three ounces of wild Atlantic salmon contain not only about 17 grams of filling protein, but also plenty of anti-inflammatory fats known as omega-3s.
Eating plenty of protein and omega-3s help maintain and lower body fat percentage. Salmon is also high in selenium – an antioxidant mineral that helps in boosting immunity.
Turkey breast has about 95 percent of its calories coming from protein; research suggests that eating more such lean protein can help lower levels of harmful blood fats and also increase HDL (High-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels.
About six grams of protein is split between the egg white and the yolk of one large egg. The yolk is packed with vitamins A, D, E, and K, and choline – which boosts metabolism. Eating eggs for breakfast can be highly beneficial because it's filling and also high in protein.
These are excellent plant-based proteins, with just a cupful containing 18 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber. Other than that, lentils also contain nearly 40 percent of the body's daily iron needs. They not only aid the weight loss process but also help maintain a healthier heart.
An excellent source of vegetarian protein, one cup of soybeans provides 12 grams of protein and just 130 calories. Apart from protein, it's also an excellent source of fiber and gives a day's worth of folate – a vitamin that's essential for heart health.
A half-cup serving of tofu provides 10 grams of protein and just 90 calories. The food is rich in vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, manganese, selenium, and phosphorus. Being a soy product, it also consists of all the important amino acids, which makes it an excellent source of soy protein.
While shrimp is fairly high in cholesterol, it's also 85 percent protein, with 17 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving. Also, shrimp's dietary cholesterol content doesn't add to the blood cholesterol in the system.
Pork could get a lot of flak for being a fatty protein, but pork tenderloin is an exception. Three ounces of it consists 22 grams of protein, just 3 grams of fat, and 120 calories.
Being high in thiamin, pork also boosts metabolism, keeps heart and the nervous system healthy.