The Benefits of Eating Lean Proteins

Lean protein foods are rich in protein and limited in less healthy nutrients, such as saturated fat and dietary cholesterol. Some sources of lean protein also contain beneficial plant chemicals, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Protein helps our body repair itself and build muscle.

Proteins are the body’s building blocks: bones, muscles, skin and blood are all made up of protein. After a tough workout, muscles are rebuilt and repaired by the proteins you eat. Foods from the protein food group are also usually a good source of iron which is necessary for red blood cell development.

When trying to lose weight, protein foods help you feel full longer, likely reducing the total number of calories eaten per day. A 2008 study in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" showed that protein increases satiety, and may increase metabolism. Consuming protein will also help the body maintain lean muscle mass, which is critical for a healthy weight loss plan.

sources for lean protein:

  • Seafood (includes shellfish, finfish, and mollusks)
  • Low-fat milk and yogurt contain calcium.
  • Egg whites provide protein with very little fat.
  • Beans and other legumes (dried or canned)
  • Peas provide dietary fiber.
  • Soy foods are low in unhealthy fat.
  • Mushrooms are low in calories and can contain vitamin D.
  • Nuts and nut butters contain heart healthy fats.
  • Seeds supply vitamins and minerals.
  • Skinless chicken or turkey